Hello Tomorrow Global Challenge Leonard unveils the winner of the challenge “Sustainable Construction and Infrastructure”

Hello Tomorrow Global Challenge - Leonard dévoile le gagnant du challenge «Construction et infrastructures durables»
Paris, March 26, 2024 – The Global Summit, a worldwide gathering of Deep Tech, organized by Hello Tomorrow, concluded with the announcement of the standout startups from its challenges. Leonard, VINCI's platform for foresight and innovation and a partner of the event for the fifth consecutive year, contributed to selecting the winner of one of its challenges in the category of "Sustainable Construction and Infrastructure." At the conclusion of this competition in the Deep Tech market, Leonard, alongside experts from VINCI, rewarded the Chilean startup Photio, which offers a solution enabling a new approach to construction through the photosynthesis process.

Photio, a solution for decarbonizing materials, winner of Leonard’s partner challenge.

The winner of the Hello Tomorrow Global Challenge in Leonard’s partner category ” Sustainable Construction and Infrastructure ” is Chilean Cleantech Photio. This technology uses nanomimetics as the basis for its developments, with the aim of reproducing processes that occur in the living world, such as photosynthesis: it reacts with light to promote a unique decontamination process, which is responsible for breaking down a large proportion of greenhouse gases and atmospheric pollutants. Photio applies to mass-use materials such as paints, fabrics, plastics, asphalt and concrete.

Among the 7 finalists, Photio’s technological lead made the difference. The jury also appreciated the ambition and potential impact of this air pollution control solution, which, if widely used, could help turn the built world into an ally of the environment and health,” points out Kevin Cardona, Leonard’s Director of Entrepreneurial Innovation Programs. Awarded a prize on the Global Summit stage, Photio now has access to Leonard’s network of experts.

Photio’s ability to offer a disruptive technological solution with a high environmental impact gives us great hope for the future of the built world, and perfectly illustrates Leonard’s ambition to support the emergence of Deep Tech solutions to meet the challenges of the construction world, as we have been doing for the past four years alongside Hello Tomorrow,” comments Julien Villalongue, CEO of Leonard.

Photio succeeds Strong By Form, the 2023 winner, which Leonard is supporting to accelerate the market launch of a new wood-based material using AI and advanced robotics to replace steel, concrete and aluminum in construction and mobility.

Photio was one of a shortlist of 7 start-up finalists, all selected for their innovative and disruptive proposals, details of which can be found below:

  • Adept Materials (United States) Developing climate-regulating construction materials for more sustainable buildings
  • ClimAd Technology (Netherlands) Optimizing energy use with smart glass films that enable heat and light management in buildings
  • ecoLocked (Germany) Turning buildings into carbon sinks
  • Kestrix (United Kingdom) Using mass thermal image capture and AI to scale building retrofit
  • Mimicrete (United Kingdom) Developing self-healing concrete solutions that autonomously repair cracks
  • Ultra High Materials (United States) Ultra-low carbon high-performance concrete delivering 80-90% less CO2 and better durability at lower cost

Global Summit: the must-attend event for Deep Tech in France

The Global Summit, supported by Hello Tomorrow, brought together 3,500 participants this year at 104 in Paris. Every year, its challenges attract thousands of international project leaders proposing innovative solutions, at a benchmark event for the global Deep Tech ecosystem. The solutions they put forward involve disruptive technologies or techniques considered to be highly innovative.

Of the 4,000 start-ups that tried their luck this year, the 70 projects selected to take part in the final were chosen for their viability, their innovative character and their positive impact on climate and societal challenges.

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