In search of innovation

InterCement forms partnerships with universities and research centers in Brazil, Portugal and Argentina

Monday, September 30, 2013 - 12:25
Partner institutions include Poli-USP, UFSCar, IST from Lisbon and IAE Business School, in Argentina Partner institutions include Poli-USP, UFSCar, IST from Lisbon and IAE Business School, in Argentina

In 2013, InterCement has invested in partnerships and projects aimed at improving its efficiency and seeking sustainable solutions for its business chain. In April, the company became the sponsor of a research center for sustainable construction at the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo (Poli-USP).

The research project, which focuses on the civil construction industry and has investments of R$ 5 million, develops pioneer studies on eco-efficient concrete, which has low environmental impact, with significant reductions on the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere and power consumption.

In Portugal, the company signed a scientific and technological cooperation agreement with Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), in Lisbon, to develop the "More and Better – InterCement and IST for Innovation and Technological Development" Program.  The initiative is the result of an old partnership with Cimpor, which developed a new line of clinkers (a byproduct from the production of cement), capable of reducing in around 25% the CO2 emissions associated to the concrete manufacturing process. 

Another investment made by the cement company was the agreement signed with IAE Business School, in Argentina, in which InterCement invested US$ 100 thousand to develop a Research Center for Innovation and Strategy inside the university campus. The company will help define the agenda for activities and research, contests, workshops and other points.

Concluding the investments for the first half of the year, InterCement once again reinforced its work with academic institutions and is funding, since June, research to reduce the CO2 emissions in the national cement industry, with three research centers at federal universities.

The first agreement, signed with UFSCar (Federal University of São Carlos) and UFSM (Federal University of Santa Maria), studies the CO2 biofixation system through the cultivation of cyanobacteria and microalgae, capable of retaining CO2 in their photosynthesis process. The expectation is that biofixation has the potential to neutralize 30% of emissions.

The second agreement, conducted with ESALQ (Higher Agriculture School of Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz, from USP) and UFC (Federal University of Ceará), is targeted at the use of biomass from algae to aquiculture and feeding of fish and shrimp. For that, InterCement took into account the growing demand for food in the production chain and studies that point to higher added value in the operation.