Home » GCCA announces low-carbon cement tech start-up partners

GCCA announces low-carbon cement tech start-up partners

by Mark Cantrell
Holcim invests in firm that makes concrete carbon negative

New partnerships between cement manufacturers and tech start-ups that will see them work together on the development of low-carbon concrete have been announced.

The partnerships, revealed by the Global Cement & Concrete Association (GCCA), emerged out of the global membership body’s GCCA Innovandi Open Challenge. Four start-ups shortlisted in last year’s challenge, focusing on low-carbon concrete have now teamed up with manufacturers.

Claude Loréa, the GCCA’s cement, innovation and ESG director, said the four start-ups have “impressed” at every stage of the process.

“Developing low carbon concrete is a challenge, as we will need something both scalable and ultimately affordable,” he added. “Innovation is the key, and it’s great to see the start-ups agreeing partnerships with manufacturers. The GCCA and our member companies really look forward to working closely with each start-up to take their ideas to the next stage.”

EnviCore, based in Canada; Queens Carbon, and Chement, both in the USA; and NeoCrete in New Zealand, were all shortlisted last year, as part of the GCCA’ Innovandi Open Challenge Programme.

They have all now formed a partnership with at least five GCCA member companies and leading manufacturers, who will support and evaluate their technologies.

According to the GCCA, their ideas could help transform the way concrete is made, and significantly reduce its emissions.

“The four start-ups will be given unique access to industry plants, labs, key networks and the expertise and infrastructure of the leading manufacturers to accelerate the development of their technology.

Each start-up will also be showcasing their technologies and progress as part of a demo-day, on 6 June, in Bangkok, in Thailand, as part of the GCCA’s CEO and Leaders Conference.

Global participants

Shahrukh Shamim, chief executive and co-founder of EnviCore, said: “Participating in the Global Cement & Concrete Association’s Innovandi Challenge has been a transformative journey for EnviCore.

“Collaborating with nine international cement manufacturing companies not only expands our reach into global markets, but also serves as a validation of our pioneering SCM production technology.

“Through this partnership, we gain unparalleled access to invaluable resources, paving the path for collaborative innovation, pilot opportunities, and ultimately, a sustainable future where environmental stewardship and technological excellence converge.”

Daniel Kopp, chief executive at Queens Carbon, said: “Queens Carbon is excited to partner with leading cement industry players via the GCCA Innovandi program.

“This collaboration will focus on developing and deploying innovative technologies aimed at achieving the GCCA’s 2050 decarbonization targets. Together, we are not only pushing the boundaries of research and development but also transforming the cement industry to pave the way for a sustainable future.”

Gregory Houchins, president and chief executive of Chement, said: “Chement is excited to collaborate with the GCCA and its member companies to advance our patent-protected drop-in electrochemical process that produces decarbonized alternative clinker with the same raw materials currently used by the cement industry.

“We look forward to demonstrating our value to industry leaders by validating that our product is on track to meet both the standards and end-user requirements for Portland cement.”

Zarina Bazoeva, chief executive at Neocrete, said: “The Innovandi Challenge is an amazing opportunity for Neocrete to work with global leaders in the cement industry, showcasing our unique technology to top decision makers. It will also help us better understand the industry and how Neocrete can accelerate its decarbonisation and make a global impact.”

Concrete is the world’s most-used man-made material, and vital for so much of our modern infrastructure, including homes, roads, tunnels and bridges. But because it is so widely used, it currently accounts for around 7% of global CO2 emissions. The development of new materials and technology are key parts of the GCCA’s 2050 Net Zero Concrete Roadmap.

The GCCA has also announced that a record 29 start-ups, from nearly 100 applicants, have all been shortlisted for Open Challenge 3, which will focus on the further development of carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) technology.

The development of CCUS is expected to account for around 36% of the industry’s emission reductions, in line the GCCA’s 2050 Net Zero Concrete Roadmap. They will all now be invited to pitch their ideas to GCCA members later this month.


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