Welsh Government
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Innovative Welsh company shortlisted for top engineering award

Wales based Concrete Canvas is one of three finalists for the 2013 MacRobert Award - the premier award for UK innovation in engineering.

Previous finalists have included Microsoft, Jaguar, Airbus and IBM. The Award, first presented in 1969, recognises the successful development of innovative ideas in engineering and promotes the importance of engineering and the role of engineers and scientists in contributing to national prosperity and international prestige.

Pontypridd based Concrete Canvas specialises in the production of rolls of fabric impregnated with a dry concrete mix. When sprayed with water, the fabric which has an impervious PVC membrane on one side, hardens within 24 hours to create a hard, fibre reinforced, concrete layer.

Economy Minister Edwina Hart congratulated the company on its success and  said:

“Reaching the finals in such a prestigious competition is a significant achievement and I wish them every luck. The Welsh Government has worked with Concrete Canvas since 2007 when it began developing and commercialising its patented products in Wales, employing just three people. It now exports across the world.

“Its success is due to investment in research and development and a strong focus on innovation which is so important in an increasingly competitive global market. I am delighted to hear of their latest success.”

Concrete Canvas Director Peter Brewin said:

“Being shortlisted as one of the finalists for the MacRobert Award is fantastic for us. This highly prestigious award  recognises the game-changing potential of the innovative Concrete Canvas material in civil engineering, as well as well as the company’s exceptional growth, commitment to innovative research and its strong social and environmental credentials.

“The thorough and meticulous judging process has also acted as a spur for everyone in the company to achieve excellence during a period of rapid expansion.”

Its highly innovative technology has already earned the company numerous industry awards. Concert Canvas initially developed shelters that could be rapidly deployed for use in disaster relief and defence, but sales of its geo-composite fabric are now the main stay of the business and used in a range of areas from civil engineering projects to mining.

Concrete Canvas, whose clients include Network Rail, Environment Agency, Costain, Balfour Beatty and Carillion , won another innovation award this year when it was presented with the Railtex Award, at the Railtex Exhibition in April 2013.

Based on the Treforest Industrial Estate where it employs sixteen people, the company has seen turnover doubled year-on-year since 2008, with turnover tripling last year.

Exports now account for 85% of Concrete Canvas’ turnover, selling to forty countries around the world. It is benefiting from the Welsh Government’s support programmes to help Welsh companies trade internationally and has participated on a number of trade exhibition and missions.

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