9 December 2021 | Innovation | Collaboration | Net Zero | Our Work

Innovator Insights: Paul Richardson, 2innov8

2innov8’s Managing Partner, Paul Richardson, caught up with the Local Council Roads Innovation Group (LCRIG) off the back of his recent presentation to the organisation’s Infrastructure Innovation Board.


Q. What work experience did you have before moving into highways? 

A. 24 years with DHL, eleven of these years on the main board holding the position of managing director for fashion across 12 countries and then creating a new division called specialist services, leading DHL into aviation ground logistics and above the wing catering services. My final three years were spent as chief innovation officer leading a team of digital innovators in central London.


Q. What has been your career highlight up to now?

A. Innovating ground breaking technology which includes the first ever double-decker high loader truck for airlines and the first digital recruitment app that transforms the experience of people’s employment.  Creating the first ever specialist division within DHL that created new markets and exceptional growth for the group.


Q. What is the main way that today’s highways sector differs from the one you first joined?

A. Incredible appetite for innovation and transformation and a willingness to engage and try something new.


Q. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

A. Gaining credibility in the sector that’s new to me.  However, this has been overcome by amazing people that embrace new thinking and see the benefits of innovation.


Q. What do you think LCRIG members would be surprised to learn about you?

A. I am a passionate traveller that loves to learn new experiences.  My last big adventure was on a four week trip through Asia off track, seeing the world like you never could believe.  The world is truly an amazing place.


Q. What do you think is key to accelerating innovation within the roads sector?

A. Digitalisation is by far the greatest advancement we will see today and tomorrow, this will lead us to explore emerging technologies such as vision software, digital twin, machine learning and AI that will automate and transform business like we have never seen before (the crypto of highways).


Q. How different will the sector look in 10 years time?

A. As we see electric vehicles transforming the way we travel today, autonomous vehicles will be the next big shock to the system as the technology will truly deliver on what it promises.  The desire and vision to have a zero incident accident environment will be delivered, as technology will control and automate so much of what we do manually today.


Q. What is the best way of removing barriers to innovation?

A. Traditional hard workers that love the way they have always done things need to see that change is the greatest gift we can embrace to improve lives and achieve future sustainability of our economy, for this reason everybody needs to embrace the word ‘change’ as a cultural acceptance of tomorrow’s way of doing business.  Embracing diversity and accepting differences which can have an incredible impact the success of any business environment that needs to respect cultural differences and more importantly, what makes people amazing about what they can do and achieve every day.


More information on LCRIG’s Infrastructure Innovation Board can be found here


Below is an update on other innovation initiatives that the LCRIG team have been busy working on over the last few months:

Innovation in Highways

In November 2021, LCRIG published a report entitled ‘Innovation in highways’. The report highlights some interesting findings on the differing approaches between local authorities and the challenges around implementing innovation in highways.

You can access the full report here.


The LCRIG / Steve Berry ‘Think Exceptional’ Innovation fund, supported by WJ Group

Last month (November 2021) the first companies to receive funding as part of the LCRIG / Steve Berry Think Exceptional Innovation Fund were announced.

Connor Specialist Paving (Tac-Grid), Community Models, Fitzpatrick Advisory (DASHA) and NY Highways have been selected to receive a share of the £150,000 Innovation fund, facilitated by LCRIG. For more information on the Innovation fund, please click here.


Keep up to date on all LCRIG initiatives by subscribing to our weekly e-newsletter here.