The Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) has revealed the first six start-ups that will be backed by its member companies as part of the first ever Innovandi ‘Open Challenge’ in the race to ‘net zero’ by 2050.
The six start-ups, which were chosen from more than 100 entrants to the Open Challenge, hail from the USA, Canada, UK, Italy and the Netherlands. They have now joined forces with world-leading cement companies to help drive further innovation in the industry and will each form part of formal consortia to further test, develop and deploy their ground-breaking technologies.
One of the key focuses of the industry is to develop the technology and implementation for carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), with CarbonOrO, MOF Technologies and Saipem among the start-ups that the industry is backing. GCCA members have committed to moving from the dozens of pilot projects and announcement already underway to having 10 industrial scale carbon capture plants by 2030 as part of the landmark Net Zero Roadmap, announced in October 2021. CCUS includes a range of technologies and methods that “capture” CO2 from large sources – such as in industrial power generation. The CO2 is then either used on site or compressed and transported to be used or stored elsewhere.
Carbon Upcycling Technologies and Fortera both use captured CO2 to produce low-carbon cement and cementitious materials. The other confirmed start-up is Coomtech, a British business that has developed a low-cost drying technology using kinetic energy created by managed, turbulent air.
Six newly established consortia will help to accelerate the development of technologies that reduce or eliminate carbon throughout the cement and concrete value chain. Each consortium is made up of a start-up company, with their respective pioneering technology, and includes between three and eight cement companies, with 16 GCCA member companies involved across the six innovation consortia.
Thomas Guillot, GCCA Chief Executive, said:“It’s a proud moment to see the industry coming together to support such innovative start-ups on their journey. Our member companies were greatly impressed by their ambition to be a key part of the climate solution. The programme is another big step forward towards unlocking innovation to help us achieve our net zero goal.
“As the need for resilient and sustainable communities to support a growing global population becomes more pressing, cement and concrete will be essential to providing the infrastructure and buildings that society needs. Achieving net zero concrete relies on a number of different groups playing their part, and as an industry we’re looking outwards as well as inwards, to see how start-ups like these can support our goals.
“To achieve net zero globally by 2050, we also need to involve and support the future generations who contribute innovative ideas and energy to the industry. At GCCA, we’re identifying and convening research and development with great potential and offering our support through guidance and effective collaboration.”
These young start-ups are the future generation to help accelerate the industry’s progress, and as an accelerator of the United Nations (UN) Race to Zero campaign, GCCA continues to support innovative development to achieve net zero concrete globally.
The members of each consortia are working together to develop their technologies ahead of a demonstration day, scheduled for late 2022. GCCA worked with Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, to identify start-ups for the challenge. To find out more about the Innovandi programme please visit https://gccassociation.org/innovandi/.