The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) is the world’s largest and most influential professional body for construction management and leadership. It has a Royal Charter to promote the science and practice of building and construction for the benefit of society, and it has been doing so since 1834. CIOB members work worldwide in the creation, enhancement and conservation of the built environment. In addition, the CIOB accredits a wide range of education and training courses, including university degree programmes. The Institute’s professional and vocational qualifications are a mark of the highest levels of competence and professionalism, providing assurance to clients and other professionals procuring built assets.
The CIOB sees a commitment to continuous innovation and research as an essential requirement of the chartered building professional. A long established Innovation & Research (I&R) Panel promotes the cause of innovation and research for the benefit of the CIOB membership and the construction sector at large. The I&R Panel comprises a balanced representation of leaders from academia and industry, and is currently chaired by Professor Stuart Green from the University of Reading.
The Panel plays an important role in identifying and promoting the best of innovation and research in the built environment. For example, every year the Panel runs the CIOB International Innovation & Research Awards, which seek to reward excellence worldwide in a range of different categories (http://iandrawards.ciob.org/). In addition, the I&R Panel takes an active part in setting the Institute’s research agenda and provides expert advice to members and the industry at large. The Panel also explores opportunities for the CIOB to support and contribute to innovation and research activities in the industry.
|In 2013, the CIOB I&R Panel published a Strategy Document, which describes the remit of the Panel together with its vision and objectives. In contrast to other such strategies, the Panel recognises that a single monolithic innovation and research strategy is unlikely to serve the interests of all parties due to the heterogeneous nature of the sector. This is especially true if a broader definition of the construction sector is adopted to include professional services such as architecture, engineering and surveying. The Panel’s remit also extends to the demand side, with a particular focus on the extent to which procurement procedures within client organisations enhance or impede innovation. Equal emphasis is given throughout to product and process innovation, with particular recognition of the informal innovation at which the sector excels.|
The I&R panel is especially focused on bridging the perceived gap between industry and academia. It seeks to do this by mobilising the CIOB’s unique influence and connectivity. It aims to champion the cause of innovation and research in the UK construction sector and internationally. The Panel is committed to working closely with CIOB members, and others who are similarly dedicated to changing the industry for the better. The Strategy Document sets out 5 priority research areas:
• sustainability in the
• corporate social responsibility;
• the quest for zero carbon;
• the application of digital technologies to design, construction and building operation; and
• employment practices in the construction sector.
The Panel progresses these priority areas through a variety of means. Activities include strengthening networks through workshops and conferences, which bring leading researchers together with cutting-edge practitioners. The Panel has also recently taken on the management of the CIOB Bowen Jenkins Legacy Research Fund, which enables the Institute to fund a programme of smallscale research projects.