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Final call for construction supply chain to become Innovation Champions

A programme to help tackle the productivity challenge in the construction industry is calling on smaller firms to lead the way for change.

Innovation Driven Procurement (IDP), a fully funded programme for SME and Micro-business Owners in the supply chain, has launched an initiative to create 40 Innovation Champions to solve problems within their business relating to productivity and inspire others to do the same.

Applications to receive this valuable support are open to all UK contractor’s supply chain.

Limited places are now available online, where business owners can receive one-to-one coaching and mentoring to do an innovation project and receive the kudos of being an Innovation Champion.

With the construction industry lagging behind other areas of the economy, the initiative was created with a focus on improving productivity, profits, relationships and projects.

The IDP is the brainchild of Nottingham Trent University and Morgan Sindall Construction, supported by Construction Coach with funding from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

Maria Coulter, founder of Construction Coach, said: “It’s vitally important that initiatives such as our Innovation Champion programme are taken up by businesses in order to drive the change that will help our industry achieve long term sustainability. By tailoring this opportunity specifically for firms in the supply chain, we are equipping people with the tools and skills needed to make a difference from the bottom up whilst inspiring others.

“Our cohort of 40 Innovation Champions will gain access to free skills and resources which will not only benefit their businesses but help to inspire others within construction. It’s a challenging time for the industry so we strongly encourage as many people as possible to invest time with the programme.”

Dr Emmanuel Manu is an associate professor in Quantity Surveying and Project Management at the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment at Nottingham Trent University, said: “This is another exciting step for the IDP after we launched online training for the supply chain and The IDP Community earlier this year. We are looking forward to working with our delivery partners on this next step, which we hope will go some way to addressing some of the challenges within the construction industry.

“We are placing power in the hands of the smaller firms to promote innovation within the industry. This will strengthen the working relationships between all parties, enabling the development of better on-site processes and business solutions for improved productivity and profitability, helping to encourage innovation to solve on-site and business challenges.”

So far, the programme has been implemented by multiple businesses with proven success. In one example, subcontractors were able to achieve shorter delivery times and minimise risks on site after engaging with training and implementing innovation and early engagement.

Short CPD modules have been developed with construction supply chain businesses with the aim to streamline construction practices, flushing out potential problems before they arise and generally taking a more collaborative, communicative approach to encourage innovation from the outset. Modules include Collaborative Behaviours, Collaborative Design and the Supply Chain, Collaborative Risk Management using Flow Walks, Innovation and Value in the Supply Chain.

The IDP is also launching an app this month for site workers to be able to access the CPD modules whilst ‘on the go’, a method relatively unheard of in the industry. The aim is to improve accessibility and remove barriers such as lack of computers on-site and time constraints. It will be available to download on the Apple and Android store.

To find out more about the IDP, visit:

To become an Innovation Champion, please visit: