Building Confidence: How Innovation Gateway Is Helping Partners Return To Their Properties

- Blog

2020 brought unprecedented challenges to building owners and operators, which the world at large is having to accept will likely continue to impact on operations for the foreseeable future. However with the hope provided by global vaccinations, there is a definite light to the end of the tunnel, turning thoughts towards an eventual return to public spaces. 

Given the natural uncertainty in the facilities industry, the Innovation Gateway has been working hard on ways in which we can assist our Partners - NatWest, Tesco, Greene King, Unite Students, the University of Birmingham and DEFRA. Our primary focus – while still supporting in all our usual endeavours! – is to assist Partner organisations in returning to their properties once it is safe to do so, whether later in the year or looking ahead to 2022. 

As part of this work, we will be hosting a series of online events titled ‘The Future of Buildings’, starting with Parts 1 and 2 in March 2021. 

The aim of these events is to empower our Partners through a series of talks from established solution providers and industry experts. These companies and individuals wll present on how their solutions will assist in growing the confidence of both employees and the public when returning to our Partners’ estates.  

We recognise the importance of confidence in collaborating with companies through the process of Covid recovery, and are extremely excited about the accomplished contributors that have agreed to attend and share their wisdom! 

Thursday 11th March 

At this event we will be focussing on the use of buildings themselves, from the systems and equipment that make them work, to the safe movement and tracking of building users. Ensuring that buildings work well and adjust to users’ unique requirements in a post-pandemic world is the priority focus of this session. 

Topics covered include: 

  • Space utilisation (desk, room and space management) 
  • Energy and building efficiency (HVAC and zonal heating and cooling) 
  • Digitalisation (artificial Intelligence and IoT)  

We are hosting exciting presentations from award-winning workplace management platforms, to smart sensors, to AI self-driving building management systems at this event and we can’t wait to hear how they are adjusting their robust and proven solutions to this new working environment! 

We will also be hearing from Elisa Rönkä, Head of Digital Market Development at Siemens and Matthew Marson, Regional Sector Director at Arcadis as our expert speakers!

Thursday 25th March 

At this event, we will be focussing on people who use buildings, be that employees or the general public. Companies who can demonstrate a clear commitment to improving the experience of their employees and building users in the years ahead will be a step ahead when it comes to gaining new businesses and talents. 

Subject areas will include: 

  • Public confidence and safety (touchless technology and hygiene services) 
  • Collaboration and co-working (home/office work collaboration, flexible working and collaboration platforms) 
  • Health and wellbeing (mental health and engagement) 

We are particularly excited to have Henry Majed attend and talk about his new venture, MyMynd, alongside presentations from other tech providers. 

We will also be hearing from Genesis Property about the new IMMUNE building standard, an open-source standard for quantifying the robustness of a building’s ability to provide safe conditions for employees and the public.  

We welcome applications from any solution provider for our future events – please email Zoe Parminter or Alie King for more information! 


Special thanks to our expert speakers: 

  • Elisa Rönkä (Head of Digital Market Development, Europe, Siemens) – Elisa leads the European team of business development professionals responsible for the go-to-market of digital solutions, such as the workplace experience platform Comfy and intelligent IoT solution Enlighted. Elisa aims to add value to all stakeholders within the building life cycle by promoting emerging digital technologies. As a frequent speaker addressing the importance of smart buildings and their value to business and society, Elisa contributes to the digital transformation of the building industry. 
  • Matthew Marson (Sector Director, Arcadis) – Marson is UK Sector Director for Manufacturing & Technology at Arcadis as well as heading up the Arcadis Buildings Design Practice. He focuses on designing and delivering digital real estate transformation and human-centred Internet of Things (IoT) technologies within the built environment. Matthew trained as an Architect and is a Chartered Engineer. He was recently awarded a Fellowship of the IMechE. Matthew was elected as a Fellow of the RSA in 2017 and named as the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Young Visionary 2016/2017 for his work in creating The World’s Most Connected Building. Matthew sits on the CIBSE’s Intelligent Buildings Group and is a keynote speaker at international industry events. He was a co-author in the Encyclopaedia of Sustainable Technologies. 
  • Henry Majed, MBA (Co-Founder, Mymynd) – former Partnership Director at the Innovation Gateway, Henry now heads up the implementation of his co-founded wellbeing solution MyMynd. Henry is also a Visiting Fellow of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Said Business School, University of Oxford where he leads programmes on leadership, resilience, strategy & innovation and Climate Impact for MBAs and senior executives. Henry also served as an advisor to the World Health Organisation (WHO); as well as a mentor to impact businesses, entrepreneurs and a regular keynote speaker and writer on ‘Leading for Resilience’.  
  • Darren Allen, DBA, FCIOB, MRICS (Development Manager, Genesis Property) - Darren joined Genesis Property in 2020 as Development Manager and has been a key part of the IMMUNE Building Standard since its inception. Darren is a chartered construction and project management surveyor with +30 years of local and international experience, focused on project performance, stakeholder value and developing people. He has a proven track record within the UK, Europe, Qatar and UAE Markets and Sectors like new build, technology, commercial, residential, retail and hospitality. Darren is a Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Building (FCIOB), a Member of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS) and holds a PhD in International Business Administration (DBA).