Sponsored by

Civils and Materials Innovation Hub 2020 Sponsored by AECOM


Deadline for entries extended to 28 August 2020


From self-healing asphalt to modular, off-site or automated construction techniques, there is huge opportunity through the use of innovative products, components, systems, processes, plant or materials used in the construction and maintenance of highways projects to reap many benefits ranging from improved durability, efficiency and sustainability to enhanced safety and comfort.
Sponsored by AECOM, the Civils and Materials Innovation Hub is a competition-based showcase for such innovations and designed to connect innovative ideas with real world highways clients.
The Civils and Materials Innovation Hub is an open innovation competition for industry which forms a major component of Highways UK 2020, taking place at the NEC on 4/5 November 2020.
We are particularly seeking entries that have the potential to be trialled on a UK road within the next 6-18 months.
Short-listed entries will be invited to present in the CMIH final at Highways UK, in front of a panel of industry experts using a "dragon's den" style format.
The competition is organised around five categories. We will award category winners and an overall winner.
Deadline for entries extended to 28 August 2020.
Why enter
The competition offers you an opportunity to pitch your ideas to senior client organisations and industry experts. In addition to the pitching opportunity, short-listed entries are invited and encouraged to use the Civils and Materials Innovation Hub throughout the two-day event as a space to engage with key influencers and specifiers.
Organisations that make the shortlist will also be invited to participate in a webinar run by our innovation partner Innovate UK, alongside its network partner, Knowledge Transfer Network, offering practical how-to advice on how to pitch your idea and make the most of your involvement at Highways UK.
The category winners and overall winning organisation will be offered a high-level half day mentoring session led by Highways England and including other key industry organisations who will offer in depth advice on the processes involved in taking your innovation to the next level.
What we are looking for
  • Innovative products, components, systems, processes, plant or materials used in the construction and maintenance of highways projects
  • Entries can be relevant to any part of the UK road network (urban, rural, local, regional, motorways etc)
  • The competition is particularly geared towards innovations that have the potential to be trialled on a UK road within the next 6-18 months
During the entry process you will be asked for the following information:
  • What do you call your product, component, system, process, plant or material? (max 100 characters, typically 10/12 words)
  • An "executive summary" describing your entry with specific reference to the entry category – see below (max 350 characters)
  • How it works (max 750 characters)
  • In what way is your entry innovative? (max 750 characters)
  • How your entry benefits client, roads authorities and users? (max 750 characters)
  • At what stage in its development cycle is your innovation? (100 characters)
If your organisation’s firewall blocks access to the Google Docs form, please email
Competition categories
Category A) Project Delivery Efficiency
Delivering projects efficiently benefits road-users through faster, more predictable delivery of road schemes. We are looking for processes that help achieve efficiency and deliver value in highways construction and maintenance projects.
Entries ideas:
  • Processes to enhance productivity
  • Lean / collaborative techniques to manage programmes of work and operations processes
  • Innovations in the installation of pavements, structures, vehicle restraint systems, earthworks
Category B) Material or Equipment Innovation
Innovations in materials or processes giving greater durably, increased productivity, more consistent quality and user benefits 
Entries ideas:
  • Products/equipment that leads to improvement of speed, quality and execution of assets for road construction including new materials, construction techniques
  • Products/equipment used in the evaluation and reuse of old pavements
  • Durability of road surfacing, white lines and road studs, skid resistance treatments, patching materials, reinstated ironwork
  • Materials that produce data that can be used to monitor performance
Category C) Innovative Construction Techniques (including offsite modular construction and localised manufacturing)
Offsite construction methods can deliver benefits to the infrastructure industry including reduced waste, increased productivity, higher quality standards and safer working environments.
Entries ideas:
  • Modular elements for improvement of speed, quality and execution of assets for road construction
  • The use of new materials, construction techniques, 3D printing, portable devices
  • Processes used in the design of modular construction
  • Modular offsite manufacturing
  • Future-ready construction techniques, tools and processes that lead to improved asset condition monitoring or asset performance
Category D) Environment (decarbonisation, towards net zero construction, and lowering local emissions)
All major UK infrastructure operators need to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Road networks and surrounding infrastructure need to adapt to consider changing human behaviour and the carbon impact of new and existing technologies, to substantially reduce road transport emissions.
Entries ideas:
  • Use of carbon neutral products
  • Reducing carbon in design
  • Use of recycled materials
  • Supporting the transition to a circular economy
  • Improvements to the worksite environment for workers or neighbours, such as lowering noise levels or reducing emissions of NO X or particulates
Category E) Safety (enabling safe environments especially during and post Covid-19 restrictions for workers, road users and communities)
As we come out of lockdown how do we protect road operatives and what can be done to ensure the safety of road users during construction and maintenance and reduce the disruption induced to local communities.
Entries ideas:
  • Innovations that remove operatives from dangerous environments
  • Systems that protect highways staff working on roads and/or road users
  • Systems to minimize the disruption caused by construction
  • Tools and processes that support social distancing during construction and maintenance work
  • Tools and processes that support staggered working patterns
  • Cultural or behavioural initiatives that improve well-being of construction workers or road users
Sponsored by
Civils and Materials Innovation Hub 2020 Sponsored by AECOM





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