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News & opinion

17 SEP 2018

RICS Research Trust Call 2018

The RICS Research Trust, an established grant award entity, is opening calls for research grants on topics related to improving housing for the elderly, Artificial Intelligence, resilience and global developments and natural resources.

Here are more details on the relevant topics:

Defined Calls

1. Improving housing for the elderly  

Throughout the developed World the proportion of elderly people (currently defined as those aged over 65) in the population is increasing. A ‘decent’ home is fundamental to people’s wellbeing. As people grow older their housing needs can change. Older people spend between 70 and 90 per cent of their time in their home, thus a comfortable, secure environment that meets individual requirements is crucial. At the same time, internal design and the external location should ideally encourage activity to maintain personal fitness. The elderly can find themselves ‘property rich but cash poor’ and, according to Shelter, some people find themselves homeless for the first time in old age. The RICS Research Trust wishes to consider applications to research the policy issues raised by these developments. These may include physical adaptations; innovative use of assistive technologies; changes in tenure and financing.

2. Automation, AI and the implications for professional roles and how markets will change

Automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are gaining momentum and uptake globally. Many contemporary city and urban planning professionals use computer programs and digital technologies to simulate movement of vehicles on road and rail transport systems to aid decision making in respect of transport nodes, expansion of road networks and the location for new urban centres, and or densification of existing hubs. Sensors within mobile phones transmit location and other data which can be used for planning and security services. Developments in robot technology enable cleaning and maintenance of structures and such technologies can sidestep occupational health and safety issues, and offer the potential for great reductions in ongoing life cycle costs for some buildings and structures. The RICS Research Trust wishes to consider applications to research the implications of such technologies on the role and work of construction and property professionals.

3. Resilience and the global development goals  

Resilience is the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses and systems to survive, adapt and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience. The concept can be applied to cities, regions, nations or globally. On 25 September 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted a set of 17 goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and individuals. The RICS Research Trust wishes to consider applications to research the challenges for the land and property sector that are implicit if nations, regions and cities are to deliver their fair contributions to the targets set by the UN. 

4. Natural capital and land management transactions

Natural Capital is the term used for the elements of nature that directly or indirectly produce value to people, including ecosystems, species, freshwater, land, minerals, the air and oceans, as well as natural processes and functions. Some elements of natural capital can, with varying degrees of human input, provide valuable goods (“ecosystems services”). These goods and services benefit the population generally and also those who own or lease land. Some governments are looking to create strategies to safeguard natural capital so that it can deliver services in the long term. But the concept ought to be of interest to landowners too as they establish tenancy or contractual agreements with those who will farm their land. Research is needed to identify how such agreements in use today in different countries can provide a robust and consistent framework for measuring and monitoring changes in natural capital – and providing for rewards or penalties along the lines more familiar to property leases that provide for reparations.