19 May 2023

Start-ups from around world line up to solve challenge of how to make low carbon concrete

Huge numbers apply for Innovandi Open Challenge focused on helping global industry achieve net zero.

  • GCCA Innovandi Open Challenge partners the world’s leading cement and concrete manufacturers with tech start-ups.
  • Companies will be working on innovative ways to make low carbon concrete.
  • First heavy industry to set out detailed Roadmap to achieving net zero by 2050.

More than seventy start-ups from across the world have applied for a pioneering international scheme, aimed at making low carbon concrete. The Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) and its member companies are on a mission to fully decarbonise concrete, the world’s most used material after water. The 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.

In April, applications were invited from start-ups interested in working with leading companies on new materials and ingredients for low carbon concrete – a vital element in the GCCA’s Concrete Future 2050 Net Zero Roadmap. Applications were received form every region of the world.

A shortlist will now be drawn up from applications by the GCCA and its member companies of the most promising and deployable technologies. 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 GCCA’s 40 members from around the world. They will also receive guidance from the GCCA and its members to help them with the development of new technology and business strategies. 

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.

Claude Loréa, GCCA Cement Director and Innovation Lead expressed her delight at the number of applications:

“To receive more than 70 quality applications from start-ups for this year’s Innovandi Open Challenge is hugely encouraging and shows what level of interest and work is being done to help drive climate action, with applications received from every region of the world. The focus of this year’s programme – low carbon concrete – is technically challenging and will require innovation and expertise to succeed. Our vital industry needs products which are affordable, scalable, and easily adopted. We look forward to sifting through the applications with our member companies and working with those who are selected.”

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.

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A shortlist from the applications will now be drawn-up by the GCCA and its members and announced at the end of May. Shortlisted start-ups will be invited to present their ideas at a pitch day on 30 June, with consortium agreements expected to be signed in the Autumn. 

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

 Simon Thomson, Head of Media, GCCA 

simon.thomson@gccassociation.org / +44 7380 972282  

Media enquiries should be directed to:

Paul Adeleke

Communications and Policy Director