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LafargeHolcim announces new partnership with Southeast University in Nanjing

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Cement,

LafargeHolcim has announced its latest partnership with Southeast University in Nanjing, China, where it is sponsoring research into concrete and mortars for on-site 3D printing.

The company is using 3D printing to make construction more efficient while lowering its carbon footprint, aiming to become a full 3D printing solutions provider.

Professor Yamei Zhang of Southeast University says: "My team and I have been working on sustainable concrete and the development of 3D printing concrete technology. The partnership with LafargeHolcim will allow us to take it to the next level."

“Our global network of academic partners is critical in helping us think outside the box. We need the brightest minds to help us lead the next frontier of building solutions,” emphasises Edelio Bermejo, Head of R&D for LafargeHolcim.

This research is the latest step in broadening LafargeHolcim’s distinguished academic network. The company works with 40 leading university departments around the world in fields ranging from materials science to civil engineering to sustainable construction. Many of the PhD students from the network go on to become employees of LafargeHolcim, helping to develop visionary innovations.

LafargeHolcim currently finances two university chairs advancing sustainable construction, one at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland, and one at the École des Ponts ParisTech in Paris, France. Other partnerships across the network are driving innovation in low-carbon and resource-efficient buildings, as well as resilience and durability of concrete structures, taking place at such prestigious institutions as IIT Madras (Chennai, India), Cape Town University (South Africa), TU Braunschweig (Germany) and University of Cambridge (UK). Announcements on further partnerships are expected in the coming months.

LafargeHolcim also strengthens its innovation network by partnering with hundreds of start-ups around the world that are experts in fields such as AI and digitalisation. In this spirit, LafargeHolcim is currently organising the first 3D printing hackathon, calling on the world’s smartest students to pioneer new solutions for more effective and efficient housing construction. All these collaborations help expand the company’s offering of low-carbon products and solutions as part of its journey to net zero.

LafargeHolcim leads a large R&D organisation in the industry with six innovation centres serving customers across all its markets, employing 300 researchers and drawing on 1500 active patents. The company dedicates 55% of its innovation resources to advancing green construction with 45% of its patents in this area today.

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