The i-Con initiative, which has been launched by the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), has been designed to match those facing challenges with those in industry and academia who can offer solutions.
The initiative consists of three key components: the Innovation Challenge Fund, a knowledge hub and an online learning platform.
CSIC would like to hear from industry partners and stakeholders who are facing an immediate challenge in the current crisis, and from industry and academic experts who can respond to these challenges.
The i-Con Innovation Challenge Fund is being managed by CSIC using funding from the Scottish Government through a partnership of the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise and potentially other organisations.
It will be available to the sector through an online collaboration portal. CSIC is asking public and private sector organisations, trade associations and the wider construction sector to register their challenges arising from the current crisis on the portal. The challenges will be widely communicated in a bid to attract industry and academic experts to step forward with proposed solutions. CSIC said that this matchmaking process will help to build collaboration teams who can access support and expertise, apply to the fund for financial support and create solutions.
CSIC chief executive Stephen Goodsaid: “We recognise the challenges facing the industry during these extremely testing times. The i-Con initiative offers both support and also opportunities for the industry to collaborate, innovate and rapidly co-create solutions. We want to encourage those faced with challenges, and those who can offer knowledge and expertise, to come forward and use the platform to contribute a positive legacy for the built environment community and society more widely.
“This collaborative approach, through a unique matchmaking process, will not only help the industry during the current crisis, but could offer a long-term way of working in how we tackle problems faced by industry partners. This aims to improve the health of our workforces, financial stability and security, but also helps to protect the future delivery and operation of the nation’s critical infrastructure, housing and wider built environment assets.”
The i-Con Knowledge Hub and Online Learning Platform are designed to help the built environment community find relevant information and navigate the range of support services available to the sector. A range of online events, webinars and training programmes will offer learning experiences designed to build resilience and knowledge across the sector.