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Research strategy to win Euro cash

NEWS

CONSTRUCTION bosses have agreed the industry's first strategic research plan in a bid to unlock millions of pounds in European funding.

The high-level group of leaders, chaired by Atkins chief executive Keith Clarke, met last week and set out three areas on which to focus future research effort in this country.

The first priority identified was to promote research into helping the supply chain to better meet client needs.

The second area is sustainability and the third covers information and communication technology.

The new strategy was heralded as a breakthrough for construction, which previously missed out on its share of the annual £700 million-worth of European funding because it failed to co-ordinate its research programme.

A group set up last year, called the National Platform for the Built Environment, will now take on the role of directing the UK construction research effort.

Roger Blundell, a former Taylor Woodrow director who helped establish the national platform group, said: 'For many years construction has failed to deliver and attract real funding for research and development.

'This is a real opportunity for the industry to say what it wants.

'Now the Government and European Union will listen to what our industry has to say and release funds.'