Seven British companies have been awarded between £15,000 and £30,000 to develop their original ideas for reducing carbon emissions in road construction and maintenance, in a competition organised by National Highways and Connected Places Catapult, UK.
The competition, designed to help road operators reach net zero, is worth £1.7m in total. In the next stage further funding up to £80,000 will be provided to support a selected number of these organisations to trial their solutions.
The companies and innovations that have been awarded funding in the first stage are:
Xeroc Ltd, London - to recycle old concrete into new concrete, returning each component into its original form with as little contamination as possible.
Low Carbon Materials Limited, Seaham – to deliver 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 through this application
Circular11 Ltd, Ferndown – to provide highly durable, vandal resistant and low carbon fencing materials turning mixed low-grade plastic into low carbon infrastructure
Asset International Structures (A Division of Hill & Smith Infrastructure Ltd), 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 (image below, bridge girder)
HausBots LTD, Birmingham - to deliver a series of structures inspection by using a unique climbing robot with inspection sensors
Loop Infinity Ltd, London - to deliver a whole life carbon measurement and circular economy across assets within the highways estate
“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.,” says Dr Joanna White, National Highways roads development director. White was interviewed in the March 2023 edition of TTi magazine.
“In 2021 National Highways set out its Net Zero plan which includes a commitment to net zero emissions from construction and maintenance activity by 2040,” says Melissa Giusti, National Highways project manager. “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 National Highways is going to focus on.
“To address this, National Highways is 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.”