MRO Magazine

Sustainable Innovation Must Minimize Cost, Maximize Impact and Add Value to Convert Traditional Industry

July 5, 2016
By Business Wire News

DUNDEE, Scotland

Thomas Schuler, President and CEO of Solidia Technologies®, a cement and concrete technology startup, addressed leading engineers, academics and innovators in cement and concrete at the 9th Annual International Concrete Conference. In his talk, entitled “Sustainable Innovation on the Road to Market: Moving from the Lab to Global Impact for the Cement and Concrete Industries,” Schuler discussed the trials of bringing new technology to an industry that hasn’t changed in nearly 200 years and explained how Solidia’s solution was inspired directly by the industry’s CO2 challenge.

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Solidia Concrete™ blocks being removed from press (Photo: Business Wire)

Solidia Concrete™ blocks being removed from press (Photo: Business Wire)

“The road to market for innovative technologies is paved with risk and potholed with failure. To succeed, you must fail quickly…and recover,” explained Schuler. “The quickest way to introduce change into a market with longstanding traditions is to work especially hard at making it simple. Simple is hard, really hard. Such a change demands a solution that minimizes cost, maximizes impact and adds value.”

Solidia Technologies makes it easy and profitable to use CO2 to create superior and sustainable building materials. Its patented technology starts with a sustainable cement, cures concrete with CO2 instead of water, reduces carbon emissions up to 70 percent, and recycles 60 to 80 percent of the water used in production. Using the same raw materials and existing equipment as traditional concretes, the resulting CO2-cured concrete products are higher performing, cost less to produce, and cure in less than 24 hours, compared to the 28-day curing cycle required for traditional concrete products.

Recounting how the initial technological approach was off-course, Schuler shared how gathering market intelligence is critical for developing a technology that can meet industry where it exists today. “It takes a village to shepherd innovation to market: a cast of players, from start-ups to industry giants, investors to academics, all acting out distinct roles based on their resources, market knowledge, technological prowess, and tolerance for risk. The role of the start-up is to learn and then use that understanding to reduce the industry’s exposure to risk by rapidly managing the innovation process.”

Featuring the theme “Environment, Efficiency and Economic Challenges for Concrete,” this year’s International Concrete Conference addressed the many diverse aspects of concrete technology, including materials, sustainability, techniques, research and development, design, practice and economics. Papers drawn from all over the world brought together many disciplines, reflecting concrete’s importance, versatility and adaptability.

About Solidia Technologies®

Solidia Technologies® is a cement and concrete technology company that makes it easy and profitable to use CO2 to create superior and sustainable building materials. Based in Piscataway, N.J. (USA), Solidia’s investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Bright Capital, BASF, BP, LafargeHolcim, Total Energy Ventures, Bill Joy and other private investors. Honors include: 2016 Sustainia100, 2015 NJBiz Business of the Year; 2014 Global Cleantech 100; 2013 R&D Top 100; 2014 Best Place to Work in NJ; 2014 CCEMC Grand Challenge First Round finalist; 2013 Katerva Award finalist; and MIT’s Climate CoLab shortlist. Follow Solidia Technologies at and on LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter: @SolidiaCO2.

About the International Concrete Conference

Now in its ninth year, the International Concrete Conference gives all who are involved with concrete, be it a provider, user, researcher, designer, contractor or student, an opportunity to learn about the latest materials developments and understanding, to network and make contacts with experts and practitioners from around the world. Presentations of current trends and developments coupled with critical discussion and debate together with social interactions are the hallmark of the conference.

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