The aim of this project was to facilitate the delivery of sustainable growth in the North Sea Region. Its main focus was the shortage of skills and capacity within the construction industry to deliver housing that is both affordable and environmentally sustainable.
Project implementation and results
SmartLIFE has managed to achieve its aims and objectives to deliver strategic solutions to sustainable growth area by raising the skills level of the target population through training and promoting awareness of modern methods of construction.
Through the SmartLIFE programme and the transnational communications between the partners, there has been an increase in the knowledge and understanding which is made available to those benefiting from this project. Lecturers of the organisations, as well as students were given the opportunity to travel and learn via an exchange programme. Three of these initiatives were organised between Hamburg and Cambridge.
As well as this there has been a positive enhancement in terms of social inclusion and equal opportunities as the project encourages participation and learning for women in what is normally a male dominated industry.
The main results also included the setting up state of the art business centres and training facilities in each partner region to establish a transnational network of sustainable development hubs. Furthermore, the project designed and delivered training programmes on the use of modern methods of construction, thus sharing good practice on training, construction and development. It also developed a coordinated approach to sustainable growth area management. It also delivered a robust programme of high-profile events, conferences, seminars, and exhibitions to promote new skills and modern techniques in the construction industry.
This project is the first of its kind for recognising the potential for new built projects that seek to deliver sustainable growth. This project also sought to build upon the capacity for delivering MMC and sustainable housing within the local workforce. The project tackles all aspects of growth under one wide reaching arc where such aspects include: focusing on the environment, housing, training and local economic development.
Joint transnational strategy
Within this project, three SmartLIFE business training centres offering professional and vocational training within the field of sustainable construction techniques. There was a strong amount of interaction occurring as a wide range of exchange programmes were made available to both lecturers and students. In addition to this, co-ordinated training programmes allowed for the transfer of knowledge.
Impact of the project
The training programmes which were made available were used to promote the use of sustainable methods of construction with attention to specifications, design, construction and renovation of buildings.
SmartLIFE has also affected the way in which government policy operates in the area of sustainable development and renewable sources through its connections. For example, the UK parliaments Minister for Housing and Planning and also the Minister for Environment and Agri-environment. SmartLIFE has been working closely with the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and Sweden’s Ministry for Sustainable Development in the Joint UK-Sweden Initiative for Sustainable Construction. The project through its project partners has played an important role in the intensification of sustainable links and skills exchange between the two countries and will certainly continue doing so.
A further impact of SmartLIFE’s innovative approach is that it has become a RegioStar – an accolade given by the European Commission (EC) to the top 20 projects in Europe. The EC judged SmartLIFE as attractive and inspiring for other regions to follow in its example with promoting sustainable and affordable housing, and skills capacity. Following two rounds of application and site visits and interviews with judges from the EC, it was decided that SmartLIFE’s case study is to be published as one of the best regional innovative projects for Sustainable Economic Development. It has been said that the success of this project is testament to the imaginative thinking and hard work through put into place through partnership, especially with international partners.
SmartLIFE business centre, Cambridgeshire UK
TuTech Innovation GmbH, DE
Malmö City Council, SE
Cambridgeshire County Council
Cambridgeshire County Council Rm C304 Castle Court
CB4 6XL Cambridgeshire
Tel: +44 1223 717741
Start Date: 01 October 2003
End Date: 31 May 2007
Total Eligible Sum: