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UKRI appoints Director for Transforming Construction Challenge

UKRI, the UK Research and Innovation hub, has announced the appointment of Sam Stacey as Director of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’s Transforming Construction challenge.

Skanska Director to join UKRI and lead Transforming Construction challenge

Sam Stacey

Stacey has a wealth of experience in the sector as Skanska’s Director of Innovation, Industrialisation and Business Improvement, driving change in the construction industry through the development and application of new technology, business processes and partnerships. He joins the programme in September to oversee the challenge.

The Transforming Construction Challenge will see a £170M research and innovation investment from UKRI, matched by £250M from industry, to create new construction processes and techniques for building manufacture in the UK. The challenge is linked to the Construction Sector Deal, and includes funding for research, a new construction network and the creation of an active building centre and innovation hub.

The Industrial strategy challenge fund is a £1.7Bn investment in R&D that is delivered by UKRI to stimulate the UK’s world-leading research base and highly-innovative businesses to address the biggest industrial and societal challenges of today. A key part of the role of 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 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, Professor 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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