TIES Living Lab

Overall Programme Management Role

Highly Complex 25 Party Collaboration with 11 Projects

Consortium included government arms length bodies and Tier 1 suppliers

Funded through Innovate UK & the DfT

Successfully Managed through COVID19 challenges

Flagship programme with significant exploitation opportunities

As we begin our green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the need to level-up our country and boost economic prosperity has only increased – and we are determined that we don't just rebuild, we rebuild smarter. "The Living Lab is a great opportunity for industry and academics to work together to embrace new, more productive, more efficient and more sustainable ways of delivering transport infrastructure."

The Transport Infrastructure Efficiency Strategy (TIES) Living Lab is a 2-year, 25-party collaboration programme, funded through InnovateUK as part of the Transforming Construction Challenge, with co-funding by the Department for Transport (DfT). The 25 partners have worked with Government, I3P and the Construction Innovation Hub to use data, utilising Modern Methods of Construction, driving down delivery times, reducing carbon footprint and improving safety and skills for construction workers across transport infrastructure projects.

The partners are: NSAR (National Skills Academy for Rail) Ltd – Lead Party, Bryden Wood Technology Ltd, Costain Ltd, Office for National Statistics, Whole Life Consultants Ltd,  Accelar Ltd, Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd, Kier Construction Ltd, Akerlof Ltd,  X-Treme Systems Ltd, Expedition Engineering Ltd, Walker Construction Ltd,  Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Strategic Rail Consultants Ltd, The Manufacturing Technology Centre Ltd,  Social Profit Calculator Ltd (now known as Loop), Powercube Ltd, Department for Transport, HS2 Ltd, Transport for London, National Highways Ltd,  East West Railway Company Ltd, University of Dundee, University of the West of England, University of Leeds.

The TIES Living Lab was launched in May 2020 to bring together key UK transport clients, suppliers and academic experts to build capability in terms of delivery, innovation and managing risk. The Transport Infrastructure Efficiency Strategy (launched by UK Government in 2017) outlines several challenges and the Living Lab has tackled these issues whilst improving integration, productivity and driving wider social benefit through major construction schemes. This programme is a catalyst for cultural change, shifting focus with infrastructure delivery decision making from the cost of construction to an understanding of whole life cost and performance. 

Our role on TIES Living Lab:

We were contracted to provide the overall programme management role for this large, flagship, collaborative R&D programme, on behalf of the Lead Party, NSAR (National Skills Academy for Rail) and to lead the Programme Management Office, which was provided through a combination of our own resources and secondments from NSAR. This role included the coordination of 11 projects led by several different partners in the programme, as well as integrating with key groups within the over-arching TIES programme. Considering the number of partners (25) and projects, as well as dual funding through InnovateUK (IUK) and the DfT, this has been the most complex assignment we’ve had to-date.

As this programme was funded through both IUK and DfT, we deliver outputs to meet both funders’ requirements, which means coordinating and delivering monthly and quarterly programme reviews to the appointed IUK Monitoring Officer and DfT sponsor, who assess the programme against several categories.

We manage the scope, schedule, risk, finances, and programme reviews, and ensure all changes are controlled and managed.