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Wed September 19 2018

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Skanska man picked to lead industry-wide innovation quest

30 Aug Skanska innovation director Sam Stacey is moving jobs to take charge of the government’s construction innovation drive.

Sam Stacey
Sam Stacey

UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) has appointed Sam Stacey as director of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’s Transforming Construction challenge. 

Mr Stacey, who was previously Skanska’s director of innovation, industrialisation and business improvement, will join in September to oversee the Transforming Construction challenge. This is a £170m research and innovation investment, matched by £250m from industry, to create new construction processes and techniques for building manufacture in the UK. Linked to the construction sector deal, the programme includes funding for research, a new construction network and the creation of an active building centre and innovation hub.

UKRI is a new organisation that brings together seven research councils and Innovate UK, promoting a partnership between government, academia and industry.

Sam Stacey’s job, as challenge director, is to make sure researchers and businesses work together to find the innovative solutions to the challenge and ensure that the UK economy reaps the commercial benefit.

Mr Stacey is a chartered structural engineer, with degrees from Cambridge University and Imperial College, London. He also has an MBA from Henley Business School.

Mr Stacey said: “The UK has some of the best engineering, architectural and construction firms in the world, but the sector as a whole lags others such as manufacturing. I firmly believe that the Challenge Fund award and the Industrial Strategy sector deal represent an opportunity to take the UK construction industry from one of the world’s best to an absolute world-beater. I am very much looking forward to leading it.”

UKRI chief executive Sir Mark Walport said: “This challenge provides an opportunity to transform UK construction productivity. Sam has an important role in overseeing the funding to develop these new innovative construction materials and techniques.

“His commitment to harnessing new technology and processes, and his experience across academia and business, make him the ideal candidate to drive forward the challenge.”

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