“We are now in the creative era: 

the information age is over and speed of innovation is the only sustainable advantage.”

        (Nomura Institute, Japan)

The UK Innovation Survey and published earlier this year by the Office for National Statistics on behalf the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) highlighted the fact that the proportion of companies involved in the construction sector that were actively involved in innovating had fallen from 44% to 33% between 2016 and 2018. The lead-up to Brexit and the onset of Covid-19 and subsequent lockdowns have likely diminished this figure further but the key point to note is that no other industrial sector saw a larger fall in innovation activity than construction.


Intrapreneurs + Innovators


times of rapid change

This is an endemic issue, highlighted in report after report, from Egan (Rethinking Construction,1998) to Mark Farmer (Modernise or Die, 2016) and others in between, but one that now threatens the very future of the industry itself. All organisations, whatever their nature or size need to continually evolve in order to survive, but if they are to do so, a structured, effective process is required. The world is experiencing an unprecedented rate of disruptive technological, social and environmental change and, globally, things continue to change rapidly: the predictability of the past is gone. Not convinced? A few more statistics should do the trick:


  • Only 44% of today’s industry leaders have held this position for at least five years compared to 77% fifty years ago;

  • The gap in profitability between the top and bottom quartile has almost doubled in 30 years;

  • GDP growth has declined by more than 33% over the past decade;

  • One out of three public companies will cease to exist in their current form over the next five years - a rate six times higher than 40 years ago

“Innovation is not about ‘big inventions’, it is the capability of an organisation to detect and respond to changing conditions in its environment, to respond to new opportunities and to make the most of the resources it already has, In this way, the big new ideas we see so often come as a result of lots of little ideas and changes that have been made and built upon.”* Put simply, novel and innovative ideas give rise to better ways of working as well as new solutions for generating revenue and improving sustainability. 


what do we mean by innovation?


What does it take to become a Timber Innovator or Timber Intrapreneur? 

Both start from a foundation of knowledge and experience, attributes that can be gained from participation in the Mass Timber Academy’s Continuing Professional Education (CPE) programme. Not everyone is cut out to be an innovator, of course, but everyone within an architectural practice or engineering consultancy can benefit from being part of a culture of innovation. Timber Intrapreneurs are needed to drive this culture of innovation within businesses, increasing architectural and engineering design capacity to advance the use of timber in construction. 


The Mass Timber Academy’s unique ‘Timber Innovators and Intrapreneurs’ tier provides a structured learning programme for architects, structural engineers and technologists who have gained experience in the use of mass timber in construction and wish to take their knowledge to the next level. Participants are trained to develop their skills as Thought Leaders within the wider timber manufacture, design and construction industries and to 


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becoming a member

Becoming a member is easy! We have two options for early career professional members (within 5 years of part 2 completion) and upon confirmation of your early career professional status you will be invited to the Members Area of the website, along with our LinkedIn group.


Unsure of anything? Email us 


education programme


Timber Design Initiatives Ltd

90a Constitution Street,



+44 (0)131 554 8643


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