COINS Construction Industry Grand Challenge: Prizes to attend University of Cambridge’s Centre for Sustainability, Singularity University at NASA Research Park, California and Bouygues UK’s Sustainability Hub

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Construction Industry Solutions Ltd (Slough, Berkshire) is reminding all applicants to submit their entries for the inaugural COINS Construction Industry Grand Challenge(CCIGC), as the 30th October deadline starts to close in.

Working with leading construction companies, private investors, venture capitalists and academia, the COINS Construction Industry Grand Challenge provides an opportunity for people to present their ideas and track record, and potentially gain support and funding to pursue their construction industry ideas with some of the world’s most prestigious organisations.

The deadline for submission is midnight on Friday 30th October and applications can be submitted via All entries will be reviewed by a judging panel formed of leaders in the fields of construction, technology, engineering and academia. Shortlisted finalists will be announced on Friday 13th November, with the grand final taking place on Tuesday 8th December.

Four prizes are being offered:

1.  A place on a part time executive postgraduate course at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership . The University of Cambridge is one of the world’s leading universities, so winners will be joining a centuries old learning establishment and have the opportunity to hear cutting edge research in order to make a positive impact and accelerate their career.

2. A place on Singularity University’s 7 day Executive Programme . Singularity University synthesises Silicon Valley’s ‘make it happen’ culture with NASA level technological discipline and success, where you will interact with some of Silicon Valley’s leaders and learn about exponential technologies and how they could impact the construction industry.

3. Two 3-month paid internships with Bouygues UK, one of the UK’s leading construction companies and part of the global Bouygues Group, which operates in over 100 countries around the world.  

4. Bouygues UK is also offering a discretionary award, with the most promising idea being taken forward as part of its in-house R&D programme.

The Challenge is suitable for construction industry managers, technologists and professionals with the drive and ambition to succeed, as well as recent graduates who are looking to get a kick start on the career ladder.

Ideas do not have to be at a particular stage of development to be submitted. Judging criteria are based on the calibre of the applicant, the “grandness” of the idea (does it solve a problem? Will it have a positive impact on millions of people?) and the feasibility of it being implemented.

Robert Brown Chairman of the COINS Grand Challenge committee, commented: “We’ve had a great response so far, but we know there are so many more great ideas out there. We’re keen to showcase the very best talent in the construction, building, architecture and building design industries. We want to see and support innovation and entrepreneurship and how this impacts on the built environment, for the benefit of society and the global construction industry. The two challenges aim not only to uncover the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs who have the ambition and determination to make a difference, but to make sure that their ideas get heard and receive the support and acclamation that they deserve. As the deadline closes in, we’re looking forward to seeing more outstanding ideas that can shape the future of innovation and sustainability in construction.”

On the judging panel are Larry Sullivan, Derek Leaver and Robert Brown of COINS, Aleksandra (Sasha) Njagulj (Bouygues UK), Ian Heasman (Taylor Wimpey), Thomas Lau (Laing O’Rourke), Christopher Dyson (Carillion), Dr Deborah Morecroft (NanoFab Tools), Mike Halsall (Singularity University), Catherine Tilley and Louise Driffill (University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership), and Ben Haldin (Fulcro Engineering).

The CCIGC offers two challenges, each with a unique package of prizes, which can be tailored to suit the situation of the winners. The finalists for each Challenge will get the opportunity to 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 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 Challenge is sponsored by COINS, in support of 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.

Visit the competition website for more information:

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.

For further information, please visit:

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:

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.

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.

Bouygues UK
Operating in the UK since 1997, Bouygues UK is one of the top contractors in the construction industry. With around 130 sites at any one given time, from Birmingham to Brighton and Southampton to Swansea, an annual turnover over £860m and a workforce of around 1800 people, we’re delivering vital homes, infrastructure and regeneration for communities across the UK.

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.

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.

Taylor Wimpey UK Ltd
We are one of the largest residential developers in the UK, developing new homes and communities across the country. Taylor Wimpey UK Ltd operates from 24 regional offices across England, Scotland and Wales and builds over 12,000 homes each year. Taylor Wimpey UK Ltd is a responsible homebuilder that is committed to health and safety, environmental sustainability, providing excellent customer service and engaging with local communities.

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.


Fulcro is an innovative, creative engineering team. 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.