Industry Call For Establishment Of Consultancy Sector Futures Institute

Last week, CECA was among the signatories to a joint industry letter to Construction Minister Nadhim Zahawi calling for the establishment of the Consultancy Sector Futures Institute, with financial commitment and resources from the industry to the sum of £75 million over five years.

Modelled on the UK’s Catapults present in other sectors, the Institute will be co-developed by members of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) working with academic partners including Loughborough University in the Midlands and the University of Salford in the North West, to oversee an industry-wide change programme for consultancy businesses based on research from the Association of Consultancy and Engineering’s (ACE) Future of Consultancy campaign.

Working with industry, clients and academia, the Institute will focus on developing the future skills and sustainable consultancy business models that will drive the industry forward. In addition, it will harness the power of emerging technology and open data to facilitate industry-wide collaboration for a more productive construction sector and society.

This will be achieved by working with clients on demonstrator projects to showcase different ways of working using new technology, digital solutions and data in decision making and design to help the sector meet society’s changing needs.

Hannah Vickers, chief executive of ACE, said: “With our industry on the brink of the fourth industrial revolution, the Institute will help every consultancy transition successfully – from the largest global firms to the most specialist SMEs. This programme will build on our current position as world leaders and set a new global standard for consultancy and engineering in the built environment.

“For Government, our enhanced capability will mean progress on some of the most difficult questions society faces. For example, using design to tackle the underlying factors contributing to complex social deprivation, low regional growth and delivering a Net Zero society.”

Current proposals are for the Institute’s core-funding to be split three ways between BEIS, Innovate UK and the industry.

A copy of the letter can be downloaded here. A full list of the 28 industry co-signatories is below:

  • Hannah Vickers, Chief Executive, Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE)
  • David Barwell, UK&I CEO, AECOM
  • Mark Cowlard, CEO, Arcadis UK & Ireland
  • Geoff Hunt, Director and COO, Arup
  • Richard Robinson, CEO, Atkins
  • Sarah Prichard, UK Managing Director, BuroHappold
  • Dave Spencer, Managing Director, Capita Real Estate and Infrastructure
  • Mark Farmer, CEO, Cast Consultancy & Government MMC Champion
  • Keith Waller, Programme Director, Construction Innovation Hub
  • Alasdair Reisner, Chief Executive, Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA)
  • Steven Hale, Director, Crofton Consulting
  • Thomas Neeson, Managing Partner, Cundall
  • Rob Melling, Chief Executive, Curtins
  • Simon D Innes, Managing Director, Goodson Associates
  • Mark Arthur, MEP Director, HDR | Hurley Palmer Flatt Group
  • Mark Reynolds, Mace & Construction Leadership Council (CLC) member
  • Chris Dulake, Global Railway & Transit Leader, Mott MacDonald
  • Mathew Riley, Managing Director, Ramboll UK
  • Ann Bentley, Global Board Director, Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) and Construction Leadership Council (CLC) member
  • Craig Huntbach, Global Director – Maritime & Aviation, Royal HaskoningDHV
  • Nick Smith, Director, Siemens.
  • Andy Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer, Tideway and Construction Leadership Council (CLC) chair
  • Chris Young, Executive Managing Director, Tony Gee
  • Nick Taylor, Chief Executive, Waterman
  • Mark Naysmith, UK CEO, WSP in the UK.

In addition, the letter was also co-signed by the following academic project partners:

  • Robert Allison, Vice Chancellor, Loughborough University
  • Joanne Purves, Pro Vice-Chancellor – International and Regional Partnerships, University of Salford
  • Professor Michael Arthur, President and Provost, University College London (UCL)