Australia’s Built Environment Industry Innovation Council (BEIIC) was established in September 2008. BEIIC acts as an advisory body to the Minister and as an innovation advocate for the Australian industry. The Council considers industry innovation challenges like climate change, sustainability and industry competitiveness as well as issues such as regulatory reform, workforce capability, skills needs and uptake new technologies.
In this role BEIIC communicates the Government's innovation policies and goals, builds relationships and linkages with the Enterprise Connect Network, peak industry bodies and other stakeholders. www.innovation.gov.au/beiicUpon invitation I participated at a one day BEIIC workshop in Canberra in late April. It was a unique opportunity for me join other industry representatives to work with Council members to develop an Innovation Framework for each of six key elements of the built environment: Green Buildings (Commercial), Procurement, Tools and Technology, Skills, Residential Refit and Materials and Products.
In a way the workshop was a ‘politics meets built environment’ mix and match to allow both sides to share their perspectives and increase common understanding on how to foster innovation in the building sector. The day was hosted by Sue Holliday, Chair of BEIIC and the first half had members of each of the six key areas debate innovation at ‘their’ table, to then shake things up and regroup into mixed teams in the afternoon.From my perspective it was interesting to learn how many of our efforts on the ‘doer’ side need to be complemented by ‘enablers’ who lobby with government and advance our cause through political discourse.