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FK Group launches startup search to drive innovation in the construction sector

FK Group, one of the UK’s leading full building envelope specialists, has launched FK Accelerate, a global startup search, as part of its commitment to driving innovation in the construction sector. Run in partnership with corporate innovation specialist L Marks, FK Accelerate will identify technologies with the potential to revolutionise construction processes and systems. 

40 years old in 2019, FK Group specialises in roofing, cladding, glazing and maintenance across many sectors. The firm has completed a number of high profile projects, ranging from Bupa’s headquarters to stadium expansions for Manchester City and Liverpool football clubs.

Both reflecting and reinforcing the firm’s commitment to innovation, FK Accelerate champions new thinking and provides the opportunity to explore and refine new ideas. Successful startups will benefit from the experience and expertise of FK Group’s senior team as they run trials and explore opportunities for future partnerships.

Startups selected for FK Accelerate will gain access to:

-Mentorship from senior leaders at FK Group and subject-matter experts

-Development opportunities and product validation

-Support necessary to develop offsite prototype trials

-Opportunities to launch live trials with FK Group

Focused on identifying transformative technologies with applications for the business and the construction sector, FK Group has identified the following key innovation areas:

Systems Optimisation
We are looking for technological solutions that enhance our service offering to our clients by improving our internal process and optimising our current systems. In particular, we would like to hear from startups who can provide a seamless solution for extracting CAD designs and integrating with other models and systems. We are also interested to see if there are solutions that can take fabrication information and easily link with estimating software to enable accurate predictive estimation.

Drones & Virtual Inspections
Currently, FK utilises man-power to complete inspections on an installed product as well as inspecting the structure of a building prior, or during installation. We are looking for startups that can help make this a virtual process. This could include VTOL hardware for building inspection, Machine learning and advanced image analytics solutions for QA testing of installed products, a platform to analyse and monitor inspection results or AR/VR solutions.

Robotics
Roofing is a large part of the operational delivery of FK’s business for clients. Currently, the roofing secure process is done entirely by hand, including fixing, seaming and checking the roof materials during installation. We are looking for Robotic tools and hardware which can standardise roof fixings, magnetic-based installation robots which can screw or drill into the roof to secure it to the structure or robotics systems that can integrate with the KalZip machine to enhance its offering and performance.

Tracking & Parts
Quality is at the heart of everything we do at FK, from the materials we use to the high-calibre service and delivery we provide to our clients. As such we are looking for tools and systems that can provide transparency on our material’s entire journey from the point of origin to onsite. This can include solutions that offer advanced scanning technology for on-site material, track and trace solutions or geo-fencing capabilities. We are also interested in hearing from startups who have Digital Twin capabilities that will allow us to ‘twin’ our assets which can enhance our operations and delivery staff’s capabilities.

Wildcard
We can’t tell you what we don’t know so we want to hear from teams who think they can transform our business. That’s what the wildcard is all about. What does the future of glazing, cladding and roofing look like in 10 years? What other technologies might be relevant for either the operational front-end or the office back-end of the FK business? Surprise us!

Francis Keenan, CEO of FK Group said:

Innovation is key to the future of FK. We look forward to working with the next generation of game changers and developing new industry leading ideas.

Daniel Saunders, Chief Executive of L Marks, said:

We are delighted to have partnered with the FK Group in delivering FK Accelerate. FK have had hugely successful year to date and I am looking forward to finding dynamic, early stage companies who can disrupt the sector and help strengthen FK’s capabilities.

Applications are open until 23:59:59 on Sunday 13th October 2019. For more information about the programme, please visit www.fk-accelerate.co.uk

About FK Group

FK Group is the UK’s preferred full building envelope provider, specialising in roofing, cladding, glazing and maintenance across many sectors. We began life as roofing contractors back in 1979, and have worked our way up to become one of the UK’s leading full building envelope specialists. Today FK Group’s focus is on innovation, applying new thinking, exploring and refining ideas. We’re structured to work flexibly with quality, safety and lateral thinking as our guiding principles. It’s a productive approach that keeps a high percentage of clients coming back to us – they include some of the UK’s biggest contractors and developers, often relying on us to fulfil high profile contracts. For more information on FK Group, please contact info@fkgroup.co.uk

About L Marks

L Marks is a leading advisor in applied innovation and experienced investor in early-stage technologies. Led by Stuart Marks and Daniel Saunders, L Marks has created the UK’s largest network of corporate accelerators and launched over fifty innovation programs across Europe, Israel, Japan and the US. Their unique approach and methodology is building bridges between large organisations seeking to innovate and young companies looking to scale. They work with some of the world’s best-known brands, including BMW, Lloyd’s of London, Arsenal FC, and British Airways to identify business challenges and transform them into opportunities for growth. The L Marks collaborative, results-driven programs provide insight and access to startups whilst embedding their pioneering technologies into corporates to enhance operations, improve customer experience, and cultivate an entrepreneurial ethos across the business. Through creating these relationships and experiences, L Marks is achieving rapid digital transformation across industry sectors and bringing about the future of business, today. For more information on L Marks, please contact hello@lmarks.com

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