11 July 2023 | Innovation | Our Work

LCRIG Chief Executive praises collaboration between public and private sector at Innovation Festival

Paula Claytonsmith, the new Chief Executive of the Local Council Roads Innovation Group (LCRIG), has described last week’s LCRIG Innovation Festival as a ”wonderful example of collaboration between the public and private sector”.

More than 600 people attended the two-day event which took place at Newark Showground – including more than 200 local authority delegates from 84 authorities.

Visitors to this year’s LCRIG Innovation Festival were able to see a variety of sector-leading outdoor demonstrations and exhibitions, ranging from the repair and reinstatement of roads to the application of connected vehicles. Conference sessions, which took place across the morning of both days, offered delegates the opportunity to hear about skills, emerging technology, maintenance solutions and the latest innovations.

Public sector delegates were invited to participate in innovation scoring across both days of the event and asked to judge entries across various categories including: Fleet and equipment; Bridges and other structures; Climate resilience; Transport technology; Surfacing; Biodiversity; Traffic Signs and Lines and Street Lighting.

Reflecting on the event, Paula Claytonsmith said: ”The fact that this year’s Innovation Festival was fully booked and literally bursting at the seams reflects how much of an appetite there is for innovation across the highways sector. The event was a real showcase of innovation and a wonderful example of collaboration between the public and private sector.

“Feeling the energy around the Festival gave me a real buzz. Not only did our record number of delegates get to watch a number of terrific demonstrations, but they were also able to play a key role in identifying and scoring innovations which could help them with future challenges on their respective networks. There was also plenty of knowledge sharing in the conference sessions, and you could tell during the networking and socialising that many ideas were exchanged and new collaborations formed – which is exactly what we are here to do.

”The team at LCRIG take great pride in bringing different parts of the industry together to help drive forward change. Seeing record numbers at the event was a very proud moment for all of us.”

For the first time, the Transport Technology Forum (TTF) undertook a series of industry first connected vehicle demonstrations, which provided delegates with the opportunity to take part in a test drive around the TTF Innovation Zone Live Test Track.

Ms Claytonsmith added: ”Our relationship with the TTF continues to go from strength to strength and we were delighted to help facilitate these sector leading demonstrations. The overarching theme for this year’s event was ‘Showcasing emerging technology and maintenance solutions’ so highlighting both areas was a key aim for us in 2023. Ultimately, we wanted to provide local authorities with a chance to find out about new innovations from the supply chain that will help to meet their current and future challenges. We think that the event achieved this and more.”

Paula, who was previously LCRIG’s Director, Government and Strategy, officially assumed the role of Chief Executive at this year’s LCRIG Innovation Festival after taking over from Martin Duffy who has now become Chair of LCRIG.

She said: ”These are exciting times for LCRIG and I look forward to working with the team as we continue to grow and do more for our members. I will be engaging closely with our members and working hard to ensure that we keep facilitating collaboration between the private and public sectors. Collaboration sits at the heart of everything we do and helps drive innovation forward. We look forward to delivering an even bigger and better Festival next year.”

Image source: LCRIG