27 January 2022 | Innovation | Our Work

View from the top: Plans unveiled for Innovation Festival

Over the past few weeks we have been planning another first in the highways sector aimed at bringing clients, contractors, materials and plant manufacturers closer together. A small panel consisting of LCRIG staff, council members and associate members have been exploring a new, invigorated, approach to sharing new innovations that can help local highway authorities deal with their issues by getting contractors and product manufacturers to focus on the most effective solution. This has been driven by our Infrastructure Innovation Board chaired by Ian Large, in order to make sure we are giving every client and provider the opportunity to be an active participant in this knowledge exchange.

The idea is to host an ‘Innovation Festival’ in June 22, somewhere in the Midlands area, to which all of our local authority members will be invited free of charge. We hope to invite two operatives and say the Contract Manager/Director to the event where they can witness first-hand some of the solutions being proposed to address the issues faced around work categories such as surfacing, reactive maintenance, white lining, safety, tools and equipment, carbon reduction, etc. We will ask contractors/product manufacturers to share their ideas over the two-day festival via the presentation of an idea or by demonstrating the developed solution at the event itself. Before the end of the second day we will ask all attendees to ‘vote’ on what they think is the best solution in each of the categories – ‘best in class’.

The Innovation Festival will run over a number of months and have a phased build up to the event itself. In the months before we will:

• Capture information from our council members regarding the areas in which they would benefit from innovations, and;
• Receive and publicise pitches from our supply chain members that support the innovation requirements identified by our council members – ‘delivering innovation that is needed’

This will take a huge effort from LCRIG to organise such an event and we welcome your immediate views right now especially if you would like to help us shape this ‘industry first’ event.