Last week, the UK infrastructure industry demonstrated how clients and suppliers are coming together, to accelerate collaboration and innovation. i3P, the independent innovation community, introduced 'i3P Spark', its first live investment event. Arranged in a Dragons Den format, six i3P members pitched for a total sum of £100,000. With a friendly but grilling jury, and an engaged audience consisting of representatives from Mott MacDonald, Atkins, Costain, Tideway, Heathrow, Mace and other industry clients, it was a fantastic evening and a great example of the industry coming together to address innovation.
From left: Tim Chapman (Infrastructure Director, Arup), Dr Hayaatun Sillem (CEO Royal Academy of Engineering), Elspeth Finch MBE (CEO Indigo&), Mark Hansford (Editor, New Civil Engineer) and host Andy Mitchell CBE (CEO Tideway and current chair of i3P) The challenge Six finalists, comprising of i3P client members and suppliers, had 5 minutes each to make their pitches. Many of the finalists were joint initiatives between some of the UK's largest infrastructure clients, with pitches ranging from blockchain as a method to aid health and safety reporting, to the use of AI technology to increase tunnel safety. Each pitch was judged against a number of factors, such as entrepreneurial potential and business awareness, but also on its potential to be game changing and benefit the wider industry. The host and judges The host of the evening was Andy Mitchell, i3P Chair and Tideway CEO. The judges:
Elspeth Finch MBE, CEO Indigo&
Mark Hansford, Editor of New Civil Engineer
Tim Chapman, Infrastructure Director at Arup
Dr Hayaatun Sillem, CEO of Royal Academy of Engineering
The winners After careful deliberation by the judges, three winners were crowned, each receiving a piece of the £100,00 prize pot.
‘SafetIbase’ – A digital platform addressing safety and accident monitoring. A collaboration between: Mott MacDonald, 3D Repo, Vinci Grand Projects, Costain Group, Tideway, Laing O’Rourke, Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Bentley Systems and HS2.
‘Open UK: Unlocking Ground Investigation Data’ – Using technology to drive value when planning boreholes. A collaboration between: Atkins, Morgan Sindall and the British Geological Survey.
‘Computer vision technologies for creating resilient infrastructure’ - using machine learning to manage tunnel safety. A collaboration between: Arup and Costain.
One of the winning teams: Open UK: Unlocking Ground Investigation Data, with head pitcher Sophie Payne. We look forward to future events, that showcase how the industry can transform through digital and disruptive innovation. To find out how i3P are using the Indigo& platform to drive and manage innovation projects, read our interview with i3P director Colin Tattam.