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Ayming helps leading construction firm Morgan Sindall secure multiple innovation grants

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Morgan Sindall

Morgan Sindall Group plc is a leading British Construction & Regeneration group, headquartered in London employing around 6,700 employees.  It consists of a group of specialist businesses operating through six divisions, delivering construction and regeneration across the UK for the public, commercial and regulated sectors.

Morgan Sindall’s relationship with Ayming

Ayming has partnered with Morgan Sindall in making HMRC RDEC tax claims since its 2016 accounting period. Morgan Sindall’s grants experience included winning a few EU grants. However, these hadn’t applied to strategic areas of their commercial focus, and it didn’t have a coordinated approach to searching out and applying for Innovate UK Grants.

This meant that Morgan Sindall wasn’t able to easily identify relevant opportunities in good time. Grants applications take hundreds of hours and dedicated resources to deliver success applications.

Leveraging its existing relationship with Ayming Morgan Sindall engaged with Ayming’s Grants team to work on strategic grants advisory, to develop grants applications with a more strategic approach compared to pursuing individual grants competitions.

Ayming’s involvement

Dr Jonathan Memel, who leads Ayming’s Grants practice, and his team worked closely with their Morgan Sindall counterparts to launch the strategic grants advisory engagement.

Jonathan has extensive experience with the major sources of grant funding for UK businesses, including Innovate UK, Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) and Horizon Europe. Before Ayming Jonathan co-led a research funding team at the University of Manchester that achieved 2nd rank for UK grant income.​

As part of the grant scouting service, Jonathan identified a number of competitions which were aligned with Morgan Sindall’s strategic business objectives and presented them to the Morgan Sindall team.

Following disussion of Morgan Sindall’s innovation/Capex priorities and an assessment of their likely grants success, a funding strategy was put in place.

Once the competitions were agreed, Jonathan and the team transitioned into the full grants writing service.

Two competitions, double the success

The two grant competitions identified were run by Innovate UK.

Collaborative AI solutions to Improve Productivity in Key Sectors

Morgan Sindall, ConstructSys and Nottingham Trent University collaborated on the development of an AI project to improve the performance of Morgan Sindall’s CarboniCa tool, which had previously been developed by Morgan Sindall to conduct whole life carbon assessments to improve the sustainability of buildings.

The project developed cutting-edge AI capability for CarboniCa to drastically reduce the time taken to conduct accurate whole life carbon assessments in the construction industry.  A series of new algorithms were built to exploit this growing dataset of actual project data already inputted into the tool, streamlining the process of entering and checking user inputs. Jonathan and the Ayming Grants team worked closely with the three partners to create the grant application. The successful application was written and submitted in two weeks.

Design Foundations Round 2: Net Zero Environments

In the UK, professional bodies are now requiring new recruits in the built environment to understand Whole Life Carbon Assessments, but universities generally lack the teaching experience and expertise in this area to meet this need.

Morgan Sindall, in conjunction with Nottingham Trent University, developed a series of cutting-edge design workshops as part of a six month feasibility study. The workshops identified what students need from a successful EdTech tool in this area.

The resultant tool promises to accelerate understanding and take up of whole life carbon approaches among the next generation of construction professionals, stimulating demand for a lower carbon built environment across the supply chain.

The outcome

Both grant applications were delivered in two weeks and were successful.

  • The AI project was awarded £946, 672
  • The EdTech feasibility study was fully funded and received £78,339.
“As Lead for the Carbonica project and Sponsor for the Bridge AI project I worked closely with Jonathan and the Ayming Grants team to secure the funding for both projects. Working with Jonathan meant that we were able to meet tight submission deadlines, knowing that we had all aspects of the applications covered. A successful start to hopefully securing further funding for key strategic projects.”
Tim Clement, Director of Social Value & Sustainability, Morgan Sindall
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Our client

Morgan Sindall Group

  • A leading British Construction & Regeneration group, headquartered in London.
  • Founded in 1977
  • Revenue: £4.12b (2023)