It was a joint project of seven Scottish universities funded by European Regional Development Fund and Scottish Government’s SEEKIT programme, from 1st September 2009 until 28th February 2013. The project aim was to support the development and testing of innovations for sustainable building design an refurbishment. The project objective was to support collaboration between academia and Scottish small to medium size enterprises (SMEs) in developing and testing innovations for sustainable building design and refurbishment. The project was led by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) in collaboration with Edinburgh Napier University (ENU), Glasgow School of Art (GSA), Heriot-Watt University (HWU), the Robert Gordon University (RGU), University of Edinburgh (UoE) and the University of Strathclyde Glasgow (USG).
CIC Start Online run a quarterly competition for feasibility studies (FS) and academic consultancies (AC) on sustainable building design and refurbishment undertaken for the benefit of Scottish SMEs. The joint academic/industry applications were assessed by the independent Assessment Panel whose members were representatives of Buildings Standards Division of the Directorate for the Built Environment of Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Association of Building Standards Managers and energy efficiency consultants.
The project attracted over 2,400 members nationally and from 53 other countries as its outputs were disseminated online through 40 interactive webinars, two online conferences, 15 live conferences and a quarterly online magazine.
It was a joint project of seven Scottish universities funded by European Regional Development Fund and Scottish Government’s SEEKIT programme, from 1st September 2009 until 28th February 2013. The project aim was to support the development and testing of innovations for sustainable building design an refurbishment.
By the end of the project, 48 FS and 13 AC reports were completed and approved by the Assessment Panel, and two AC studies were completed after the end of the project. In total, 33 academics worked on FS and 18 on AC studies, some of them on multiple studies.
As the Assessment Panel approved only the applications whose outcomes would provide a direct benefit to a business that has applied jointly with academics, the innovations developed through the project were industry driven and indicate areas in which the industry needed assistance. An SME was eligible to apply only for one FS during the project duration and for one AC each calendar year. There were eight SMEs who were successful in applying for both FS and AC (three architectural practices, a software developer, a waste recycling business, a developer and two environmental consultancies).
Studies undertaken through the project were undertaken in collaboration with 23 architectural practices (35%), 8 housing associations (13%), 8 environmental consultancies (13%), 7 manufacturers of technologies for renewables (11%), 5 software developers (7%), two waste recycling businesses (3%), two timber manufacturers (3%) one supplier of renewable technologies (1%), one off-site construction manufacturer (1%), one contractor (1%), one insulation manufacturer (1%) and one supplier of building materials (1%).
The studies either contributed to the further development of existing products or processes or tested new products or processes, often developed for a specific project with a potential for application in other projects. There were several interdisciplinary studies. Academics who led the studies sometimes collaborated with colleagues from a different department in their institution or with academics from other universities.
Companies which responded to the survey on the project impact reported that their investment increased by £23,261,212. They significantly improved 337 products, processes or services, and introduced 162 new ones. The project also assisted 6 newly established businesses. The companies reported an increase in sales of £8.14 million, and reported that they have created 189 new jobs and safeguarded 828.5 jobs.