CarbonCure wins global Carbon XPRIZE competition


Dartmouth, Nova Scotia-based cleantech startup CarbonCure Technologies has taken home $7.5 million USD after winning the grand prize at the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE competition.

CarbonCure’s mission is to reduce embodied carbon in the built environment by 500 million tonnes annually by 2030.

The global competition, which took place in three rounds over 54 months, challenged participants to develop technologies to convert carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions into usable products.

CarbonCure was one of two grand prize winners, with the other being Los Angeles-based CarbonBuilt.

Founded in 2012, CarbonCure implements carbon capture solutions by storing CO₂ and recycling waste from concrete products. The startup’s mission is to reduce embodied carbon in the built environment by 500 million tonnes annually by 2030.

CarbonCure’s XPRIZE project saw the company decarbonize the carbon-intensive process of concrete production. CarbonCure became one of 38 shortlisted contenders for the Carbon XPRIZE in 2015, and in 2020, completed its final technology demonstration in Alberta.

The final round introduced CarbonCure’s commercial technology to facilitate the production of concrete with reduced water, cement, and carbon intensity.

Jennifer Wagner, CarbonCure’s president and leader of Team CarbonCure for the competition, said the $7.5 million USD will be used to accelerate the startup’s mission to reduce 500 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually by 2030. The company is also investing a portion of the prize funds into social equity initiatives.

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“Climate change can seem like an insurmountable challenge,” said Wagner. “Team CarbonCure and our fellow Carbon XPRIZE contenders have demonstrated that the challenge is surmountable and that we have the solutions available today to create meaningful change.”

The win is a significant one for CarbonCure Technologies, which has been increasingly recognized in the Canadian tech ecosystem and abroad over the last year.

In early 2020, CarbonCure won the Breakthrough Energy Solutions Canada initiative, a project led by federal government agency Natural Resources Canada, aimed at accelerating the development of cleantech. In September, Shopify announced it had purchased carbon offsets from CarbonCure through the e-commerce giant’s Sustainability Fund.

More recently, CarbonCure was named to the 2021 Narwhal List, and is now one of 51 companies noted as on track to become Unicorns, meaning it is on track to attain a valuation of over $1 billion.

CarbonCure has also been recognized as one of Atlantic Canada’s most promising startups, being included as one of the seven startups to watch in the region for this year.

Image source CarbonCure.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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