23 June 2022 | Innovation | Net Zero | Our Work

View from the top: Making the case for innovation

Last week myself and Ian Large, chair of our Innovation Board, were both involved at Traffex by speaking in one of the theatres about innovation. Just days before the two of us were involved in looking at a new bitumen replacement product for the market to help the sector move towards Net Zero. The aim is to replace a percentage of the binder with a product known as Lignin, a plant-derived polymer found in almost all dry-land plants, including trees. The company who we spoke to who is offering to replace a portion of liquid binder in asphalt mix designs is Stora Enso who focus on a range of carbon friendly products. Whilst some trials have commenced, and initial signs are good, I have to acknowledge these are early days and it may take some time before products of this nature become mainstream.

That said, I emphasised the point at Traffex, as I have done on many previous occasions, that the adoption of new innovations in the highways sector is too slow, mainly because of the barriers we erect and the fact we let traditions dominate. Unless we come together as an entire sector, and share the risks properly around new innovations, we will continue to stifle the process and our innovators like Stora Enso will turn their gaze to other, more welcoming sectors.

I will hope to see many of you at our Innovation Festival on 6/7th July at Newark Showground to join other vanguards who are leading the way in changing things for the better in our sector.

Don’t forget to register for the LCRIG Innovation Festival by visiting: https://innovationfestival.lcrig.org.uk