Publications

back to publications

Scaling up innovation in the construction value chain

i24c publishes today its first Memo on the innovation potential in the construction value chain, which is one of Europe's key industries.

Titled “Scaling up innovation in the construction value chain – combining value creation and climate ambition in on of Europe’s key industries“, the memo builds on work undertaken by the Buildings Performance Institute Europe. It outlines how transformative innovation in the construction value chain can be leveraged to deliver on both climate benefits after COP21 and economic gains. To deliver on this potential, policy has a key role to play especially to enable the emergence of challenge-driven innovation ecosystems involving all actors of the value chain.

1- MEGATRENDS AND INNOVATIONS IN THE CONSTRUCTION VALUE CHAIN (CVC) OFFER LARGE ECONOMIC AND DECARBONISATION OPPORTUNITIES FOR EUROPE.

The European Construction Value Chain (CVC) is a key industry, which accounts for 7% of European GDP while the built environment represents 36% of Europe’s CO2 emissions. Today, disruptive technologies, emerging business models and growing sustainability concerns are putting unprecedented pressure on the CVC to adapt to a changing economy.

These pressures can be turned into opportunities if all actors in the CVC embrace transformative innovation. While innovation is already happening in the CVC, increasing its scale and pace would create significant opportunities for Europe – whether for economic growth, employment creation, or emissions reductions.

2- POLICY LEVERS COULD DRIVE VALUE CHAIN TRANSFORMATION.

Targeted interventions from all actors of the value chain will be needed to break incrementalism and enable the take off and diffusion of more radical innovation.

There is a clear role for policy to create push and pull for transformative innovations, through transparent, clear and long-term targets, regulations, standards and public procurement. These will provide long-term visibility and predictability and help create market demand.

Policies at all levels must also encourage pall actors to move away from fragmented innovations and towards integrated solutions to end users’ needs and challenges.

3- A MULTI-STAKEHOLDER APPROACH IS NEEDED TO SCALE-UP INNOVATION.

While public authorities have a key role to play, transformative innovations will only be able to take off if they are supported by challenge-driven innovation ecosystems comprising both public and private actors.

From a governance perspective, this means that regulations at all levels need to be aligned, and private actors must be involved in the policy development if innovation is to be scaled up. Finally, the socially disruptive consequences of innovation in the CVC call for careful monitoring and management.

Download the report here.