The GCCRN brings together more than 450 researchers and scientists from more than 40 leading universities and institutions, including EPFL (Lausanne), South East University (China), University of Toronto, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, University of Cape Town, Imperial College London, as well as 35 cement and concrete manufacturers and their suppliers. They all work together on initiatives focused on achieving net zero concrete, including sourcing and improving alternatives to clinker, the carbon-intensive element of cement, work on calcined clays, concrete recycling, its carbonation and durability, as well as kiln electrification and carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS).
Claude Loréa is Innovation and ESG Director at the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA). She said: "Global Innovation collaboration and research will help unlock our industry's decarbonisation mission. Spring Week is the key date in the GCCA's Innovandi calendar. It provides an opportunity for our partners to meet face-to-face, exchange ideas, run workshops, and measure progress on key research projects in line with our industry's 2050 Net Zero Roadmap. Our industry and key partners are stepping up to the challenge, and it's fantastic to see the progress on some of the 75 PhD candidates supported by the GCCRN."
In addition, those attending the Spring Week will also get an opportunity to hear about progress made by projects involved with the Innovandi Open Challenge. The global initiative matches start-ups with GCCA member companies worldwide to help scale up research and technical innovation.
Loréa added: "Everyone's really excited to hear about the remarkable progress made by start-ups involved in the Innovandi Open Challenge. A key priority of our 2023 Open programme is sourcing start-ups in Asia. So, we've organised an in-person event specifically here in India to encourage more start-ups and members to apply."
Two of the six start-ups selected last year in the first-ever Innovandi Open Challenge, which focused mainly on carbon capture and utilisation, have already gone to the pilot stage. Applications for the 2nd Challenge, which focuses on low-carbon concrete, close on 15th May.
The GCCRN was set up by the Global Cement and Concrete Association, a not-for-profit organisation representing more than 80% of the world's leading cement and concrete manufacturers outside of China. All GCCA member companies are committed to decarbonising the industry by the mid-21st Century, in line with the GCCA's Concrete Future 2050 Net Zero Roadmap – the first global 'heavy' industry to set out such a detailed plan.