COINS Announces Construction Industry Grand Challenge for Innovators and Entrepreneurs

The competition offers two challenges, each with a unique prize. Each Challenge will have 6 finalists, who will present and discuss their ideas with leaders in the fields of construction technology, engineering and academia who will judge and select the winners from each category.

The first challenge – “New and Emerging Technologies” – relates to uncovering a big but viable technology-based idea that will significantly reduce energy consumption at any or all stages in the lifecycle of built assets. This could relate to any stage or process in the construction lifecycle, from component design and manufacture, through build and on-going usage, or with an impact throughout the whole construction lifecycle. The prize for the winning entry for this competition is a place on Singularity University’s 7 day Executive Program.

The second challenge – “Leadership 35” – is for people under 35 who have the vision and personal qualities to bring a new approach to sustainability leadership within the construction industry. The prize for the winning entry will be a place on the Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business or Value Chains at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

In addition to the above, Bouygues (U.K.) is offering each of the Winners a 3-month paid internship in its In-House Sustainability Department. This will give the winners the opportunity to participate and understand how innovation is brought to life inside a large commercially focused organisation.

Bouygues is also offering a special discretionary award for the Applicant with the most promising idea. Selected by Bouygues, this Special Prize could be won by one of the top 24 Applicants, who will be offered the opportunity for their idea to be taken forward as part of Bouygues UK Corporate R&D programme.

According to Larry Sullivan, Chairman and co-founder of COINS and Founder of the COINS Foundation, “The Construction Industry Grand Challenge is part of an on-going COINS strategy to help stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship and their potential impact on the built environment for the benefit of society and the global construction industry. The two Challenges fully support the objectives of the COINS Foundation, which uses enterprise to address issues of social justice. Its aim is to use the power of business to create a better and more sustainable future. We encourage free thinkers to come forward with viable ideas in areas where there is clear potential to put their idea into practice to help the construction industry and society as a whole. I look forward to judging the Grand Finalists’ ideas as the Challenge reaches its conclusion in early December.”

The Challenge is sponsored by COINS, in support of the COINS Foundation and in partnership with some of the world’s leading construction companies along with the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and Singularity University at NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley, California.

The Judging Panel is formed of leaders in the fields of construction technology, engineering and academia: Larry Sullivan, Derek Leaver and Robert Brown of COINS, Dr Deborah Morecroft (NanoFab Tools), Aleksandra (Sasha) Njagulj (Bouygues UK), Mike Halsall (Singularity University), Catherine Tilley and Kayla Friedman (University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership), Ian Heasman (Taylor Wimpey), Tomas Lau ( Laing O’Rourke), Christopher Dyson (Carillion), and Ben Haldin (Fulcro Engineering).

Mike Halsall, Singularity University’s Ambassador commented, “We are delighted to have co-developed this global grand challenge initiative with COINS, and we look forward to supporting construction industry people worldwide who have the ambition and determination to help solve humanity’s hardest problems”.

Visit the competition website for more information: http://coins-grandchallenge.com/

Notes to Editors:

For further information, to arrange an interview, or for photographs please contact:  
Kimber England, COINS 
Tel: (0) 1753 501 000
Email: [email protected]


Construction Industry Solutions (COINS) provides business systems and services to the construction, engineering, home building and service sectors. COINS supports over 62,000 users in 40 countries from its headquarters in the United Kingdom and offices in the United States, Ireland, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore. In the UK, 3 out of 5 of the top construction companies and the top 3 home builders use COINS solutions.

COINS offers its clients a blend of consultancy, construction software solutions and services that deliver measurable solutions.  COINS’ aim is to continually build upon its proven track record and consistently add value for clients – helping them to reduce costs, increase margin and improve client experience.  It successfully partners with major organisations within the construction and service sectors in core business processes: winning and performing work, managing cash flow, enhancing customer relationships, maximising job profitability, improving employee performance and eliminating inefficient processes.

About COINS Foundation

COINS Foundation is the not for profit organisation of the COINS group in recognition of our obligation to help those who are less fortunate, both locally and across the world. Through business, social enterprise and the charities that it supports, COINS Foundation can be an example of the art of the possible.

For further information please visit:

www.coins-global.com                                    www.coinsfoundation.org    

About COINS Construction Industry Grand Challenge Partners

Singularity University

Our mission is to educate, inspire and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges. Singularity University is a benefit corporation that provides educational programs, innovative partnerships and a start-up accelerator to help individuals, businesses, institutions, investors, NGOs and governments understand cutting-edge technologies, and how to utilize these technologies to positively impact billions of people. http://singularityu.org/impact/

University of Cambridge – Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Our mission is to empower individuals and organisations to take leadership to tackle critical global challenges. We are an institution within the University of Cambridge. We help influential individuals, major organisations and whole sectors develop strategies that reconcile profitability and sustainability and to work collaboratively with their peers not only to develop solutions to shared challenges but also catalyse real systems change. http://www.cisl.cam.ac.uk


Founded by Francis Bouygues in 1952, Bouygues is a diversified industrial group with a strong corporate culture. Its businesses focus on three sectors: construction, with Bouygues Construction (building, civil works, energy and services), Bouygues Immobilier (property) and Colas (roads), telecoms with Bouygues Telecom and media with TF1. http://bouygues-uk.com

Nanofab Tools

NanoFab Tools is a spanish start-up focused on the development and commercialisation of low-cost nanolithography tools for both R&D and high volume manufacturing. Our work is motivated by an interest in bringing interference lithography tools out of the research laboratories and into mainstream nanostructure fabrication facilities, where high volume applications require automation and simplification of the exposure process. http://www.nanofabtools.com

Laing O’Rourke

Laing O’Rourke is an international engineering enterprise, founded on 166 years of experience. Through our fully integrated offer we are delivering a single-source solution for some of the world’s most prestigious organisations. Laing O’Rourke leads the construction with innovation through its investment in offsite manufacturing capability, Digital Engineering and the Engineering Excellence Group. http://www.laingorourke.com/

Taylor Wimpey

We are one of the UK’s largest residential developers. As a responsible developer we are committed to working with local people and communities. We build a wide range of properties, from one- and two-bedroom apartments to five bedroom detached houses, with a broad price range including both private and affordable homes. https://www.taylorwimpey.co.uk/

Carillion plc

Carillion is one of the UK’s leading integrated support services companies, with extensive construction capabilities, a substantial portfolio of Public Private Partnership projects and a sector-leading ability to deliver sustainable solutions. We employ over 40,000 people worldwide, with established businesses in the UK, Canada, the Middle East and North Africa, and annual revenues of more than £4 billion. http://www.carillionplc.com/


Fulcro is an innovative, creative engineering tea. We offer a bespoke service that includes BIM and 3D/4D digital prototype and design detailing. Working closely with our clients, we combine data and technology to provide detailed plans based on accurate timelines. In this way we are able to add value and efficiency to building and construction projects, and reduce risk. http://www.fulcro.co.uk

Construction Industry Solutions Ltd
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