I-Construct and BRE offer free help to 20 SMEs launching new construction products or services
I-Construct, in association with the Building Research Establishment (BRE), is launching a free scheme to help 20 small and medium-sized businesses bring their new products or services to market.
When launching a new product or service it is critical that businesses seek impartial advice on the potential risks and opportunities. I-Construct and BRE’s new market-readiness scheme will help just 20 SMEs bring their product or services to market.
The scheme offers a unique opportunity for SMEs to work with experts from BRE. Businesses will be provided confidential and independent, technical advice, which draws on BRE’s 100-year track-record of driving innovation and improving safety in construction.
Businesses will benefit from 9 hours of support that includes: An expert assessment of where the offering sits in the marketplace; creation of a business development roadmap showing what needs to be addressed before launch; introductions to relevant people, networks and organisations to help them progress; and, support from the I-Construct network to launch the offering.
The scheme is suitable for start-ups in their first year of operation, and established SMEs with new-to-market products at pre-launch or recently launched stage, working in the construction and built environment marketplace. Applications will be considered from businesses that are bringing existing products and services to new markets.
There are no fees for the market-readiness scheme as I-Construct is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Dr Ed Suttie, BRE Strategic Advisory said:
“Our market readiness support programme offers a one-off business development boost for 20 enterprising businesses with new to market products or services. We’re delighted to be empowering British SMEs in the construction sector and to help them bring exciting innovations and services to the industry through our dedicated support programme that is only available via I-Construct.”
Anita Thornberry, Executive Director of the Haven Gateway Partnership said:
“With so much investment planned in construction, there are major opportunities for SMEs to use innovation and new technologies to compete. I-Construct gives practical support to companies as they develop and implement their innovation plans and through our network, we will help them build links with people who can help them achieve their ambitions.”
BRE is a world leader in built environment research and development. Through this programme participants can tap into BRE’s specialist knowledge of built environment design, building processes, materials, products, systems, and technologies – along with the organisation’s research and development capabilities.
The I-Construct network helps SMEs in the construction and built environment to join local supply chains, access new business opportunities, find other industry professionals and identify potential partners. It is free to join for eligible members.
Other I-Construct support includes:
- Grant funding of between £1,000 and £20,000 is available to part-fund the development or launch of a new product or service, which also offers wider innovation benefits to the sector such as improving productivity and sustainability.
- 9 hours of 1:1 business support (with a value of up to £1,200) through the I-Construct mentoring scheme. Mentoring and expert advice is provided by a panel of industry leaders and experts who have director-level experience of working in the construction sector or supply chain and are passionate about using their experience to help SMEs develop and grow.
Network members also benefit from the new Innovation Hub in Braintree, Essex. The space is used for networking events, product launches and talks by experts on relevant topics including offsite construction, renewable energy, zero-carbon construction, and BIM software.
I-Construct is led by the Haven Gateway Partnership and delivered with support from project partners Braintree District Council, BRE (Building Research Establishment), Colchester Institute, and Daedalus Environmental. It is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), with match funding for the Innovation Hub provided by Braintree District Council.