Comment and opinion
We’ve seen a huge rise in the use of technology. The consumer market is booming – with the majority of people owning at least one smart phone. The purpose of a mobile phone is no longer solely for making and receiving calls. The world has been transformed by application based technology and faster internet connections over the cellular network, giving us access to the internet at our fingertips.
At Costain Group our very reason for being in business is to address the major challenges that people care about by delivering solutions across infrastructure and the environment, and this is articulated and delivered through our Engineering Tomorrow strategy.
So, I have taken on the responsibility of leading the Costain 150 Challenge and coming from being a Civil Engineer on site to this has been a bit of a culture shock! Although the task ahead is massive, I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and really making a difference.
Following the launch of the Costain 150 Challenge on 2 June, it has been fantastic to hear some of the many fund raising ideas my colleagues from across the business are planning. The level of enthusiasm and willingness to get involved is fantastic and I am sure this will be the driving force behind us raising £1m.
I recently visited the Czech Republic with a colleague from Crossrail, Shelley Browne, to support Nova Ekonomika which is delivering a European-funded programme to promote responsible public procurement. Our visit was to join a discussion panel at a conference in Prague attended by over 150 delegates including the British ambassador, the Minister for Labour and Social affairs and numerous mayors (not the ceremonial kind) from municipalities in the Czech Republic.
It was a great opportunity to get the message about Engineering Tomorrow, Factory Thinking and Standard Products at the IWEX event at the NEC. To have Richard Ogden, a Director of Build Offsite, taking part in the roundtable discussion that Costain hosted was important as he has a wealth of knowledge to share.
Even the best innovators have to stop and think! Costain Blue Innovation Futures is Costain’s opportunity in the year to think outside its current focus and have a look at what innovations are out in the market. By providing an opportunity for senior people in the business to review innovation, they are able to make connections very quickly and accelerate innovation into the business.
Recent news headlines about falling capacity in electricity generation and the growing risk of blackouts has shone the spotlight on the security of the UK’s energy supply. While it’s the market’s responsibility to ensure supply and demand are met, it is the responsibility of National Grid to ‘fine tune’ the system to make sure supply and demand match second by second.