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Seaham-based Sphera is sole UK company to complete WSP’s influential USA Emerging Growth Partnership Programme

Seaham-based Sphera, developer of raw materials for the built environment, has completed a place on the WSP USA Emerging Growth Partnership Programme, following a meeting at the OneVoice, North East England Construction Summit 2021.

The Summit delivered by Constructing Excellence in the North East, provided an opportunity for delegates to hear from key national and regional leaders as to how the industry is transforming to meet new challenges.

It will return this year on 24 November at Ramside Hall Hotel.

It was at last year’s event, that CENE member, Natasha Boulding, CEO of Sphera, exhibited and sat on the innovation panel where she met with David Leversha, director and Net Zero lead in the property and buildings group, WSP, who was speaking at the summit.

Established in 2019 as a spin-out from Durham University by Natasha and her fellow PhD colleagues, Scott Bush and Phil Buckley. Sphera’s vision is to be a world leader in low carbon and environmentally friendly building materials. The company prides itself on its ability to innovate with purpose, have an open-mind to new ideas and ways of thinking, a collaborative nature and an ongoing positive impact on the environment.

As a result of the meeting, Sphera was one of four companies to join WSP’s new Emerging Growth Partnership Programme, providing the opportunity for innovative early and growth stage companies to engage in strategic partnership with WSP.

Natasha Boulding, said: “The Construction Summit and Innovation Showcase 2021, was brilliant from a Sphera perspective. I met with David Leversha, following his excellent talk which delved into the development of the strategy and implementation of the WSP action plan to halve the total carbon in projects by 2030.

“As a result of our meeting, it presented me with new opportunities by connecting me with David. Sphera became the only UK company to be awarded a space on WSP’s Emerging Growth Partnership Programme, which we took part in earlier this year.

“Had we not met, I wouldn’t have found out about the US programme which has helped us gain a greater understanding of the US market. As a science-led materials company it is our aim to move the construction industry toward net zero. Sphera makes a carbon negative lightweight aggregate for use in a variety of concrete products. We have used the aggregate to create the first net-zero embodied carbon concrete. We were selected onto the partnership programme because our products offer an alternative for WSP’s design solutions that has the potential to create a substantial net reduction in the carbon footprint of infrastructure and buildings.

“I am looking forward to attending the Construction Summit and Innovation Exhibition this year. It really showcases the importance of industry specific networking and joining organisations such as Constructing Excellence in the North East add real value.”

Catriona Lingwood, chief executive of Constructing Excellence in the North East, said: “The partnership between Sphera and WSP stands to further highlight the outstanding quality of outputs coming directly from our region and how Constructing Excellence in the North East provides exemplar opportunity for collaboration, with the Construction Summit being a key mechanism for this.

“It is the largest construction conference in the region and supports the industry’s OneVoice campaign, which aims to build a successful, sustainable and inclusive construction industry. It will focus on the OneVoice action plan’s three key themes – people, value and climate, whilst also exploring innovation in North East England.”

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