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Innovation Advent Day 23-24 – Happy Holidays

This posts brings us to the end of Innovation Advent, which means it’s nearly Christmas!

At the beginning of December we set ourselves the aim to write a new blog post every (working) day in December, and we did it, with some brilliant guest blogs from our colleagues and champions across the alliance and over 60 new people register for the site. Huge thanks to our bloggers and welcome to our new members. Look back at all the blogs by clicking here.

I’ve had a brilliant first 6 months in this role with Tideway and have enjoyed meeting all the inspirational people that work on this amazing project. I can’t wait to see what we can achieve through The Great Think in 2017!

We’ll be back in the new year with more news and updates, so for now, Andy, Roger and the innovation team want to leave you their reflections on this year and some thoughts 2017.

Merry Christmas from The Great Think and wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year!

Sophie McPhillips


andymitchellHi there everybody, as we all get ready for a well-deserved break I just wanted to say how important the i3P effort is to us on Tideway and to the industry as a whole, and how excited I am about it.

There is no doubt that we have a lot to gain by harnessing and investing in our great ideas, but just image how powerful it would be if the whole industry was doing the same thing in the same way and sharing it all – it really is mind-blowing!

We have a lot to do, and we on Tideway can lead the way. We have a lot of work to do but I know that we are up to it. Let’s enjoy the break and really get stuck in when we return.

Have a very Merry Christmas, here’s to an exciting 2017!

Andy Mitchell

I’ve enjoyed 35 years in the infrastructure sector working as a specialist sub-contractor, main contractor, designer and client. What we build hasn’t changed that much over that period but how we build has and is continually changing. And mostly for the better but unfortunately nowhere near as much improvement as other sectors.
However, as I get ready for the Christmas break and reflect on 2016, I’m optimistic that it does feel like we may be just be on the brink of a changed industry that is collaborating more than ever before, looking to exploit technology more than ever before, and is more innovative than ever before.

The launch of I3P in October this year marks the beginning of a real game-changing initiative. And alongside that, I’m delighted that we have successfully launched The Great Think, and these impressive numbers show our early successes: we have over 150 members of the Alliance engaging on this portal, with 24 Tideway innovations shared on the site and counting. We’ve invested £84,000 in ‘Big Bang’ innovation ideas through the Tideway Innovation Forum. We had our PDN conference with 300 delegates coming up with ideas for unlocking technology for our project. We have 20 innovation champions across the Alliance spreading the word and bringing up the grassroots ideas from their teams. And our innovation team has gone from 1 person to 4 people to support all that.

I think we are all making a real difference and I’m looking forward to us taking it to the next level in what will be an exciting 2017.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

Roger Bailey




My favourite part of 2016 is definitely recruiting our excellent Tideway innovation team ready to take the challenge to the Alliance and the infrastructure industry. We complement each other very well resulting in a very successful year and ‘the Great Think’ innovation programme of which Tideway should be proud. I also enjoyed the Professional Development Network (PDN) Conference which allowed us to genuinely collaborate with colleagues from HS2 and Crossrail. I’m well known for walking a tightrope between creativity and despair, yet my ‘Horrific Histories’ safety moment idea was bonkers but brilliantly implemented by Att. As chair of Tideway PDN this year, it has been a honour and thanks to all who have helped share my vision.

For 2017, I’m really keen to see us build a culture of collaboration and inspiration across the Alliance and encourage our designers, supply chain, stakeholders and ultimately operatives to join us on our Tideway innovation journey. Not just Big Bang ideas, but small incremental improvements that provide safety, quality and efficiency savings that we can capture, share and improve upon each time.

I’m also looking to i3P to take innovation to the next level, potentially a once in a generation opportunity that cannot be missed. We have built the stadium and all the teams are in the changing room, now to get onto the field of play!

Paul Morris


It’s been a baptism of innovation fire for me, starting in Tideway’s Innovation team in April 2016 and coming from a completely different background in TV production this has been a fascinating learning curve! Now that we’ve laid the groundwork with The Great Think website and setting up the i3P forum, I’m really looking forward to seeing how the innovation programme grows over the next twelve months.

Charlotte Hills


2016 has been a great start for the Tideway Innovation team (inclusive of all our ‘Champions’ and everyone else in the Tideway Alliance who has taken the time to become ‘involved’ in our journey) so the foundations have been quickly laid, BUT they are just that, something that we need to build upon… We truly have a once in a lifetime opportunity to put innovation in the infrastructure industry at CENTRE STAGE. Wherever you look around us, the debate is all about “infrastructure” and “innovation”, but at the end of the day we all know that success is contingent upon people and therefore “engagement” and “collaboration”. So the question is, are we ALL willing and able to accelerate the required pace and agility required to grasp such an opportunity? We all want to but the test in 2017 is will we?

What will we IMAGINE? How will we INNOVATE? Who will we INSPIRE?

Nick Sumption



One Response to “Innovation Advent Day 23-24 – Happy Holidays”

  1. Thanks to all for their contribution to this blog and across the advent season. Special thanks to Sophie who challenged Tideway to find something original and topical for every day, amazingly the quality of posts has actually improved as we inspired each other. Long may it continue, happy Christmas all and see you ready to innovate in 2017.

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