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Calling all innovative SMEs: Enter the NCE Accelerator now

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Small innovative firms now have a unique opportunity to pitch to and be heard by major industry clients through the NCE Accelerator, a brand new collaboration between New Civil Engineer and Costain.

The NCE Accelerator is designed to provide a platform for SMEs to present their innovative ideas and then, crucially, work with a panel of client mentors to further evolve and develop their ideas.

Specifically, we are looking for SMEs who have bold ideas in how to unlock data through the application of existing technologies.

The focal point of the Accelerator is a competition that will be run at New Civil Engineer’s Festival of Innovation and Technology, TechFest, in September. There, we will provide a stage for up to five smaller firms with big ideas to pitch their solutions.

The winner will presented with the prestigious TechFest SME of the Year award and will then go onto a structured accelerator programme, working with Costain and some of the UK’s leading infrastructure clients as mentors to take the concept through a test environment.

Selected runners up will also be invited onto the accelerator programme and also get to work with Costain and industry client mentors to develop their concept. Our mentors include Transport for London head of commercial innovation Rikesh Shah, Heathrow delivery director Rob Ewen and South West Water strategy and performance manager Joseph Osborne.

Our mentors will look for innovations that:

  • Use technologies that exist in other sectors or in niche areas in our industry
  • Will provide much needed measurement of the construction process and health of the asset
  • Are ready to be trialled in a live environment (on a real site or on real data)
  • Will improve the construction process or offer benefit to end client, end user, designer or constructor

These innovations could help:

  • Deliver intelligent infrastructure and smart cities
  • Help build a digital asset base
  • Deliver low carbon infrastructure
  • Address the circular economy or are part of the sharing economy

Our mentors will be looking for innovations that are at an early stage and are seeking a test bed to further prove the concept in a live environment.

Entries are open now and are accepted online via a simple registration process. 

For more information about the Accelerator and the entry process read more here.

You will have to write a 500 word submission, focusing on innovations that have unlocked data through the application of existing technologies.

The final deadline for your entry is Friday 24 August.

“The sector is procuring billions of pounds of infrastructure but demanding innovation to increase productivity, reduce carbon emissions and improve health and safety – of the workforce and the public,” said New Civil Engineer editor Mark Hansford.

 ”We know that across our industry there are plenty of people with the solutions to those challenges. Often they are the smaller firms who struggle to get their voices heard. So we have teamed up with Costain to create the NCE Accelerator as a platform for small innovative firms to pitch and be heard by the major industry clients that are procuring this infrastructure.”

The NCE Accelerator, powered by Costain, will become another exclusive feature of this year’s Festival. To view the current Festival programme please download the brochure here.

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