28 January 2011
The Royal Society Enterprise Fund announced this week that it has participated in a £1.6m funding round for Novacem, a company developing carbon negative cement. Novacem’s two other existing investors – Imperial Innovations and the London Technology Fund – also participated in the round. A new investor – Laing O’Rourke – has also joined the group.
The Royal Society Enterprise Fund first invested in Novacem as part of a funding round in August 2009.Novacem is developing a new generation of carbon negative cement systems based on magnesium oxide and offers the cement industry a scalable alternative to current carbon intensive production. The annual production of over 2.5 billion tonnes of Portland cement is already responsible for 5% of man-made global CO2 emissions, and cement volumes are expected to double by 2050.
No carbon emissions are released from the magnesium silicate raw material used, and overall more CO2 is absorbed than emitted during production. Novacem is currently working with a world-class eco-system of partners to accelerate deployment of its technology to market.
Novacem will use the £1.6m raised to continue the development of its carbon negative cement and manufacturing process, and to expand its commercial activities in the run up to a Series-A financing in mid-2011.
Sir Peter Williams FRS, Treasurer of the Royal Society, said:
“Novacem is exactly the type of company the Enterprise Fund was created to support: It is based on outstanding science, has enormous potential commercial opportunities but is nevertheless high-risk. Over the last year we’ve seen it grow in strength and we are very pleased to be able to participate in this next stage of it’s development.”
Novacem Chairman, Stuart Evans, commented:
“Cement is a truly vital strategic commodity but faces enormous challenges in a low carbon world. The addition of Laing O’Rourke to our investor group is exciting as we continue to build the eco-system of industrial partners to deploy our technology across the world. We are also delighted that our original investors have chosen to make follow-on investments. These both endorse the huge potential in the Novacem technology. This new investment makes us very excited about 2011.”