CSIC chair to step down as innovation centre enters new era

John Forster CSIC Chair

CSIC seeks new chair to guide it into new phase for the construction industry

AFTER seven years on the governance board – and three years as chair – John Forster will step down from his position at Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), as the organisation seeks a new chairperson to help shape its future strategy and drive its evolution into a second phase.

Building on a successful initial 350 collaborative projects, CSIC expects to deliver around £1 billion of additional turnover for businesses and support more than 6,000 jobs across the construction and built environment sectors through to 2024.

John Forster – who is also chair of the Forster Group – will step down from the role early next year, having led the governance board of CSIC since 2018. He has been part of the innovation centre’s leadership group since 2014.

The new chair will take over at a critical time for CSIC, as the sector continues to recover from the impact of Covid-19 and industry leaders look towards long-term transformation and collaboration that can help build a stronger, more sustainable zero-carbon future.

Working closely with CSIC’s leadership team, the chair will help to drive positive change through cross-sector collaboration with a focus on new technology and digitally-enabled processes, along with skills and talent to future-proof the industry. Phase two activities will aim to build a socially responsible construction sector that supports a highly skilled and diverse workforce to deliver smart, sustainable, and value-driven buildings and structures.

John Forster said: “After nearly seven years with CSIC, I’ve seen the construction industry change significantly and make substantial strides towards its adoption of technology, new ways of working and developing its people. CSIC has been at the forefront of that process in Scotland and will continue to play an important role in supporting those at the vanguard of the sector’s progress. The time is right for someone new to come in and take up the mantle, and I look forward to seeing how the innovation centre evolves in the years ahead.”

Stephen Good, CEO of CSIC, said: “As we complete our seventh year, it is an equally exciting and challenging time for innovation in construction and the built environment. We are embarking on an ambitious transformation programme, designed to support recovery as well as looking ahead to a zero-carbon future.

“The sector, including its supply chain and associated industries, continues make a valuable contribution to Scotland’s GDP and economic position, but we also have an increasingly important role to play when it comes to reducing our environmental impact. Innovation and collaboration between the industry and academia has seldom been more important as we head into a new post-Covid-19 era focussed on a sustainable, wellbeing economy.

“We are fortunate to have a diverse, engaged board of leaders and innovators that represent all corners of the construction industry in Scotland, led by John who has been an integral part of the centre’s strategy and direction in his time on the board and as chair. Many thanks to John for his passion, commitment and support.  This is a superb opportunity for a new chairperson to drive the evolution of one of Scotland’s most valuable industries, with innovation at the heart of future growth and development.”

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