Concrete is the most used product in the world, after water. Our civilisation is literally built on it. But cement, concrete’s key ingredient, accounts for 8% of global greenhouse emissions. Ārohia Trailblazer Neocrete are using Roman innovation and nanotechnology to replace cement in concrete with activated volcanic ash, with no loss in workability or strength.
Who are Neocrete?
Neocrete is a Kiwi start-up focused on replacing cement with a new low-carbon binder made from their nano-engineered Neocrete Activator. It activates pozzolans (volcanic ash), a low-cost, abundant resource available on te Ika-a-Māui / North Island. Their previous generation activator has been used by Kainga Ora, City Rail Link and eHaus. Their mission is to reduce global emissions by 1% each year from 2033 using their technology and product.
Innovation ecosystem benefits
Neocrete’s products have a huge potential for the construction sector in Aotearoa New Zealand, as well as the broader innovation ecosystem, by creating a whole new product category for the sector. Neocrete has already set up a high-tech lab in Parnell and are also planning to set up a Neocrete Innovation Centre for testing applications where their product could be used as a replacement for concrete, such as 3D printing.
Neocrete has proudly worked with numerous partners in New Zealand over the last four years and has shared significant new knowledge with them. They have exciting plans to use the Neocrete Innovation Centre as a forum to share knowledge with future and existing partners to further drive innovation in the construction sector.
What the panel had to say about Neocrete:
Neocrete made a strong application in terms of impact to the industry and innovation ecosystem, commercial potential, and additional environmental benefits.
The team demonstrated the customer problem, the market impact and pressing need for this innovation. Their presentation highlighted the early stage nature of the business and the impressive pace at which the applicant is moving.
Neocrete is a young, agile, fast-moving and trailblazing business that is a worthy recipient of the Ārohia Grant.
How Neocrete will be investing their grant
Neocrete will use the Ārohia Full Grant funding they receive to secure patents and intellectual property and finalise their minimum viable product . Funding will also contribute toward setting up their manufacturing capability at their pilot plant and preparing marketing and promotions to get the product ready for market.
Neocrete’s vision is to create a new building block for the world that absorbs carbon dioxide rather than releasing it and is more resilient to the impacts of climate change, reducing global carbon emissions by 1% each year. Change at this scale will require more than just one business – it will require an ecosystem. We founded Neocrete in New Zealand because we want to build this ecosystem here – working together with the other amazing innovators in Aotearoa. This grant is a huge milestone to helping us achieve this vision and we’re proud to call ourselves Innovation Trailblazers.
Zarina Bazeova, Neocrete Managing Director