If you attended Ecobuild 2017 at London Excel this year, you’ll know there were 2 standout messages ringing loud and clear over the 3 days:

  • The future of infrastructure lies in innovation
  • Collaboration is essential for transforming sustainable buildings

Over the past few years, green buildings have gone from a novelty to a major sustainability driver for corporations across the UK. The idea of transforming performances in commercial buildings has become so widespread and important that companies are now expected to have sustainable and profitable properties that deliver positive impact on energy, water, waste, and employee wellbeing. 

While the ideas of innovation and collaboration were explored respectively, the Innovation Gateway being the combination of the two sprung to life at Ecobuild. The Innovation Gateway is an alliance of organisations, including RBS, Heathrow, Carillion, Kingfisher, Unite Students, Lancaster University and University of Cambridge, working in partnership to crowdsource innovations that’s transforming the performance of their buildings.

At the dedicated Innovation Gateway Business District on Day 1, the Partners and leading innovators were busy networking and sharing ideas and best practices with one another.

This unique, shared approach has been proven by the alliance’s collaborative success in achieving great results, with RBS estimating annual operational savings of £7.5 million, as well as 40,000 tonnes of CO2 and 200 million litres of water.

Here's some of our leading innovators on the day: 

The Next Big Ideas

The Big Innovation Pitch by Marks & Spencer was especially fitting and one of the major highlights of Ecobuild. For the third year running Ecobuild has teamed up with M&S to discover the latest product innovations that could help promote greater sustainability in a retail environment. In this session shortlisted contenders presented their innovations to an expert panel, who scrutinised them forensically to see which is the strongest candidate.

A hybrid fan coil, jointly developed by Airedale and consultants Arup, was selected as joint winner at the Ecobuild and M&S Big Innovation Pitch finals.

Innovation Gateway is always on the hunt for the Next Big Ideas. The Innovation Gateway has been making tremendous progress over the past few months, attracting over 100 innovation submissions in the last round and growing rapidly in size since 2016.

It’s about time to find out what the Next Big Ideas will be in 2017, which will help the Partners reduce the costs and environmental impacts of their buildings; in the areas of energy, waste, water, productivity and wellbeing.

Euan Burns from Carillion, one of the Partners said, “The Innovation Gateway helps us to engage with SMEs, working in partnership to bring their awesome ideas alive. We learn a lot from the innovative entrepreneurs we meet and in return we guide them through the challenges an SME can face when working with a large organisation like Carillion.”

Nigel Bramford from Waterblade, one of the leading Innovation Gateway innovators said, "The Innova-tion Gateway continues to be my no.1 sales tool. It has provided us with serious credibility and opened doors for us. As a result, we now have ongoing trials and sales with water utilities, shopping centres, hotels and even the House of Parliament!"

Here's your chance to be the Next Big Ideas

Written by Maggie Wong, Marketing Lead at Innovation Gateway