Project Management: TIES Living Lab

NSAR took on the role of Project Management Office (PMO) for a collaboration between government, academia and business aimed at driving innovation in infrastructure projects.


About the TIES Living Lab

The Transport Infrastructure Efficiency Strategy (TIES) Living Lab was a transformative collaboration of 25 partners including government departments, academia and businesses.

The focus was on driving smarter transport infrastructure using data, technology and Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) within live transport infrastructure projects.  It involved 10 infrastructure, data research and digital demonstrator projects to showcase ways in which we can promote the use, integration and adoption of innovation that will drive productivity in major construction and infrastructure schemes.

NSAR’s role

NSAR was appointed as the organisational lead for the TIES Living Lab project, coordinating and arranging the various aspects of the projects including marketing and communication.

As the Project Management Office (PMO), there were several aspects to NSAR’s role:

  • Managing stakeholder interests and requirements – such as navigating differing reporting requirements from the Department for Transport and Innovate UK by negotiating an agreed way forward.
  • Resolving or escalating issues that could cause delays, cost overruns or non-compliance with the terms of agreement. NSAR worked to understand the interdependencies between projects and partners and monitored risks to ensure that delays or failures were avoided as far as possible.
  • Reporting key information such as finances, project progress, scope changes and benefits to the funders. Ongoing financial reporting was particularly challenging as this had to be collected from many partners over a short period of time.
  • Disseminating information learned from the projects and bringing together (both in person and online) key people from organisations that might benefit from the Lab’s innovations.
  • Ensuring the adoption of innovations developed by Living Lab projects. This included running a series of events and working groups that supported attendees to further investigate the Living Lab innovations.


The Living Lab successfully delivered a series of physical and digital technology demonstrators that will boost the efficiency of future transport projects and produce cost reductions. NSAR’s role in coordinating and overseeing stakeholders and activities was a vital component of its successful delivery. The Living Lab was a £16.5m project that identified opportunities to realise £2b+ in benefits by adopting new methods of manufacturing.

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