• ‘Not invented here!’ R&D in Construction

    A joint event with The Edge network

    Wednesday, 9 November 2016

    Venue: Hoare Lea, King’s Cross, London

  • What is the future of R&D in Construction?

    Setting the scene

    Can we even define what R&D in construction is, and where it is happening? Major issues around economic performance and productivity, housing, climate change, population growth and scarcity of resources are throwing up challenges and opportunities both at home and abroad.


    Construction is one of the largest economic sectors in the UK, but it is fragmented, doesn’t have a coherent model of R&D, finds it difficult to innovate and at best follows a step-by-step model. Industry and academia are disconnected; design and construction often have different agendas; Government (even before BREXIT) doesn’t pay significant attention to the sector; and the media considers it un-sexy. But the potential for innovation in the sector is huge and the impact of innovations in design tools, materials, ‘smart’ buildings, digital collaboration, and offsite manufacturing could be immense.


    Is now the time to come up with a new model for R&D (with the emphasis on the ‘D’) in construction?

  • Speakers

    Chair: Nico Macdonald, Chief Executive, R&D Society

    Annabel Filer

    Creative Director and Founder of SCIN Gallery

    Annabelle is Founder of SCIN, the UK’s largest Independent Materials Sourcing and Advisory Agency, Director in Filer+Cox, a Design Practice and CEO of Tensei an agrifibre based materials R&D company.


    Her Plan A as an Architect was to become a visionary that created iconic buildings but Plan B arrived and in 2003 she established SCIN and has in the ensuing years spent 10’s of 1000’s of hours researching, curating and with her team, advising on materials.


    As part of Plan B, Annabelle has lectured widely, written profusely for various journals and advised multinationals ranging from global coating companies to Automotive businesses on new material technologies.


    Plan C has evolved from this position of knowledge and Annabelle is now developing new materials from agrifibre, specifically a technical paper . As to the future…. well viniculture and falconry possibly has a part to play.

    Paddy Conaghan

    Edge, and Consultant at Hoare Lea

    Paddy is a building environmental engineer and a former senior partner of Hoare Lea. He is a Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Vice President and a Visiting Fellow at LSBU.


    He was a member the 2014 REF (Research Excellence Framework) Built Environment panel & of the RIBA visiting board 2007 - 2012. He is an advocate of integrated teamwork and of forging closer ties between research and practice.

    Elspeth Finch

    CEO & Founder, Indigo&

    Elspeth is CEO & Founder of Indigo&, a start ups helping SMEs to find talented professionals, and Chair of the Royal Academy of Engineering Innovators’ Network. Formerly she was European Innovation Director for the engineering, project management and design consultancy Atkins.


    A scientist by training, Elspeth founded the transport consultancy Intelligent Space Partnership in 2000, which she sold to Atkins in 2007. During her time with Atkins, Elspeth played a key role in the redesign of London's Oxford Circus and led Atkins Future Proofing Cities work, focused on the challenges of global urbanisation.


    In 2014 Elspeth was appointed as the Innovation Director for the UK and Europe region. Elspeth was elected as one of the eleven UK Young Global Leaders for 2010 by the World Economic Forum, and in 2013 was awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal, in recognition of achieving significant commercial success and advancing the cause of engineering in the UK.

    Mike Moseley

    Knowledge Transfer Manager (Construction), KTN

    Mike is Knowledge Transfer Manager for Construction at the Knowledge Transfer Network. A professional Mechanical Engineer with 30 years of experience in the construction products industry, he has worked in many areas of the business including design engineering, product development, sales and marketing. and education and training.


    Some of his key product involvements included polymer insulators used on Southern regions third rail system, solar thermal and waste heat storage systems, and energy from tunnels. He believes that developing innovation in the construction industry is key to the future growth and strength of UK construction.


    Since joining the Knowledge Transfer Network, part of the Innovate UK family, Mike has been responsible for a range of projects in the construction industry, including encouraging innovation in digital construction, and innovation in condition monitoring. He has also led the recent launch, by the KTN, of i3P (Infrastructure, Industry Innovation Portal) the successor the Crossrail’s Innovate 18 program, wdesigned to facilitate shared innovation across the industry.

  • Timings

    18.00 Registration (coffee and tea on arrival)
    18.30 Speakers’ introductions
    19:15 Q&A with speakers

    19.30 General discussion
    20:00 Drinks reception


    The event takes place at:


    Hoare Lea
    Western Transit Shed
    12-13 Stable Street
    London N1C 4AB

    +44 20 3668 7100


    See venue location map (below). The venue is close to King's Cross St. Pancras Underground Station.


    Further travel information on the Hoare Lea site


    The hashtag for the event is:


    The hosts’ Twitter handles are:



    The event will be recorded for documentation


    Free WiFi is available at Hoare Lea