28 April 2023 | Collaboration | Innovation | Our Work

Innovation Festival: Knowsley Council and Asphalt-IQ commence trial project

In the lead up to the 2023 Innovation Festival, which will take place between 4-5 July at Newark Showground, LCRIG is providing regular updates from last year’s winning innovators who have been paired with local authorities to develop or facilitate a trial of their product or solution on each of the council’s networks.

This week, we hear from the winner of the Green Estate category – Asphalt-IQ – which has commenced a pilot project with Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council that will see the local authority use its Road Surfacing Carbon Emissions Calculator and Smart Tag System.

Asphalt IQ has developed an innovative system for calculating the carbon emissions of any road surfacing project. The system utilises the company’s novel Smart A-Tag in conjunction with a Smartphone App called Carbon-IQ.

The app enables on site, geo located calculation of the carbon emissions associated with asphalt production, transportation and surfacing activities. The calculation is completed in less than 60 seconds and the record is uploaded to the Smart A-Tag which is embedded into the asphalt pavement giving a permanent record of carbon stored within the road itself.

The information contained in the Smart A-Tag can be accessed with a simple tap of a smartphone up to years later, enabling the road to “Speak for Itself” and tell its own carbon history. Since the Carbon-IQ app records all associated scope 1,2, and 3 carbon emissions from the surfacing works, a “carbon audit” ready record is created which can be accessed through a unique desktop dashboard. For the first time, accurate, asphalt surfacing carbon information is available at the asset owners fingertips enabling baselines and benchmarks to be created for the journey to “net zero”.

Ellimay Cross – Principal Engineer – Highway Infrastructure Maintenance – Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council, said: “LCRIG’s Innovation Festival introduced us to several new technologies and processes and we were excited to be paired with the winner of the “Green Estate” award, Asphalt-IQ. Understanding and accurately calculating and recording the carbon footprint of highways maintenance works will be critical if we are to meet our carbon reduction obligations in the coming years. We have now commenced a pilot project with Asphalt-IQ which will enable us to measure the carbon of the full suite of our roadworks, from the largest maintenance scheme down to hand lay crews repairing potholes and patches.”

Gary Cook – Managing Director Asphalt-IQ Ltd, added: “The Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council pilot project has given us a great understanding of the specific needs of the authority. Through early collaborative engagement we have been able to build a solution together that calculates the emissions associated with every stage of the asphalt production and laying process. This includes all materials, equipment and transportation emissions which are measured and GPS recorded directly at the time of construction. We believe that our experience with Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council can be the blueprint for every local authority to understand their road surfacing carbon footprint and we look forward to sharing the results of our pilot at the upcoming LCRIG Innovation Festival.”

The LCRIG Innovation Festival, which took place at Newark Showground in July 2022, was a first of its kind event – giving qualifying innovators the chance to receive funding or secure trials.

In advance of the Festival, a number of local authorities committed to making their networks available for trials and a portion of all exhibition space and sponsor sales at the event was put into the LCRIG / Steve Berry Innovation Fund.

The winners of each category and the council they have been paired with are as follows:

Fleet & Equipment – Multevo – Multi-purpose dual fuel hydrogen vehicle – East Riding of Yorkshire Council.  
Health & Safety – WJ – ThermoPrint – Blackburn with Darwen Council.
Highway Defects – QROS – QED Hydrocarbon Analyser – Wigan Council.
Winter maintenance – Rennicks – Internet of Things Weather Station – Bolton Council.
Watercourse management – Kaarbontech – Risk SMART Drainage Management – Wigan Council
Green Estate – Asphalt-IQ – Road Surfacing Carbon Emissions Calculator and Smart Tag System – Knowsley Council.


Local authority delegates were asked to judge entries from Qualifying Innovators over the two days of the event. All scores were then collated at the end of the festival and the LCRIG Infrastructure Innovation Board reviewed the results, before making a final decision on the winning innovations. Details of each of the winners can be found here.

As part of the conference programme at this year’s Festival, LCRIG are planning to put on an interactive session where some of the pairings will be given an opportunity to provide a brief update on where they are up to with the process and answer questions from those in attendance.

LCRIG Innovation Festival 2023

Last year’s inaugural event saw more than 450 delegates including 60 different highway authorities in attendance over 2-days.

The Innovation Festival is an event where products, solutions, new innovations and techniques can be displayed and demonstrated over a range of live demonstration sessions ands the overarching theme for this year’s event is ‘Showcasing emerging technology and maintenance solutions’.

The festival provides an opportunity for organisations to showcase innovative products and solutions that will support our local authority members with their immediate and future challenges.

Sponsorship and exhibitor packages available include:

  • Award Sponsorship
  • Indoor exhibitor spaces
  • Outdoor static stand spaces
  • Outdoor static space + outdoor live demonstration opportunity
  • Individual delegate package

Public sector delegates – Fully funded places are available for public sector delegates attending this year’s event.

To find out more and book your place, please visit the Innovation Festival website or contact us at [email protected].