MTC to help transform construction in the UK

MTC to help transform construction in the UK

Date: Friday 30 November 2018

News MTC to help transform construction in the UK

Centre to play lead role in national innovation hub after £72 million Government funding

The Manufacturing Technology Centre has joined an alliance of experts in manufacturing, digital, building performance standards and construction technology, which has been awarded leadership of a new national hub to drive innovation and technological advances in the construction and infrastructure sectors. 

Following a nationwide competition, Innovate UK has awarded £72 million to the Transforming Construction Alliance to deliver a national Core Innovation Hub, which is a key element of the Transforming Construction programme.

The alliance brings together the specialist expertise of the MTC, BRE (Building Research Establishment), and the CDBB (University of Cambridge Centre for Digital Built Britain). The award was announced by BEIS minister Richard Harrington MP.

The Core Innovation Hub will be the catalyst to transform the way buildings are designed, manufactured, integrated and connected within the built environment to create high-performing buildings and infrastructure with strong levels of safety, quality and energy performance. It will also support collaboration to develop and commercialise digital and manufacturing technologies for the construction sector. 

Keith Waller has been appointed programme director to lead the Transforming Construction Alliance. A civil engineer by profession, he led the development of the recent Transforming Infrastructure Performance report. He has worked across Government and industry to drive innovation and improve outcomes in support of Industrial Strategy ambitions. He said:

"I am delighted to be leading the Transforming Construction Alliance in its mission to boost productivity and performance in the sector. I look forward to working alongside Government, industry and the talented teams at the MTC, BRE and CDBB to realise the vision of a transformed construction sector."

Neil Rawlinson, strategic development director at the Manufacturing Technology Centre said the MTC had an established and well proven track record in supporting manufacturing cross a range of sectors. He said:

"There is huge potential for transformation of large parts of the construction sector to a manufacturing industry. The widespread appetite for change throughout the industry and the impact that this change will have on so many aspects of life in the UK make us enormously excited to be delivering this pivotal role. The MTC brings several key capabilities to the hub, such as design and simulation, and process and manufacturing systems development, including automation and visualisation. The complementary skills of the alliance partners will ensure we deliver for industry and Government." 

BRE director Martin Ganley said:

"BRE is one of the world's leading independent knowledge centres in construction testing and performance standards for the built environment. BRE will provide expertise in the testing and validation of new products, processes, data and assets, and will support the move to digitising construction. It will also provide a leading role in industry engagement and the deployment of demonstrators at the BRE site in Watford."
Professor Andy Neely, pro-vice-chancellor: enterprise and business relations at the University of Cambridge and director of the Centre for Digital Built Britain, said, with Government and industry poised for change, the funding of the alliance is timely.

"The alliance brings together three trusted organisations with strong research, development and engagement programmes to deliver the evidence base and value case for change, alongside those who will benefit most from it. CDBB will collaborate widely to deliver a digital programme that will create the framework to underpin the future built environment and grow export opportunities for the UK," he said.

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund will strengthen research and innovation in science and business in the UK. Its Transforming Construction programme aims to support £600 billion worth of infrastructure and construction projects over the next decade, creating new processes and techniques including standardisation of modular components for manufacture. 


We are working at the forefront of applied technology. The job is exciting and varied and every day brings a new challenge.
Dr Katy Milne
Technology Manager, Metrology and NDT