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Centre for Digital Built Britain

Blog: Alexandra Bolton on CDBB's new funding opportunities

Following the announcement of three new funding opportunities at the CDBB Summer Showcase Event, Alexandra Bolton, Deputy Director of the Centre, looks forward to receiving bids for the new calls.

I was delighted to meet so many delegates from industry and academic institutions located throughout the UK at the Centre’s Summer Showcase and Lunch Event held in Cambridge last month. The response to the fast-paced presentations and relaxed networking that informed everyone about the outputs of the Centre’s 2018 mini-projects and funded Research Networks has been very encouraging.

A number of you have shown interest in joining one or more of our current six multi-institutional research networks and we are more than happy to welcome further interest; the Centre is reaching out into the broadest possible academic group within the country because we want our networks to grow.

Our model brings together academic researchers, industry and stakeholder organisations to drive the creation of a digitally-enabled landscape and there will be additional calls for research to fill identified gaps in the landscape picture to come so do keep a watchful eye on the Centre’s website. If you would like to watch highlights of the summer event and the presentations you will find them here.

The event marked the announcement of a new series of three separate research calls. They are deliberately open, multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional and aligned with the CDBB mission – our interest reaches beyond the technical to incorporate everything that belongs to the CDBB mix including legal, psychology, social sciences and economics. The three calls include:

Research Agenda and Landscape Call for Tenders – this invites proposals to draft reports which describe the capabilities the UK will need to create, exploit and enjoy a digital built Britain over the next several decades, the research agenda needed to deliver these capabilities and the landscape of research competence available today to act as a starting point. 

Delivering a Digital Built Britain General Research Call – this call is searching for multiple projects covering different disciplines to support the breadth of the Centre’s mission. There will be opportunities for collaboration between the projects.

Delivering a Digital Built Britain Early Career Researchers Call – this invites proposals from eligible research teams, and early career researchers for research projects aligned with the CDBB mission 'to develop and demonstrate policy and practical insights that will enable the exploitation of new and emerging technologies, data and analytics to enhance the natural and built environment, thereby driving up commercial competitiveness and productivity, as well as citizen quality of life and well-being’.

More details are on the CDBB website but the deadline for submissions is the 8 and 9 September so I do urge you to act now.

Last month also saw the publication of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee report titled 'Off-site Manufacture for construction: building for change'. This significant report recommends off-site manufacturing (OSM) to help to increase productivity in the construction sector in order to meet pressing housing and infrastructure needs, and sets out actions required to enable the sector to effectively implement OSM in construction.

The Committee heard evidence that if the Government is to achieve its aim of building 300,000 houses a year by 2020, OSM would be the only way to meet this target, and that traditional construction methods do not have the capacity to build enough homes.

It is a timely report and one that sits well with the Centre’s mission to ensure the successful commercial exploitation of new technological developments to support the digitally-enabled transformation of the full lifecycle of the built environment that will increase productivity and improve economic and social outcomes in the UK.