In this section, answers to these questions are scored by the assessors. Following assessment, you will receive feedback from the assessors for each question.
Section 1: Business proposition
Question 1: Approach and innovation (800 words) Scored out of 10
What is your vision for the facility and its future operating model?
- Explain the major features, capabilities and benefits of your vision.
- Referring to the requirements outlined in the competition brief, why did you choose this operating model? Who will the users of the centre be, and what demand do you expect there to be?
- Describe the nature of the challenges or issues facing your organisation and your potential customers, collaborators and partners. How will the intended outputs address these?
- Describe how the hub will be established, which consortium partners will be involved and where they will be located. Justify this and give details of the other options you considered.
- How will this hub link to, collaborate and work with expert facilities beyond the consortium across the UK?
- Set out the return on investment that the project could reasonably achieve in low, expected and high cases.
- Detail the total projected spend profile of the project and the spend profile of the capital investment you are applying for in this competition.
In a separate appendix you can submit in PDF format up to 2 pages to provide a summary of your business plan to outline the expected life and sustainability in your answer.
Question 2: Market awareness (800 words) Scored out of 10
What does the target market look like? How will you support and work with collaborators and customers?
- Describe the market, customers and collaborators that the hub and operating model will target, and describe its potential to add value to the UK economy.
- Detail the market analysis that shows the size of the attainable market.
- Describe how your proposal proves that the UK needs this hub, and explain your strategy for making this need clear to the wider public. Provide evidence where possible.
- Focus on how the hub will:
- ensure that it is impartial to industrial and academic partners
- ensure that it can work together with competing companies
- be designed to allow concurrent collaborative as well as independent activities
- run to a programme, including the associated funding phases
- how the hub will work with the Active Building Centre
In a separate appendix can submit a 2 page PDF document. This is to provide any evidence of your industrial partners’ intention to use the hub in the UK, for example letters of intent.
Question 3: Wider impacts (1200 words) Scored out of 10
What are the wider impacts that will result from the project?
- What economic and social impact will the hub have for the UK?
- Describe how the proposed hub will add value and increase the UK’s reputation for being a focal point for modern methods of construction.
- Detail how match funding from industry will be achieved over 5 years.
- Explain how project inputs such as funding will generate activities like testing and development? How will these lead to outputs such as research findings, outcomes such as exploitation of technology and finally impacts like exports? If helpful, you can provide a ‘logic model’ in an appendix to demonstrate this process.
- Using a timeline, state the number of jobs that will be created at the hub, and those created in any direct or indirect supporting roles. How many jobs will be retained to work on the project? Include the expected longer term effect on employment. What skills will be transferable, internally and externally?
- How will the hub allow for teaching and skills development to increase the UK skill base for digital manufacturing in construction?
- How will research be disseminated beyond direct users of the facility? Provide any plans for public engagement.
- How will the hub integrate with and develop the UK supply chain?
- How you will manage the national security implications of the hub programme?
Where research organisations are involved in a project and funded for undertaking non-economic activity, we expect you to include evidence of plans to disseminate their project outputs over a reasonable timescale. This is to secure wider benefit from the higher level of public support given to research organisations.
In a separate appendix you can submit in PDF format:
- up to 1 page on your timeline on expected employment opportunities the project will bring up to 1 page to provide a ‘logic model’ of your routes to impact.
- up to 1 page to submit how you will manage any national security implications
Question 4: Support (800 words) Scored out of 10
How will the hub support the UK economy and UK policies?
- How will the hub support UK construction to move to a digital manufacturing approach?
- Explain how the hub will support government policy around the adoption of modern methods of construction, investment programmes and procurement needs, to define a product family architecture (families of standard components and possible variants) for publically procured assets. How will it work with industry to develop these?
- Describe how the hub will support the transfer of knowledge from the public built-asset work to the housing sector.
- Explain how the hub will create shared industry digital systems for testing and validating standard components as safe. How will these meet the requirements for a building as part of a manufacturing supply chain that enables a sustainable and open marketplace?
- Describe how the hub will digitise building standards and validation processes that can be included in design and manufacturing processes.
- Show how the hub will be developed further or improved beyond the timeframe or outside of the scope of this project.
- Describe how the hub will help SMEs demonstrate their technology to the market.
Section 2: The project details
Question 5: Project governance structure (800 words) Scored out of 10
What project governance structure will you use to ensure the project is delivered successfully in terms of scope, time, cost and quality?
1.Detail the facility governance structure that you will use. This could include:
- overarching centre governance (including structure of the team)
- management reporting lines
- milestones and gateways
- deliverables with timings
- leading KPIs
- communication management
2.Set out how you will monitor project progress, including over the set-up phase. What metrics do you intend to monitor (such as spend, usage rate) and how will you report this information? Who will be responsible for collecting and collating this data?
3.Detail how the governance team will be kept informed of progress and highlight concerns or issues early to all affected stakeholders. Identify who these stakeholders are.
