National Highways accelerator selects four low carbon firms

Companies have been chosen for the final stage of the Accelerating Low Carbon Innovation programme for roads, organised by National Highways in collaboration with Connected Places Catapult.

Four low carbon innovations promising significant environmental savings have been chosen to be trialled on the strategic road network, as part of a new demonstrator programme.

National Highways’ Accelerating Low Carbon Innovation programme, delivered by Connected Places Catapult, is a £1.7 million programme designed to find innovative solutions for net zero carbon maintenance and construction.

Each of the four chosen firms will receive up to £80,000 to make their vision a reality, on top of earlier grants of up to £30,000 where seven companies produced plans for their ideas.

The companies entering the trial phase will be assisted throughout by specialists from the Catapult and partners; and each firm has been paired with a tier one contractor to help deploy their innovation on the ground.

The successful firms taking their innovations to trial are:

Low Carbon Materials (LCM), Seaham – delivering a carbon negative aggregate for use in carbon neutral asphalt. The trial is supported by Skanska, and the innovation is set to be deployed on a section of the A428 improvement project in Cambridgeshire.

PRG (Scotland), Hamilton – producing a bitumen-like substance for road construction and repair, by reusing waste tyres. The trial involves Robert Gordon University and is supported by Jean Lefebvre UK (part of Vinci Group) and Amey.

Circular11, Christchurch – providing maintenance-free, low carbon boundary and acoustic insulation fencing, made from mixed low-grade plastic waste. The trial is being supported by Kier.

Asset International Structures, Cwmbran – developing smart fibre reinforced plastic bridge beams, featuring optical fibre for structural performance monitoring. The trial will take place on a Balfour Beatty site.

“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.”
Alex Weedon, Executive Director - SME Development and Academic Engagement, Connected Places Catapult
“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.”
Dr Joanna White, National Highways Roads Development Director