29 June 2023

GCCA announces shortlist of start-ups in global innovation challenge to deliver low carbon concrete

  • GCCA Innovandi Open Challenge partners the world’s leading cement and concrete manufacturers with tech start-ups.
  • 15 start-ups shortlisted, from more than 70 who applied from across the world.
  • Developing low carbon concrete key part of making essential industry net zero by 2050 in line with GCCA Roadmap.

Fifteen start-ups have been shortlisted by the GCCA, from a global list of applications, for its pioneering Innovandi Open Challenge scheme, to work on developing low-carbon concrete for the world.

The Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) and its member companies are on a mission to fully decarbonise concrete – the most used material on earth after water. Developing low carbon concrete is a key part of making the world’s essential cement and concrete industry net zero by 2050, in line with the GCCA’s Roadmap.

The GCCA’s Innovandi Open Challenge brings together start-ups and the industry’s leading manufacturers to work together on innovative ways to cut emissions and accelerate progress.

Between March to May, applications were invited from start-ups interested in working on developing new materials and ingredients to make low carbon concrete. Seventy applications were received from every region of the world.

A shortlist of fifteen of the most promising and deployable technologies has now been drawn up by the GCCA and its member companies. These start-ups will present their ideas at a pitch day later this week.

Those ultimately accepted for this year’s Innovandi Open Challenge will gain unique access to industry plants, labs, key networks and the expertise and infrastructure of the leading manufacturers.

Claude Loréa, GCCA Cement Director and Innovation Lead said the GCCA and its member companies have been very impressed by the applications.

“We received more than 70 quality applications, so drawing up a shortlist was challenging. Developing low carbon concrete will require innovation and expertise to succeed, as our essential industry needs something easily scalable and affordable.”

“Those start-ups on the list demonstrated the most potential, and we look forward to hearing more about their ideas during this week’s pitch day. But we’ll also be keeping in touch with other start-ups who didn’t make this year’s shortlist, with future projects in mind.”

It is the second year the Innovandi Open Challenge has been running. The first programme, which launched in 2021 and which primarily focused on carbon capture and utilisation, has already seen two projects go to pilot stage.

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For more information about Innovandi Open Challenge, click here:

For case studies, further details, or interview requests, please contact: 

Simon Thomson, Head of Media, GCCA 
simon.thomson@gccassociation.org / +44 7380 972282  

About the GCCA: The GCCA and its members account for 80% of global cement production capacity outside of China, as well as some key Chinese manufacturers. Member companies have committed to reducing and ultimately eliminating CO2 emissions in concrete (which currently account for around 7% globally), through implementation of the GCCA’s Concrete Future 2050 Net Zero Roadmap – the first heavy industry to set out such a detailed plan.

Shortlisted company and locationWhat the company says:
NeoCrete   Auckland, New ZealandNeocrete has developed a nano-activator that activates natural pozzolans to behave like cement, creating high-performance, durable, and low-carbon concrete – called Neocrete.  
EnviCore Inc.   Calgary, Alberta, Canada  EnviCore’s innovative technology enables the conversion of a wide range of mineral feedstocks into SCMs at low temperatures.
Arrakis Materials (no website)   Woburn, Massachusetts, USAArrakis Materials is developing technology for the production of carbon-negative materials for use in concrete manufacturing. 
ecoLocked   Berlin, GermanyecoLocked creates biocarbon-based concrete admix materials that are designed to reduce embodied CO2 and turn the built environment into a carbon sink.  
Nanospan   India & USAOur Graphene admixtures bring cost-effective “durability meets sustainability” to life in all Concrete mix designs.  
Ultra High Materials, Inc.   USA    We have developed novel cementitious binders for use in concrete that reduce CO2 by 80 – 90%, are stronger, more durable, and cost the same or less compared to functionally equivalent Portland cement products. These patented materials can be manufactured at scale in commercial batch plants using locally available raw materials and without the use of Portland cement.”
Enzymatic, Inc.    USAAn Enzymatic Corrosion Inhibitor (ECI) that increases the lifespan of concrete, an Enzymatic Concrete Recycling (ECR) and an Enzymatic Construction Material (ECM) which is a carbon negative.
EcoAdmix Global Limited   UK  HDT uses nanotechnology to significantly lower energy costs, lower CO2 emissions, and produce concrete that is superior to anything else in the market.
MEP – SeaMix   Miami, USA  We have developed a patented basalt fibre and graphene admix for concrete that nearly doubles the strength, reduces need for Portland cement, increases R-Value and dramatically reduces the carbon footprint of concrete.
Chement   Chicago, USA  Chement’s technology is room temperature, electrochemical route to the production of cement that also enables a more feasible method of carbon capture.
The Cool Corporation   London, UK    Cool is a manufacturer of carbon-negative carbon nanotubes (CNTs), which have applications as a concrete additive. Benefits of CNTs as an admixture for concrete including increased strength, conductivity, resistance to cracking, longevity and strength.
Versarien Graphene Limited   Gloucestershire, UK   https://www.versarien.com/We have developed CementeneTM, a graphene-based aqueous admixture that promises to significantly enhance the properties of concrete and reduce its carbon cost.
Nano Crete   Colorado, USA     Permanently sequestering carbon into a stronger and more durable concrete using graphene as a supplementary cementitious material, while reducing Portland cement usage up to 33% per mix.
Louis Structures LLC   Sheboygan, USA    Louis Structures owns a patented, zero-waste recycling process that takes household trash (MSW) and manufactures aggregate called MSWagg™ which has exceptional potential for use as light weight concrete
Queens Carbon, Inc.   Pine Brook, USADeveloping a breakthrough ultralow-CO2 manufacturing technology to produce cementitious materials from industry-standard raw materials. The patented technology enables temperatures 1000C lower than those found in a traditional kiln, paving the way for substantial energy reductions.

Media enquiries should be directed to:

Paul Adeleke

Communications and Policy Director