When talking about Start-Up incubators, most people probably think of IT geeks developing the technologies of tomorrow and not necessarily of a building materials provider shaping the future of construction. However, for LafargeHolcim innovation is key to improve the way we build and to provide construction solutions to some of the world’s major challenges, such as urbanization and climate change. With our Research and Development Center in Lyon and our network of development labs (CDLs), the Group has a strong position to tackle these challenges. And now we will push innovation even further: LafargeHolcim created a Start-Up Accelerator, a new international program to host Start-Up companies from around the globe to help them create the building and infrastructure solutions of tomorrow. The selected Start-Ups will not only gain access to offices, meeting spaces and laboratory equipment, but will more importantly benefit from the network of technical experts and marketing professionals of LafargeHolcim and its project partners.
Gérard Kuperfarb, Group Head Growth and Innovation at LafargeHolcim explains: "With the Start-up Accelerator we are making a commitment to support young companies specializing in construction materials and construction solutions. We can offer them a sophisticated laboratory environment and access to years of experience in creating and applying building materials in thousands of projects and challenging environments around the world."
The Accelerator will be managed by an independent Operator. A committee consisting of Industrial and Business partners from along the construction value chain will function as an advisory body for the Start-Ups. They will provide valuable market insights and coach them in successfully launching their product. The first Start-Up companies are expected to join the facility mid-2017. The target is to host companies on a regular basis.
"We believe that the start-ups will bring new ideas and new solutions that will change the face of construction in the coming years. We are committed to looking for new solutions for our customers so having the opportunity to bring innovation close to our own R&D will be invaluable," says Gérard Kuperfarb.