SBRI: Decarbonising concrete

This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by Innovate UK. Organisations can apply for a share of £3 million, inclusive of VAT, in developing solutions to accelerate decarbonising concrete.

Deadline: 04 March 2024, 11am


Competition closes: 04 March 2024, 11am

Applicants notified: 29 March 2024

Project start date & duration: Start by 01 May 2024, last between 9 and 12 months


The aim of this competition is to make the commercial adoption of lower carbon concrete happen faster by:

  • addressing technical uncertainties in the formulation and use of innovative concrete, this can include production and the supply chain
  • addressing technical uncertainties in innovations within the production, supply chain and use of commercially available concretes

Innovative concretes are defined as types of concrete that are not fully commercially adopted due to technical uncertainties in their production, supply chain or use.

Specific Themes

Your project may include but is not limited to:

  • alternatives to Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) as a concrete binder, for example, calcined clay or combinations of calcined clay and limestone
  • improving the efficiency or optimisation of cement or concrete production
  • recycling of cement
  • additives that reduce the carbon footprint of new concrete structures
  • new construction techniques that take advantage of the properties of innovative concretes
  • using concrete to sequester carbon
  • investigating different concrete chemistry for reinforced concrete, if it shows clearly, it can decarbonise concrete

You must provide a real world demonstration of your innovation, or an equivalent approach that can be shown to accelerate commercial adoption.

Projects that will not be funded

Projects that:

  • use fresh fly ash or Ground Granulated Blast furnace Slag (GGBS) as principal Supplementary Cementitious Materials (SCMs), unless the innovation is actively looking to reduce their use
  • develop alternative fuels for cement production
  • develop Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) applied to cement production where this does not involve the captured carbon being sequestered in concrete
  • concern construction techniques that solely minimise the use of commercially available concrete
  • concern the replacement of concrete with other building materials
  • solely focus on additives without considering their use in concrete
  • are not original, in scope or duplicates someone else’s work


  • To lead a project, you can be an organisation of any size, working alone or in collaboration with other businesses, research organisations, RTOs or the third sector as subcontractors.
  • R&D work must be carried out in the UK and project results exploited from UK.
  • SBRI competitions involve procurement of R&D services at a fair market value and are not subject to subsidy control criteria that typically apply to grant funding.

Funding Rates

Total Research and Development (R&D) contracts will be up to £500,000, inclusive of VAT.

How PNO can support you

The UK team has a strong track record in securing some of the most competitive national and European grants on behalf of its clients, with a full understanding of how a project should be presented to stand the highest chance of success. Each year in the UK alone, we are responsible for the submission of more than 100 funding applications across all sectors and priority areas. Based on this extensive experience, through careful project selection and using key insight into how a project should be best positioned, we consistently achieve success rates that are more than 5 times the typical success rates for UK national schemes and EU programmes.

For further information or to discuss a project idea please contact PNO Consultants: 0161 488 3488 or fill out the contact form below.

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