Wates Smartspace has hosted its first external FM themed ‘Green Dragons’ Den’ in partnership with a judging panel of representatives from four of the business’ leading corporate clients.


Acting as an innovation broker, Wates selected suppliers of market-ready, low carbon sustainable technologies from applicants to its open competition, launched in April. Each supplier was then screened against robust suitability criteria, with six finalists given the opportunity to pitch their innovative technology to the judging panel including representatives from Wates Smartspace, the RFU, Standard Chartered Bank, the Canadian High Commission and Barings Asset Management.


Following the pitches, each company identified four innovations to take forward and pilot in a live environment. If successful, these technologies could be rolled-out across the customer’s entire property portfolio, both nationally and internationally.


The initiative has been developed by Wates’ Knowledge Transfer Partnership team which comprises of representatives from Wates Smartspace and Plymouth University. The aim is to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and expertise from the academic institution to a company. In this case, it provides a platform for innovative sustainable technology suppliers to accelerate uptake of their products and services within the construction industry and beyond.


Darren Sear, Global Head of Energy & Environment at Standard Charted Bank, commented: “I was very impressed with the quality of technologies and entrepreneurs presented. The selected finalists were a perfect pitch towards today’s FM market requirements to improve the energy efficiency of our building and also reduce our operating costs.”


Opportunities have also been identified by Wates to pilot a number of these technologies at its Head Office in Leatherhead as part of the Group’s wider office consolidation and refurbishment programme. This includes Endotherm, Savortex, Magnatech, Waterblade, and Propelair, all of which are already providing significant water and energy savings for the business.


Dale Edginton, EndoTherm™ Product Manager, commented: “The Wates Dragons’ Den-style competition was an excellent opportunity to get in front of several decision makers from Wates and their blue chip clients. We have had the opportunity to proceed with a successful trial of EndoTherm at one of Wates’ sites and I am looking forward to a long and successful working relationship. We have had full support from the Knowledge Transfer Partnership team and I would thoroughly recommend this event for anyone with a green innovation.”


Dr. Zainab Dangana, Sustainability R&D Manager leading the Wates Knowledge Transfer Partnership team, commented: “This initiative provides a great opportunity for us to support the Wates Group and its customers in accelerating the uptake of innovative sustainable solutions to deliver low carbon buildings. This firmly positions Wates as a pragmatic leader and innovation broker within the construction industry, whilst providing tangible results for the business, our customers and new suppliers. I’m really excited about the benefits that this will bring.”


Wates Smartspace will launch the next innovation competition on 1 September.  For more information or to register your interest, please visit the Wates Group website at http://www.wates.co.uk/node/2315