Innovation challenge launched to decarbonise cement and concrete industry

Article by Amanda Doyle

THE Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) has launched a programme to help accelerate low-carbon technologies in cement and concrete production by partnering startups with industry.

The Open Challenge aims to bring startups and the industry together to develop new technologies. The challenge areas include carbon capture, calcination, carbon use in the construction supply chain, and improved recycling of concrete.

The GCCA has partnered with Techstars, a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, to choose startups which will then partner with GCCA member companies. The industry companies will use their network, experience, facilities, and potential investment to help commercialise technologies that will help to decarbonise the industry.

Claude Loréa, GCCA Cement Director and innovation lead, said: “We are calling on startups, researchers and innovators from around the world to work with us to address the most challenging areas in decarbonising concrete and cement. With the help of Techstars, we’re looking forward to matching outside innovation with industry expertise, which we hope can accelerate the sustainable transformation of the industry.”

The challenge will be run by the GCCA innovation programme, Innovandi, which also leads the Global Cement and Concrete Research Network. The network includes 40 global scientific and academic institutions as well as 30 industry partners.

Dinah McLeod, GCCA Chief Executive, said: “Concrete is the most widely used material on the planet, after water. Our members have committed to drive down the CO2 footprint of the industry’s operations and products, and to deliver on our ambition of carbon neutral concrete by 2050. However, this ambitious goal will require significant and complex changes in how we manufacture, use and recycle concrete. Innovation will be crucial at every stage, from new cement and concrete chemistries to kiln technologies, clinker production, and carbon capture. This Open Challenge will help ensure we are bringing the creativity of the best minds from outside the industry to tackle the climate emergency.”

More details about the Open Challenge can be found here.

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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