Elizabeth Gilligan, a Queen’s University Belfast graduate and founder of Material Evolution, was recently named on a Forbes list of 30 under 30.
Material Evolution has secured a total of $ 3.4 million, including $ 1.7 million in initial investment and $ 1.7 million in grants, to help make the cement industry more sustainable.
The company was founded in 2017 by Dr. Elizabeth Gilligan, a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast. He is now based in Teesside in the UK, where his team is working on developing a sustainable alternative to commonly used cement using geopolymers.
The startup’s oversubscription round of financing was led by London-based Playfair Capital, with participation from At One Ventures, The Heritage Group and SkyRiver Ventures. Investors from the construction industry, including Applebridge Construction Group and Milestone Construction, also participated.
The grant award came from Innovate UK, which is part of UK Research and Innovation, and its Transforming Foundation Industries Challenge.
The investment will allow material evolution to scale production and continue to develop your product. It has already developed a material that is made from 95% industrial waste and which it says reduces the carbon consumption of concrete by 85% compared to traditional ordinary Portland cement.
The company uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to ensure its batch quality is consistent and it has a waiting list for its product.
“Concrete is the second most used material in the world after water, and cement is equivalent to approximately 8 percent of our global CO2 emissions. We need to build much more sustainably if we are to achieve our ambitious net zero goals, ”said Gilligan.
“We were delighted to have a funding round with a large number of underwriters and investors on board who share our vision and passion for decarbonizing the foundation industries through advanced materials.”
Gilligan, who has a Ph.D. in architecture from Queen’s, was appears on the Forbes 30 under 30 list this year for manufacturing and industry.
In 2019, she what one of the 12 finalists in Catalyst’s annual Invent competition featuring Northern Ireland’s best innovators.
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