Solid waste is an inevitable by-product of most industrial manufacturing processes and its disposal can be costly, both for businesses and for the environment. Avertana’s proprietary technology refines industrial waste streams from steelmaking into valuable mineral and chemical products with less cost and CO2 emissions, using innovative chemistry and novel process design. With the help of the Ārohia Trailblazer Innovation Grant, Avertana is working to create more sustainable, resilient supply chains by lowering the cost and environmental impact of essential raw materials used to make everyday products.
Who are Avertana?
Avertana’s licensed technologies give manufacturers a cost-effective way both to reduce waste and produce high-quality raw materials. In 2014, the founders saw an opportunity to connect large industrial waste streams with global commodity markets, while at the same time substantially reducing environmental impacts. Avertana has attracted a strong, diverse team, including well-regarded specialists in their chosen fields, dedicated to positively transforming the way that industry sources raw materials and deals with waste.
Avertana’s benefits to the innovation ecosystem
Avertana’s patented process and its proprietary cement additive product are new and unique, creating both a new market and product category, along with new supply chain opportunities. The innovation and R&D capability developed by the company is distinctive and Avertana operates some of the most advanced laboratories and process piloting facilities of their type in the Southern hemisphere, generating new knowledge for the sector.
Many of their team members are from overseas and have been able to settle in New Zealand, and the specialised nature of the business means the company is likely to continue to attract overseas talent to New Zealand in future. Avertana has open, collaborative relationships with various non-competing peers in the New Zealand ‘deep tech’ ecosystem, frequently providing advice and support to earlier-stage startups and engaging with other emerging peer companies in New Zealand and abroad.
What the panel had to say about Avertana:
Avertana presented a fantastic opportunity which is likely to have great global impact at scale. The applicant should be viewed as an ambassador for Aotearoa New Zealand.
The panel commented on their honesty and transparency during their presentation, demonstrating their willingness to think about and respond to challenging questions.
The Avertana team demonstrated a true passion and evidence for how they are sharing their learnings and experiences in this area with other innovative businesses.
How Avertana will be investing their grant
The grant will be used to support the scale up of Avertana's proprietary technology from pilot plant to a customer-funded industrial demonstration facility, followed by deployment in commercial scale plants. Funding is required to turn Avertana’s technical data into an engineering design suitable for a customer to turn into detailed design, additional expert technical support, IP strategy, legal support, and other professional services.
We are very appreciative of Callaghan Innovation’s support through the Ārohia Trailblazer Grant to help us commercialise our technology, moving from pilot plant technical data to an engineering package that our customer can use to build a large industrial chemical manufacturing plant, using waste as a feedstock. As a small company from New Zealand, we are proud to have developed a technology that China’s steelmakers see as an important pathway to unlocking the value contained in their waste steel slag. China is very proactive in exploring more sustainable, circular economy opportunities in steelmaking and we are excited to take New Zealand innovation there to make this a reality.
Mike Oliver, Avertana CEO