Your report on research funding (18 January, page 48) made clear that, outside the area of construction products, market forces do not stimulate significant funding for construction research.

The benefits of such research are widely distributed, and funding mechanisms need to be similarly broadly based. In the past, government funding through taxation has filled the gap. This is no longer the case and other mechanisms need to be found.

In several countries (New Zealand, Belgium and the Netherlands come to mind), construction research is funded through a levy system. The legislation exists in the UK for this to be introduced if it were clear that the industry supported such a move. A levy of less than 0.1% of construction costs would lead to a step-change in the volume of funding available. And since the money would be raised from the industry, the funds would be controlled by the industry.

Roger Courtney