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10 November 2010 | PR 10/173

Construction companies set to benefit from latest research from Loughborough University

A new research project is now underway at Loughborough University which will develop commercial training resources for small and medium sized construction businesses and help them understand how to address sustainability when sourcing construction materials.

The READY project has begun work after receiving a Collaborative Research and Development grant of £40,000 from the Sustainable Construction innovation Network (iNet), which is funded by the East Midlands Development Agency (emda) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The team will be looking to small and medium sized construction companies for their input into developing the training package, which will include a website, web-based questionnaires and downloadable guidance documents.

The resources which will be developed will prepare SME construction businesses for the responsible sourcing of construction products and services, as well as aiming to influence future research and policy agenda in the construction area.

Dr Jacqui Glass is heading the team within the Civil and Building Engineering Department at Loughborough University, and she is also working in conjunction with the University of Nottingham and Responsible Solutions Ltd, a company based in the East Midlands.

She explains: “Sustainability is an area that the construction industry really needs to take on board and they now need to take responsibility for their activities and demonstrate this to customers. Currently 25 per cent of products used in construction should be from schemes recognised for responsible sourcing.

“This project will help small and medium sized companies to understand all the areas  covered by responsible sourcing, for example legal compliance, management systems, traceability of products and more specific aspects such as waste management, transport impacts and human rights issues.”

Dr Glass adds: “We are asking construction companies for their help to develop the training package and I urge any who are interested to get in touch in order that we can best match the industry’s needs. Our upcoming taster events in January are targeted at small construction businesses are free to attend.”

Construction companies that send delegates to training workshops will receive advice and hear first hand ways to get their business ready to deal with the responsible sourcing agenda within construction. The READY project will be due for completion in the early part of 2011 and the full SME training package will be commercially available soon after.

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Debbie Hughes
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228697
E: D.L.Hughes@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

  • (1) For information from the collaborating institutes please contact Dr Tony Parry of the University of Nottingham on 0115 846 8450 or Ian Nicholson of Responsible Solutions Ltd on 01509 320100.
  • (2) About iNet
    In order to deliver the Regional Innovation Strategy and coordinate action under its four themes, emda and East Midlands Innovation have created four business led innovation networks (iNet) which are focused on the identified regional industry and research strengths across four priority sectors. These have been identified as:

    - Healthcare and Bioscience
    - Food and Drink
    - Sustainable Construction
    - Transport Equipment

    The iNets are raising the level of innovation in their sectors, with the aim of stimulating the research and development of new products, services and processes. For further information, visit www.eminnovation.org.uk/inets
  • (3) About emda
    East Midlands Development Agency (emda) is one of nine Regional Development Agencies in England, set up in 1999 to bring a regional focus to economic development.

    Ten years on, independent evaluation shows emda has:
  • Had a significant impact on the region’s economy
  • Generated economic benefits that substantially outweigh its overall costs
  • Put back over £9 of economic output (or GVA) into the regional economy for every £1 it spends
  • Produced more than £1 billion in economic benefits per year
  • A wider impact on people, places and businesses in the East Midlands that cannot be captured by figures alone.

    For more details visit www.emda.org.uk
  • (4) About the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
    The ERDF Programme aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by supporting regional economic development.

    The ERDF objectives for England are:
  • Promoting innovation and knowledge transfer
  • Stimulating  enterprise and supporting successful business
  • Ensuring sustainable development, production and consumption
  • Building sustainable communities
  • Improving accessibility and connectivity (for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly only – as part of their Convergence Programme). 

    A Programme Monitoring Committee consisting of regional stakeholders such as Government Offices, RDAs, Regional Assemblies, Local Authorities, Sub-regional Partnerships, Higher Education Institutions, Trade Unions, and the private and voluntary sectors will monitor and oversee programme implementation in each region. For more information on ERDF funding generally, please visit or:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/citiesandregions/european/europeanregionaldevelopment/
http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/funds/feder/index_en.htm

  • (5) About ERDF in the East Midlands
    The East Midlands is eligible for 268.5m Euros between 2007 and 2013, which, when combined with match funding, provides a programme value of approximately £420m – a significant investment in the economic development of the region.

    The East Midlands qualifies as a competitiveness and employment region under the EU’s Cohesion Policy, which aims to meet the EU Lisbon objective to become ‘the most competitive and dynamic knowledge based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social inclusion.’

    East Midlands Development Agency (emda) is responsible for the programme management and delivery of the region’s 2007-13 ERDF Competitiveness Programme. The responsibility for the ERDF programme management was transferred from the Government Office for the East Midlands (GOEM) to emda following a decision by the UK Government to seek greater alignment between ERDF and regional strategies and funding streams. The 2007-13 ERDF Programme is therefore set firmly within the framework of the Regional Economic Strategy.

    A Programme Monitoring Committee, chaired by the Regional Director of Government Office for the East Midlands (GOEM), guides the strategic direction of the programme and works closely with emda.

    To find out more about ERDF, the region’s strategy for delivering the funds, how to apply for funding and how the programme is managed, please visit:
    www.eastmidlandserdf.org.uk
  • (6) About Loughborough University
    Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement and its underpinning academic disciplines.

    It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2009 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

    It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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