7 May 2024

GCCA announces new partnerships between global manufacturers and tech start-ups, as work on low carbon concrete steps up.

  • GCCA Innovandi Open Challenge connects the world’s leading cement and concrete manufacturers with tech start-ups.
  • Four start-ups, shortlisted in last year’s challenge, focusing on low carbon concrete, have now agreed partnerships with manufacturers.     
  • 29 start-ups have also been shortlisted for this year’s challenge, which will work on the further development of CCUS technology.

New partnerships between cement manufacturers and tech start-ups, to work together on the development of low carbon concrete, have been announced by the industry’s leading membership body, the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA).

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.

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 6thJune, in Bangkok, in Thailand, as part of the GCCA’s CEO and Leaders Conference.

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.

Claude Loréa, the GCCA’s Cement, Innovation and ESG Director Cement Director, said the four start-ups have impressed us at every stage of the process. “Developing low carbon concrete is a challenge, as we will need something both scalable and ultimately affordable. 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.

Meanwhile, 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.

Quotes from start-ups:

Shahrukh ShamimCEO and Co-Founder of EnviCore said: “Participating in the Global Cement and 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, CEO at Queen’s 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 CEO, 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, CEO 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 decarbonization and make a global impact.” 

Media enquiries should be directed to:

Paul Adeleke

Communications and Policy Director