Play Video

Current business

GCALS upcycles alum sludge from drinking water treatment into a binding material for construction with comparable features to portland cement. This binding material – calcined alum sludge is used to produce sandcrete blocks, CSEB. The product can replace up to 20% of portland cement for sandcrete block production. GCALS aims to develop a groundbreaking product that serves as a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to clinker, the main raw material for Portland cement production. Additionally, the product will be further refined to act as a versatile tile binder for tiling work. Apart from the ‘green’ sandcrete block underlying the core of the business model, we aim to add the following services:

  1. ’Quick Credible Testing’
  2. ’Customised Advisory on Improved Recipe’.

These two services are complementary to the binding material production since that product would be the main go to for quality improvement and standardisation. We want to diversify the product for a more niched ecosystem. We want to research and develop the product to become a replacer for clinker which is the main raw material for portland cement production. We also want to make it useful for tiling works as a tile binder.

Our innovation concept

Sustainable Building Solutions from Alum Sludge

Our innovation capitalizes on calcined alum sludge from drinking water plants. We aim to create an alternative binding agent for construction and manufacture ready- to-use building blocks from this resource. Furthermore, we’ll enhance artisans’ technical expertise to maximize the benefits of this novel product.

What problem / societal challenge is our innovation concept solving from the perspective of our paying customers and end users?

  • Price Stability: Ensures stable prices for customers amid global raw material challenges.
  • Quality Assurance and Standardisation: Quick credible testing and use of quality material advisory to meet standard and regulation for mostly informal block manufacturers.
  • Resilience to Disruptions: Reduces vulnerability to supply chain disruptions and shortages.
  • Environmental Impact: Allows customers to reduce their carbon footprint and adopt eco-friendly options.
  • Local Economic Development: Stimulates local economy, creates jobs, and supports businesses.
  • National Self-Reliance: Reduces reliance on imports, strengthening national economic security.
  • Increased Accessibility: Improves availability of materials, especially in remote areas.
  • Sustainability: Sets an example for sustainable construction practices.

What Research and Development (mandatory) is needed for our innovation?

  1. Clinker Replacement and Tile Binder Formulation: Extensive R&D is required to develop and refine the formulation of the clinker replacement and tile binder. This involves experimenting with different materials and proportions for recipes that can achieve optimal performance and meet industry standards.

  2. Design and Technology Development: R&D efforts will focus on designing and developing the innovative clinker replacement and tile binder, ensuring it meets industry specifications, standards, and customer requirements.
  1. Manufacturing Process Optimization: Developing an efficient and scalable manufacturing process is vital to ensure the product can be produced in large quantities while maintaining consistent quality.

  2. Intellectual Property Rights: Researching and securing any necessary intellectual property rights, such as patents or trademarks, is essential to protect the innovation from potential infringement and maintain a competitive edge in the market.

  3. Performance Testing and Quality Assurance: Rigorous testing and quality assurance procedures are necessary to ensure the clinker replacement and tile binder meet industry standards and exhibit the desired characteristics for construction applications.

What and how big is the impact of our innovation concept – SDG goals?

  • SDG 6 – Clean water and sanitation
  • SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth
  • SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11- Sustainable cities and communities
  • SDG 13 – Climate Action

What technical expertise do we need to develop a successful innovation? What are the associated technical research and development questions?

  • Technical Expertise needed
    • Knowledge of best practices and user experience
    • Product development
    • Right tools/software for user development, marketing, sales
    • Knowledge management, monitoring, evaluation and learning
  • Associated questions
    • What are the best practices in the sector?
    • What simple tools are needed?
    • M&E set up and practical log frame

What economic and commercial expertise do we need to develop a successful innovation? What are the associated economic and commercial research and development questions?

  • Economic and commercial expertise needed
    • Economic concepts – demand, supply, cost, benefit, sustainability, production, efficiency
    • Research skills – effective forecasting, inflation projection
    • Effective team work
    • Managerial, regulation and legislation
    • Fund raising

  • Associated questions
    • How can we effectively forecast the market and project revenues, P&L?
    • Bankable proposal and effective fund raising?

Is your company a match?

It is no longer possible to submit an EoI.