Scottish firm Kenoteq, winner of the 12th edition of the Sacyr Foundation Innovation Awards

  • KenoteQ submitted the best solution to the open innovation program Sacyr iChalleges, which received 276 proposals from 34 countries.
  • This Scotland-based firm presented a solution to the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the development phase of our projects.
  • Runner-up prize went to Israeli company ITC for their technology to promote sustainable urban mobility and reducing contamination.

Scottish firm KenoteQ has won the 12th edition of the Sacyr Innovation Awards by the Sacyr Foundation. The award-giving ceremony, which took place yesterday evening, was conducted by journalist Ángeles Blanco and counted on the presence of Juan Verde, expert in innovation and sustainable economy.

The Sacyr Foundation has recognized this firm’s solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by edification projects. Out of the 276 submissions, KenoteQ’s proposal is the one that adjusts best to one of the four challenges issued by Sacyr in the framework of its open innovation program, Sacyr iChallenges.

In addition, the Sacyr Foundation gave a runner-up prize to Israeli firm ITC, for their technology to promote sustainable mobility.

KenoteQ has developed the K-briq, the most sustainable brick product alternative available in the market. Over 90% of the composition of the K-briq is certified recycled construction and demolition waste. Its technical characteristics are comparable with or improve on that of traditional bricks, for their structure, resistance, acoustics, or lifespan. Additionally, it is more heat insulating than traditional bricks.

The production process does not require high-temperature firing, virgin cement, or large volumes of clay, making it a highly attractive alternative. It is a solution that allows to significantly reduce the emissions associated with the production of construction materials at our sites and given its maturity, has a high potential to be implemented in some of our projects that are in the design phase or that are scheduled to start shortly.

KenoteQ’s solution answers to the GHG in construction challenge issued in this edition of Sacyr iChallenges to find new solutions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the development phase of construction.

KenoteQ’s (United Kingdom), Fortera’s (United States) and EH Group’s (Switzerland) ideas were the finalists that best answered to this challenge.

Manuel Manrique, Chairman of Sacyr, highlighted that “since its creation, the company has dedicated itself to technical innovation for optimal project execution”. “Now, innovation has spread to all members of the organization, and we have surrounded ourselves by external innovation agents”, he explained.

"With innovation we are able to better respond to our clients and their present and future needs; with an ever-increasing focus on sustainability," Manrique added.

Runner-up goes to ITC

Furthermore, the Israeli firm ITC got the runner-up prize for its smart management and control traffic tool. This is a platform based on computer vision and machine learning algorithms to predict traffic patterns in real time and prevent traffic jams before they happen.

Their proposal allows to manage junctions with predictive models and act on them preventively. This product includes a strong tech element, which helps promote sustainable urban mobility with minimal infrastructure. This solution reduces pollution due to increased traffic fluidity and it improves the driving experience.

With this solution ITC answers to the sustainable urban mobility challenge in Sacyr iChallenges. The other two finalists for this challenge were Spot Parking (Australia) and Parabol (Türkiye).

In the Renewables challenge, that sought to increase the capacity for generating, storing, and harnessing renewable energy in our facilities, the finalists were H2Vector (Spain), The Predictive Company (Spain) and Ibis Power (Netherlands).

In the New materials challenge, aimed at promoting the recovery of waste from newly developed industries and existing streams of materials that are treated inefficiently, the finalist companies were Lohum (India), Miljøskærm (Denmark), APChemi (India).

276 proposals from 34 countries

Every year, the Sacyr Foundation recognizes the best initiatives submitted by the innovation community in Sacyr iChallenges, Sacyr’s open innovation program. This program is one of the core foundations in the company’s innovation and transformation strategy, based on a commitment to teamwork and co-creation with the innovation ecosystem worldwide.

In this fifth edition of the program, the company has focused on promoting sustainability, key foundation of the 2021-2025 Sacyr Sustainable Action Plan. With this plan, Sacyr is committed to contributing to the fight against climate change, with a significant increase in its investment on innovation for environmental protection.

This edition of Sacyr iChallenges, has received 276 proposals from 34 countries in total. After carefully examining all the submissions, the company selected 12 finalist agents from 10 countries: Spain, Demark, the Netherlands, India, Israel, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the United States, Australia, and Türkiye. These 12 agents were the ones that best addressed the challenges issued in this 5th edition.


Representatives from all over the world

With this open innovation program, Sacyr is looking for travel companions with whom to promote sustainable solutions that help improve the quality of life of citizens through better infrastructures and services.

All proposals received were assessed by a committee of experts integrated by responsible roles from different Sacyr business areas.

Portuguese firm NBI was the winner of last year’s 11th edition of the Sacyr Innovation Awards for their tool to measure the natural capital and impacts on the ecosystem services of Sacyr’s projects.

Runner-up prize went to German firm Heliatek that works on the field of organic photovoltaic energy and has developed solutions able to adapt to different building structures.

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