richard saxon has predicted that the government-sponsored groups set up to disseminate culture change in the construction industry would fold within two years.
Saxon said their place would be taken by Be, the newly launched industry think tank formed from a merger between the Design Build Foundation and Reading University's construction forum – which he happens to chair.

"We'll be the only one left within a couple of years. The government cannot keep on handing out money to the industry in the guise of Rethinking Construction, Construction Best Practice Programme or Movement for Innovation. We're heading into the sunset period of the big government initiatives."

Saxon said Be, which is short for Collaborating for the Built Environment, was in a unique position to promote industry-wide collaboration because it is the largest industry organisation, with members across the entire supply chain.

Be's mission in life is to provide long-term strategic leadership. Saxon argues that this means that it will win out over the Rethinking Construction bodies and the strategic forum, which he criticises for being overly complex and in conflict with each other.

He said the other forums, movements and taskforces would merge with Be or fade away.

Saxon, whose day job is chairman of Building Design Partnership, said Be would try to forge a positive vision for the industry. "At the moment, we are seen as the people who go around raping the built environment, but it has to be seen as its guardian."

The government-run strategic forum, chaired by Peter Rogers of developer Stanhope, could not bring about change in the industry, he said.

"The strategic forum is an institutional body that, while it will talk reform, will not actually produce change. The people on the forum are not the practitioners. But we [at Be] are the players. We are the industry itself."

Be has about 100 members including contractors HBG and Carillion, architect Richard Rogers Partnership, Marks & Spencer and Argent and logistics firm Exel.

DBF chief executive Don Ward has become Be's chief executive. The group's members each pay an annual membership fee of £7000.