4.Describe the main commitments and responsibilities of each partner. This could be captured, for example, in the form of a RASIC (responsible, approves, supports, is informed, is consulted) matrix.
5.How will the finances be managed and planned for unexpected events?
You can include a diagram (one side in PDF format) to support this response.
Question 6: Project management and timeline (800 words) Scored out of 10
How will the project be managed and what is the timeline?
- Identify who will lead the project on a day to day basis and how the project team will be structured.
- Detail a clear project plan, deliverables, milestones and gateways. Identify the main work packages.
- Describe how the project will achieve effective project team integration between partners, as well as the supply chain and any other main factors.
- Identify any internal and external support that is required and indicate what is agreed at time of writing, and what is still to be agreed.
- Explain your development plans to deliver a self-sustaining centre beyond the timeline of this competition’s funding.
In a separate appendix in PDF format up to 1 page. submit your project plan timeline including milestones,workpackages and deliverables of the project
Question 7: Risks (800 words) Scored out of 10
What are the risks to project success? What is the project’s risk management strategy?
- Identify the main risks and uncertainties of the project.
- Provide a detailed risk analysis for the project content and approach. Include the technical, commercial, managerial, economic and environmental risks, as well as other uncertainties associated with the project, such as ethical issues, risks to job creation or safeguarding jobs. The main risks should be rated in a format which is in keeping with the project’s risk management strategy (high, medium or low).
- Explain how these risks would be mitigated, and provide evidence of your ability to do this.
- Distinguish between the probability of mitigation strategies not being effective, and the impact this would have on the project.
- Identify which project management tools and mechanisms you will use to ensure you have sufficient control to minimise operational risk and promote successful project delivery. This should include arrangements for managing the project team and its partners.
- Your proposal should specifically address any legal agreements or consents that need to be put in place to enable the works to be undertaken.
- Explain in detail how the consortium will ensure open access by all. Will users retain all IP related to the developments?
In a separate appendix provide a risk table in your chosen style. This should be no more than 2 pages and supplied in PDF format.
Question 8: Team skills, experience and facilities (800 words) Scored out of 10
Does the consortium have the right skills, experience and existing relevant facilities to deliver the identified benefits?
Detail the track record of the organisations undertaking the project in delivering successful research and development and exploiting the results. In evaluating this, the assessors will consider whether:
- the project team has available the right mix of skills and experience to deliver the project successfully
- the project team’s formation objectives are clear, and whether it would have been formed without ISCF investment
- there is additional benefit demonstrated as a result of the collaboration, for example, increased knowledge transfer
- the organisations working together will achieve more than if they were working individually
- the employees have the necessary skills to focus on the programme
- you have considered diversity and inclusion in your proposal
Section 3: Funding and added value
Question 9: Financial commitment (800 words) Scored out of 10
What is the financial commitment required for the project?
- What project costs do you anticipate?
- Detail the grant split and contribution from each of the consortium members and how they comply with state aid rules.
- Define what the expected operational and maintenance costs will be, who will be responsible for them, and how they will be financially sustainable.
- Detail the financial year breakdown, referencing the suggested phases of funding and the split between capital and resource costs. Provide funding breakdown information by partner in the appendix that accompanies this question.
- Explain why the specific level of grant funding requested is needed. Why not more or less?
- Explain how the hub will continue to be funded throughout its life. Provide supporting information and an explanation for project costs, describing:
- your cost plan, with details of how costs have been assessed, including any professional costs advice and benchmarking
- the proposed tendering strategy to explain how the works and equipment will be procured to ensure best value for money, and how you will ensure most of the funding will be spent in the UK
In evaluating this the assessors will consider whether:
- the budget is realistic for the scale and complexity of the project
- a financial commitment from other sources is demonstrated for the balance of the project costs
- a realistic budget breakdown has been provided
- any work package breakdowns have been described and justified adequately
- expected compliance with state aid categories has been detailed
All applications that reach the interview stage will be asked to provide independent assurance in relation to their compliance with state aid rules. You should demonstrate here that you have investigated it fully.
In a separate appendix you may provide a breakdown of the project headline finances against state aid categories. This should be no more than 3 pages and supplied in PDF format.
Question 10: Funding from ISCF (800 words) Scored out of 10
How does funding from ISCF add value?
- Explain why this project could not take place without government financial support.
- Explain what contribution you are requesting from government for each work package. Justify why this specific amount of funding is needed.
- Detail how the funding required enables the project to proceed quickly and at scale.
- Give a clear description of expected co-funding from industry and any direct follow-on funding from industry.
Applicants may be asked for additional financial information relating to their bid or organisation. This could about the project or specific to consortium members. The requirement for additional financial information will vary across applications. It will be dependent upon the nature of the application and the applicant’s specific argument for support.
In a separate appendix you can submit up to 2 pages of supporting evidence in PDF format. The font must be Arial 10.
Other funding from public sector bodies
If you have funding from other public sector bodies for your project please provide:
- the names of the bodies
- the name of the programme or scheme from which the funds are provided
- the fund amounts