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Innovator open morning – it’s all about the conversations

Reflections on a morning spent with 5 amazing built environment start-ups.


Talking to a group of innovators this morning at BRE’s Innovator Open Morning really got me thinking about how fantastically innovative the UK is. There are so many great ideas out there and one of the great things we at BRE do is help to shape those ideas into something that can be applied in practice.

John O’Brien was on top form when he talked through the important role the BRE Innovation Park plays in showcasing innovation and inform the sector about the new technologies and solutions that will help meet the major built environment challenges. Our group innovation & research director, Guy Hammersley, gave a brilliant analysis of the innovation process and the steps that need to be taken in order to effectively bring a product to market in the built environment.

We had five brilliantly innovative ideas in the room taking very different perspectives on the built environment.
– Jonathan Lowe Design who have prototyped an escape mechanism from burning buildings.
– Homes in Harmony who are developing a panelised hempcrete system.
– Water House Solar Homes who are looking at using electrolyte energy to power homes.
– Watering Pipe Ltd who are bringing to market a water pipe product to manage water run-off.
– University of Exeter who are looking at a solar concentrator to develop window integrated PV units.

I can’t thank them enough for taking the time to share their innovations with us and each other. Indeed some of the most valuable discussions probably came from the other people in the room. All of the successful innovators I have spoken to talk about the need to go out, meet people and get feedback about their innovation from as many sources as possible.

We’ll be following up with each of the innovators and exploring further opportunities to get involved with BRE. Based on this morning’s success we plan to run regular open mornings for innovators.