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Survey to assess contractual barriers to innovation

Why does innovation not get the green light throughout the project?

The construction and engineering industry is being urged to take part in a project to assess the contractual barriers to innovation.

The industry is invited to complete a short online survey as part of a project called ‘maximising innovation beyond procurement and contract execution’.

Contractor Costain is working on the project with international law firm Pinsent Masons and the University of Cambridge, supported by Innovate UK.

Costain said that whether it was for legal or operational reasons, the potential for innovation often diminished as a project developed. It said that the aim of the research project was to identify the barriers to innovation and to establish what could be done to reduce the uncertainty and risks related to innovation to make sure it is maintained throughout the whole life of a project, and not just at the start.

The questionnaire, which has been drawn up by the University of Cambridge, assesses participants’ experiences of how contracts are operated in the framework of construction and infrastructure projects, how they could either prevent or encourage innovation, and how they may be changing.

The group said that the results of the survey would be used as part of an industry review and delivered later this year at an industry workshop. Costain legal executive and co-ordinator on the project Adam Golden said that it was therefore vital for people to take part and give their views.

“It’s important we continue to strengthen our relationship with suppliers, while developing and promoting innovation throughout the supply chain,” said Golden. “Costain believes in collaborative working and creating an environment where contracts, legal processes and the commercial environment can accelerate innovation to market. If you are interested in contributing, please complete this short online survey. It should only take 10 minutes to complete.”

Innovate UK lead technologist Mark Wray added: “This project is important because the industry is moving from a ‘project’ to a ‘programme’ based industry, and the legal process is an important mechanism that will assist better customer outcomes through innovation. Engineering solutions providers like Costain are using this transformation to encourage innovation to market. Businesses that are able to create the right innovation environment and culture will be the ones that create a long-term sustainable future.”

If you would like to take part in the online survey, please click here.

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