100 editions of Innovation & Research Focus: A reflection

A cynical view of anniversaries is that they are simply an inevitable consequence and count for little. That presumes, however, that something once started will continue ad infinitum unless or until conscious decisions are taken to change or curtail the original concept.

Occasionally, concepts emerge which are thought worthy of further development and this might be termed innovation. The process of testing that concept needs to be evidence-based and that is research. Hence the unavoidable link between the two and the raison d’être for this publication. What must be remembered, however, is that Innovation and Research Focus was itself an innovation and one which had no guarantee of success when Issue No. 1 was first discovered in the same plastic envelope as New Civil Engineer.

Reaching the milestone of this 100th edition not only gives an opportunity for reflection but also a chance to thank the many contributing organisations who have come, gone or stayed with the publication over the years. A big thank you is also due to everyone behind the scenes who work to produce it, including colleagues on the Editorial Panel and those who have preceded me as Chairman, and also those who first came up with the idea.

As part of the 100th edition, the article from the ICE looks back on the history of the ICE’s engagement with research and innovation in civil engineering, a commitment that more or less dates back to its foundation in 1818. This resonates with the continuing relationship between civil engineers plus other built environment professionals and practical research & innovation, something they have always had an interest in. To this day, this natural relationship is maintained and the ICE continues to sponsor research through its Research & Development Enabling Fund.

Concluding the reflection, an article by IRF’s Editor, Roger Venables, looks forward to I&R needed to deal with current challenges to enable a more-sustainable society that is less-locked-in to hydrocarbon consumption.

The remaining articles in IRF100 are from our other current sponsors. Once again we must thank our sponsors for their contributions to Innovation and Research Focus. We hope that the publication has had a role in promoting the uptake of their innovations and research by industry; and continues to do so for as long as that uptake challenge remains.


Innovation & Research Focus Editorial Panel Chairman:

Chairman of the Editorial Panel since 2013, Richard Fish is a Fellow of three engineering institutions. Following a career mostly spent in the public sector he has been an independent consultant for the last six years, specialising in strategic asset management especially with regard to bridges. He is a past Chairman of the UK Bridges Board and a member of the UK Roads Liaison Group. He has been a member of the ICE Council since 2009 and currently sits on the ICE Executive Board and several Panels and Committees.



This article was written by Richard Fish, Chairman of the Innovation & Research Focus Editorial Panel. It has been edited for use as a web article.


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