Eco coastal defence technology wins LCR Launchpad

Eco-friendly sea-walls to prevent coastal flooding will be developed between Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) and a global firm, thanks to funding from Innovate UK’s ground-breaking Launchpad programme.

Liverpool John Moores University

This week, £5.5 million for Liverpool City Region was announced for Launchpad, which supports innovations based on net zero and digital technologies.

One of 23 funded projects, the eco-friendly ‘concrete’ blocks are being developed for coastal protection by Virtus Concrete Solutions in conjunction with Liverpool John Moores University.

The Geo-blocks further develop materials designed in the School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment, by Dr Monower Sadique and Dr Iacopo Carnacina.

Dr Sadique, a reader in construction materials, has created a process for manufacturing extremely low carbon cement-free concrete blocks from industrial and construction wastes.

He said: “This project is the first of this kind to mitigate and reduce the carbon footprint of coastal protection and improve their durability and resilience by designing new breakwater elements that use recycled cement-free concrete using materials recovered from wastes generated from three different sectors (paper, glass, construction and demolition wastes).”

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “It is fantastic to see our Launchpad status starting to bear fruit with this first £5.5m of funding coming into the region.”

“This is about attracting more innovation funding into our region and the wider North, helping us to create secure, well-paid jobs and training opportunities for local people.”

Successful projects receive between £128,000 and £694,000.