Business context

Essex-based Mersea Homes needed a new way to innovate their information sharing system. The company, which builds around 100 houses a year, wanted to transform their paper based process into a digital, novel approach, to reduce gaps in communication, save time, and be more sustainable.

The family-run business partnered with the University of Essex through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to introduce an innovative, user-friendly platform that provided effective communication technologies to all stakeholders. The partnership was over the course of 26 months and provided significant value to the company.

Research solution

Mersea Homes partnered with Dr John Woods and Dr Haider Raza from Essex’s School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (CSEE) to develop a data driven business model which implemented a mobile-engaged ‘smart platform’, to replace printed files.


As the company outsource multiple stakeholders to aid the architectural and construction work, they needed a streamlined system which would be accessible for the team on site, and in their offices.


The academic team, and KTP Associate Dr Yogesh Kumar Meena, who was hired to manage the project, found a solution in the form of an Intelligent Construction platform. This provided multiple benefits, including centralised data control, easy information access, real-time process tracking and updates, efficient quality control and inspection, reduced cost and time, and data analytics reporting.

Dr Haider Raza
“This KTP has been an eye opener for the school. Using relatively simple inputs, it has been possible to design a complex, self-adapting system that is easy to configure from the managerial perspective and well accepted by the users. It goes to show the miracles that can be achieved having a good structure, a good associate, and a good idea.”

Business value

Around 80 employees, contractors and sub-contractors were trained and upskilled to use the new platform and their user experience, including satisfaction levels, were gauged as the platform was developed and deployed. It was designed as a risk-adverse procedure which encouraged the company to explore further innovative ideas for future improvement.


As a result of the new Intelligent Construct system, the company has saved approximately £80,330 per year, due to reducing staffing costs, materials and transport. It has also reduced the carbon footprint drastically, a benefit which aligns with Mersea Homes’ long-term goal to remove carbon from their operations.


The academic team benefitted greatly from the partnership too, and have since implemented their research and learnings in Data Science lectures and app development modules. The KTP team are also looking into a collaborative PhD studentship and other possible projects they can explore collaboratively.

Stuart Cock Mersea Homes
“For me, I think the KTP has been very positive experience on the basis of helping us to deliver houses more effectively but also will save us money in the long run as well. It has been a well organised exercise that kick started a catalyst for positive change that otherwise we would not have undertaken.”
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Innovate UK funding

Essex has successfully secured more Innovate UK KTP funding than any other university in the East of England or London (and we're number 1 in the UK). You could access around £150k through this program or equally partner with us on a Smart grant and secure up to £3m to work with a consortia on your project. Essex will lead the entire process and have a sector-leading track record at winning this funding. All projects are commercially driven and underpinned by world class research from Essex.

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