From university research to a spinout hosting exciting royal visit

Natasha Boulding and Prince William in front of Low Carbon Materials logo

Prince William made a visit to Durham University spinout Low Carbon Materials (LCM) this week. His Royal Highness learned about how the Earthshot Prize finalists create their innovative, low-carbon construction materials.

LCM spun out of Durham University in 2019, co-founded by Dr Natasha Boulding, Scott Bush and Dr Phil Buckley. The company develops materials that positively impact the environment by reducing carbon emissions.

LCM was a finalist in the Fix Our Climate category for Prince William’s The Earthshot Prize.

During the visit, Prince William toured the facilities and experienced how LCM’s new product, ACLA®, a carbon negative gravel like material, can be incorporated into a standard mix. This results in net zero asphalt – decarbonising our roads.

Professor Kieran Jude Fernandes, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Development and Engagement) commented:

“Durham University makes a profound and positive impact on our region and beyond, shaping the future of innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Spinning out

The trio has gone from strength to strength since their original idea of OSTO®. Close engagement with workshops and start-up support services offered by Durham’s Venture Lab enabled the evolving company to win the Blueprint StartUp Challenge 2019.

Northern Accelerator supported LCM’s journey to spinning out. They secured pre-incorporation funding, participated in Future Founders training and benefitted from the Executives into Business programme.

Full circle

Recently LCM experienced a full-circle moment when their new material was “used on a road at the heart of Durham University” during resurfacing works at Elvet Hill. Natasha explained how St Mary’s College “where it all started” can be seen from that point.

A new net zero carbon capturing road surface is being laid on Elvet Hill Road in Durham. Pictured are L-R: Dave Elliott, Joint Chief Executive of MGL Group, Alan Patrickson, Corporate Director of Neighbourhood and Climate Change and Natasha Boulding, CEO and Co-Founder of Low Carbon Materials. Photo by: Silverbird Photography Emily Carey (