British Museum

A bank, an airport and a university walk into a museum…

October 26, 2016

...and found that when it comes to resource efficiency, they all have a surprising amount in common!

I was privileged last week to join the first-ever Operational Managers Workshop for the partners in the Innovation Gateway, held at the British Museum, and was enthused to see facilities managers openly sharing their challenges and getting excited about shared opportunities. It was another 2degrees moment, where we realised that you are much closer to those that can help you than you think.

In the grand setting of the British Museum boardroom, a blend of facilities, engineering, innovation and property managers from Heathrow Airport (the latest partner to join the alliance), RBS, Carillion and both Cambridge University and Lancaster University met to help develop out the Innovation Gateway process. The Gateway is helping to share the cost and risk of sourcing, validating and piloting new solutions to improve the environmental performance of their properties. We have learnt in the first 2 years of collaboration that it is essential to involve and engage those tasked with solving the challenges on the floor and implementing the innovations. These are the guys and girls making it happen (and that can easily make it not happen if they are not bought in).


We encouraged a sharing of the types of challenges that each participant is facing - and it was immediate how much in common seemingly very different buildings can be. We allowed the group to voice their gripes and suggestions for how they could innovate more and unlock the often cumbersome processes in their organisations.

Water leaks, remote monitoring, employee engagement, challenges with older building stock - all shared by both the "shopping centres with runways"; high-street banks and campuses for both office workers and students.

They were all drowning under the hundreds of calls and emails offering the latest and greatest solutions to their problems. Each of them feeling that they knew there was a diamond idea hiding away in the deluge. A clear consensus on the difficulties of trialing multiple solutions in the same properties and therefore being unable to distinguish what was working and what wasn't. All convinced that the way forward to dramatically improving the costs and risks associated with their property is to involve their staff and management in driving forward innovation and new ways of working.

Does this sound like you? If so, the alliance of partners in the Innovation Gateway would love to hear from you. They probably have answers for you; and you may be able to help them.


The latest innovation sourcing round that closed last week, identified a record number of innovations from around the world that could radically transform building performance.

Get in touch if you’d like to join in or be introduced to one of the alliance to understand how it is helping them and their business.

07585 906123