ArcelorMittal launches XCarb™ Accelerator Programme to support breakthrough technology start-ups and drive decarbonisation

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ArcelorMittal has today launched its search for the best companies and brightest ideas focused on breakthrough technologies which hold the potential to accelerate the decarbonisation of the steel industry.

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25/05/2022 |
  • Arcelormittal

Breakthrough technology start-ups worldwide are invited to submit applications to compete for investment from ArcelorMittal’s XCarb™ Innovation Fund, which aims to invest up to US$100 million annually in such transformative technologies, and access to ArcelorMittal’s advice and expertise in innovation, research and development, technology commercialisation and business mentorship.

Aligned with ArcelorMittal’s purpose, ‘Smarter steels for people and planet’, the XCarb™ Innovation Fund invests in companies with the potential to accelerate the transition to low, and ultimately zero, carbon emissions steelmaking, enabling them to develop more quickly and achieve the scale needed for their technologies to become commercially viable.

This year, finalists will be invited to pitch their ideas at an Accelerator Day for the chance to secure investment support from the fund to scale up their pioneering projects and help drive progress towards a lower emissions future. The support on offer is not just monetary, successful applicants will also have access to:

  • Unparalleled industry expertise and advice
  • Industry leading research centres and R&D programs to accelerate technological development
  • Commercial expertise regarding technologies, IP protection and global roll-out
  • Significant back office and group functional capability to enable scale-up and speed up time to market

Applicants will need to be registered start-ups with concepts for commercially scalable technologies that hold strong potential to decarbonise steelmaking. Eligible start-ups can apply from anywhere in the world as the fund is keen to make investments in the most innovative technology on a global basis, to support ArcelorMittal’s decarbonisation journey. First round submissions are due in by 20 June with more details about the programme and how to apply available at https://corporate.arcelormittal.com/climate-action/xcarb/xcarb-innovation-fund/xcarb-accelerator-programme.

Submissions are invited across seven distinct technology domains:

  1. Disruption in steelmaking (processes and technologies)
  2. Waste to gas or biocarbon (innovative ways to convert waste)
  3. Gases reforming/Gases transformation technologies
  4. Disruptive hydrogen technologies
  5. Carbon capture, utilisation and storage (specifically carbon capture with transformation to chemicals/fuel or permanent sequestration/mineralisation)
  6. Long-term, large-scale energy storage technologies
  7. Clean energy technologies

The Accelerator Day itself will take place in mid-late July (final date TBC) with finalists having the opportunity to present their company and pitch their pioneering technologies in front of a panel of industry-experts.

Commenting, Aditya Mittal, CEO of ArcelorMittal, said: “The need to reduce GHG emissions is one of the greatest investment requirements of our time. Steel can make a huge contribution to the decarbonisation of the global economy and at ArcelorMittal we are committed to leading our industry’s efforts, and to accelerate the speed of our progress. Advancing the development of the technologies and processes which are pivotal to our industry’s transition is a very important element of this.”

Irina Gorbounova, Head of the XCarb Innovation Fund™, added: “We already have an industry-leading suite of decarbonisation technologies under development but we are always looking for further opportunities to accelerate our progress. This competition provides us with an exciting platform to get involved with and support the best and brightest ideas which can decarbonise our industry. The winners will reap enormous benefits - access to potential funding, commercial and research support, unrivalled knowledge and industry networks that they need in order to scale up their development. Our Accelerator Day provides an opportunity for start-ups to exploit the full potential of their technologies and ensure they have a meaningful impact on our company, our industry and the world as a whole.”

ArcelorMittal’s XCarb™ Innovation Fund

Since its launch in March last year, ArcelorMittal XCarb™ Innovation Fund has already committed US$180 million in projects and technologies which are accelerating the decarbonisation of the steel industry transition. To date, its investments have spanned four companies developing cutting edge technologies in the fields of renewable energy, long-term energy storage, carbon recycling and green hydrogen. They are:

  1. Heliogen, a renewable energy company which harnesses solar energy by using a field of mirrors which act as a multi-acre magnifying glass to concentrate and capture sunlight;
  2. Form Energy, which is developing a breakthrough energy storage technology;
  3. LanzaTech, which focuses on capturing carbon-rich waste gases from the steelmaking process and converting them into sustainable fuels and chemicals; and
  4. H2Pro, a market disruptor producing green hydrogen through the electrolysis of water.

In addition, ArcelorMittal is an anchor partner in Breakthrough Energy’s Catalyst program, committing to an equity investment of $100 million over a five year period. Founded by Bill Gates, Breakthrough Energy is committed to scaling the technologies the world needs to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Breakthrough Energy’s efforts include investment vehicles, philanthropic programs and policy advocacy. Its Catalyst program is a new model for how companies, governments, and private philanthropy can finance, produce, and ensure widespread adoption of next-generation clean technologies.

For more information about the XCarb™ Innovation Fund and to understand how start-ups can secure their place at the Accelerator Day final, please see https://corporate.arcelormittal.com/climate-action/xcarb/xcarb-innovation-fund/xcarb-accelerator-programme.

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