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by By Patricia Williams last update:Aug 2, 2006

The recently launched Canadian Construction Innovation Council (CCIC) has set a lofty goal — to become the voice of construction innovation in Canada.

Inaugural meeting held last month

staff writer

CANCUN, Mexico

The recently launched Canadian Construction Innovation Council (CCIC) has set a lofty goal — to become the voice of construction innovation in Canada.

“The council proposes to become the voice of our industry when it comes to talking about innovation and research and development and the quarterback for an innovation culture and strategy,” said Ottawa contractor and CCIC chair John Westeinde.

Westeinde, also chair of the Canadian Construction Association’s (CCA) research and innovation task force, gave an overview of the CCIC’s mandate and objectives at CCA’s 87th annual conference.

He spoke during a session on measuring productivity in construction.

In early January, Industry Canada gave final approval to incorporation of the CCIC. Its board includes seven representatives from the contracting community.

The CCIC’s mandate is to provide leadership in promoting and co-ordinating research and innovation in and for the Canadian construction industry. It is to identify needs and opportunities for industry-related research and innovation, develop national innovation priorities, set targets for assessing industry performance, promote technology transfer and champion innovation issues affecting the institutional, commercial and industrial sectors.

“We lack an industry-wide synergy and momentum,” said Westeinde, president and chief executive officer of Westeinde Construction Inc.

He noted that key industry organizations “sometimes operate in silos.”

While the nonresidential construction industry produces $123 billion in goods and services and has a “huge” environmental impact it nevertheless lags in productivity, Westeinde said.

The CCIC’s objectives are:

— To facilitate rapid dissemination and adoption of new innovations, technologies and practices.

— To increase funding for innovation and technology development in the construction industry and to improve the allocation of funds to better reflect industry priorities.

— To assemble industry stakeholders and to consult with owners to identify key issues requiring attention and to mobilize collaborative responses to major threats and opportunities.

— To establish close working linkages with other design and construction-related organizations to improve synergies and to develop a united voice for the industry on innovation.

— To establish, monitor and report on national goals for the industry to help focus the drive for improvement.

The council’s inaugural meeting was held late last month.

last update:Aug 2, 2006

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