Our role on TIES Living Lab:

We are contracted to provide the overall programme management role for this large, flagship, collaborative R&D programme, on behalf of the Lead Party, NSAR (National Skills Academy for Rail) and to lead the Programme Management Office, which was provided through a combination of our own resources and secondments from NSAR. This role included the coordination of 11 projects led by several different partners in the programme, as well as integrating with key groups within the over-arching TIES programme. Considering the number of partners (25) and projects, as well as dual funding through InnovateUK (IUK) and the DfT, this has been the most complex assignment we’ve had to-date.

As this programme was funded through both IUK and DfT, we deliver outputs to meet both funders’ requirements, which means coordinating and delivering monthly and quarterly programme reviews to the appointed IUK Monitoring Officer and DfT sponsor, who assess the programme against several categories.

We manage the scope, schedule, risk, finances, and programme reviews, and ensure all changes are controlled and managed.

May 2020 – September 2022

TIES Living Lab

The Transport Infrastructure Efficiency Strategy (TIES) Living Lab is a 2-year, 25-party collaboration programme, funded through InnovateUK as part of the Transforming Construction Challenge, with co-funding by the Department for Transport (DfT). The 25 partners have worked with Government, I3P and the Construction Innovation Hub to use data, utilising Modern Methods of Construction, driving down delivery times, reducing carbon footprint and improving safety and skills for construction workers across transport infrastructure projects.

The partners are: NSAR (National Skills Academy for Rail) Ltd – Lead Party, Bryden Wood Technology Ltd, Costain Ltd, Office for National Statistics, Whole Life Consultants Ltd,  Accelar Ltd, Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd, Kier Construction Ltd, Akerlof Ltd,  X-Treme Systems Ltd, Expedition Engineering Ltd, Walker Construction Ltd,  Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Strategic Rail Consultants Ltd, The Manufacturing Technology Centre Ltd,  Social Profit Calculator Ltd (now known as Loop), Powercube Ltd, Department for Transport, HS2 Ltd, Transport for London, National Highways Ltd,  East West Railway Company Ltd, University of Dundee, University of the West of England, University of Leeds.

The TIES Living Lab was launched in May 2020 to bring together key UK transport clients, suppliers and academic experts to build capability in terms of delivery, innovation and managing risk. The Transport Infrastructure Efficiency Strategy (launched by UK Government in 2017) outlines several challenges and the Living Lab has tackled these issues whilst improving integration, productivity and driving wider social benefit through major construction schemes. This programme is a catalyst for cultural change, shifting focus with infrastructure delivery decision making from the cost of construction to an understanding of whole life cost and performance. 

February 2019 – April 2022



AIMCH (Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Homes) is a 3-year, 6-party consortium project, partially funded by InnovateUK as part of the “Transforming Construction” challenge.

Stewart Milne Group Ltd are the lead party and Stewart Dalgarno of SMG brought together Barratt Developments, London & Quadrant Housing Trust Ltd, Forster Roofing Services Ltd, The Manufacturing Technology Centre Ltd and The Construction Scotland Innovation Centre to make up this consortium project. 

The AIMCH ambition is to transform how homes are built in the UK, by developing industrialisation of manufacturing processes and demonstrating solutions to the challenges of digitisation and offsite construction. 

Our proven expertise in handling similar, centrally funded consortium projects led Stewart Milne Group Ltd to secure our services to carry out Project Management and Project Support for the full 3-year project duration.  

From day one we initiated engagement across the project and quickly established ourselves, which was helped by achieving some early highly important commitments. As soon as it was possible, we visited all project partners to enable the formation of relationships which is critical for the success of the project.

Communications and relationships across the project are well-established, as are the project management protocols. The project has been running successfully to-date and our focus is on ensuring ongoing success of the project, whilst minimising Project Management overheads on the wider project team. 

Our role on AIMCH:

We were contracted to provide the overall project and financial management of this large, flagship collaborative, R&D project, on behalf of Stewart Milne Group. This role included the coordination of 10 Work Packages led by several different leads from partners in the project.

As an IUK funded project we ensured that our processes enabled the whole project to deliver against the IUK expectations, which meant coordinating and delivering monthly and quarterly project reviews, including reporting to the IUK appointed monitoring officer

We provided and managed processes covering scope, schedule, risks, finances, project reviews and steering group meetings, and ensured all changes were controlled and managed.

During the project, we dealt with the withdrawal of a partner, the impact of COVID, and the usual challenges with innovation risks. However, the actions taken by ourselves and the partners resulted in the project exceeding the original scope and the expectations of InnovateUK.

As the Deputy Challenge Director of Transforming Construction in InnovateUK says: “AIMCH have been wonderful to work with. And what’s really exciting is just the sheer scale of impact the project is having already. It’s beyond what we could have hoped for. I look forward to watching it continue to impact the construction sector for many, many years to come.”

Our role on OPTIMISED:

As an EU funded project we had to work to meet the expectations of the EU. We provided the full financial management on this project and also provided lots of admin support, organising in person meetings 

November 2015 – October 2018


OPTIMISED (Operational Planning Tool Interfacing Manufacturing Integrated Simulations with Empirical Data) was a 3-year, 10-party consortium project within the Horizon 2020 “Factories of the Future” framework, fully funded by the EU, in the topic area of ICT-enabled modelling, simulation, analytics and forecasting technologies.

OPTIMISED developed digital twins and decision support systems using IIOT solutions to create optimised and reactive planning systems across three industrial demonstrators.

Laing O’Rourke (LOR) were the lead party with Keonys SAS (France), Advanced Data Processing GmbH (Germany), the University of Nottingham (UK), Alstom Transport S.A. (France), SimPlan AG (Germany), Ideko S.COOP (Spain), Goimek S. COOP (Spain), Smarter Grid Solutions Ltd (UK) and Dassault Systemes SE (France) making up the partners for this consortium project.

LOR secured our services to provide Project Management and Project Support after being impressed by our expertise in handling challenging assignments and our flexible engagement model.

From the outset we made it clear that we would support the client with additional non-routine effort as required, which was really important to the client.

The technical challenges were high, since this was a complex project and the solution required novel approaches to solve challenging, real-world operational and manufacturing planning problems, and demanded a high degree of integration between different software components and multiple partners. The outcome was to be a solution that had not previously been successfully achieved.

With proven experience in engineering and project management within high technology areas, we knew that implementing a robust and effective project management approach would be key to ensuring the success of this project. Furthermore, early implementation is critical to setting expectations and gaining traction. This is where expectations and reality can come into conflict: we faced the typical challenge to get all parties onto the same page and to reach a compromise that addressed both local (partner) and global (whole project and EU) objectives.

Additionally, we faced the typical project management challenges of staff turnover, changes in partners’ business strategy and resource constraints.

The project delivered on its 9 project objectives and achieved excellent recognition and feedback across the industry and from the EU, having won awards in several categories.