Four firms reach final stage of low carbon programme

Four companies have reached the final stage of a programme seeking low carbon solutions on National Highways’ network.

Fully circular, low carbon fencing materials and smart fibre reinforced plastic bridge beams are among projects by companies participating in a programme seeking low carbon solutions on National Highways’ network.

Four firms have made it through to the final stage of the Accelerating Low Carbon Innovation programme organised by National Highways in collaboration with Connected Places Catapult and each are set to receive up to £80,000 to make their vision a reality.

Seven firms were initially awarded up to £30,000 to produce plans for their ideas and of these, the four will now get to trial their ideas. The aim is to find innovative solutions for net zero carbon maintenance and construction in an exciting programme worth £1.7m overall.

The successful firms are:

Low Carbon Materials Limited (LCM), Seaham – delivering a carbon negative aggregate for use in carbon neutral asphalt.

PRG (Scotland) Limited, Hamilton – to produce a bitumen-like substance which would be useful for road construction and repairs.

Circular11 Ltd, Christchurch, Dorset – to provide highly durable, maintenance-free fencing material that turns mixed low-grade plastic into low-carbon infrastructure, and which will be collected and recycled at end-of-life.

Asset International Structures, Cwmbran  - to develop smart fibre reinforced plastic bridge beams that incorporate a novel optical fibre, enabling structural performance monitoring in real time and over long term.

Dr Joanna White, National Highways Roads Development Director, said:  “We want to speed up innovation within our sector and adopt new solutions. The innovation accelerator will help take potential solutions and drive them through the research and testing phases.” 

Melissa Giusti, National Highways Project Manager, added: “In 2021 we set out our Net Zero plan which includes a commitment to net zero emissions from construction and maintenance activity by 2040.  

“Material decarbonisation, building less, efficiently using materials, getting things right first time, making their assets last longer and driving change through whole life carbon decision-making are areas that we’re going to focus on. 

“To address this, we’re offering funding to innovators for the development of novel solutions that could help them reach their environmental goals. Many congratulations to all the companies who have made it to this stage and we look forward to seeing them develop their ideas.” 

Alex Weedon, Executive Director – SME Development and Academic Engagement, Connected Places Catapult, said: “Building relationships between innovative SMEs, large infrastructure clients and contractors supports bold ideas. By helping everyone to collaborate around the crucial topic of net zero we’re able to support the testing and scaling of viable solutions, helping them get to market where they can make a real difference.

“The companies entering the trial phase of this accelerator will be assisted throughout by experts from the Catapult and partners. Each have been paired with a tier one contractor to help deploy their innovation on the ground.”

As part of phase two, funding up to £80,000 is being provided to support the selected organisations to trial their solutions. Funds have been allocated based on the trial proposals submitted by applicants. All funding has been subject to approval from National Highways. 


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