We are pleased to announce that Besser Company and ECOncrete Tech Ltd. have jointly embarked on a project that has an ultimate goal of producing Bio-Enhanced (environmentally friendly) dry cast concrete products. ECOncrete was founded in 2012 by Dr. Shimrit Perkol-Finkel and Dr. Ido Sella, renowned marine biologists specializing in the ecological enhancement of both urban and coastal environments. The company provides a series of fully constructive environmentally active concrete products that enhance the biological and ecological value of infrastructure like seawalls, breakwaters, piers, while also contributing to their stability and longevity.  Our agreement with ECOncrete is specific to developing a high production dry cast system to use ECOncrete's proprietary additives and designs to produce Bio-Enhanced concrete products.
 
Extensive research has demonstrated that concrete products containing ECOncrete's proprietary additives and designs are able to reduce the ecological footprint of urban and coastal infrastructure and mitigate the impact of climate change. Besser Company and ECOncrete will market and promote the products jointly. ECOncrete has several successful wet cast products available and in use today, and through the collaboration with Besser Company, will apply its technology to dry cast products. Besser Company's role is to engineer, test, and manufacture molds and concrete products that satisfy the concrete unit specifications defined by ECOncrete.  Kevin Curtis commented, "We are excited to be working with ECOncrete; the project is a perfect fit for our two companies. Besser has an excellent track record for making a concept a reality by designing, testing and demonstrating how concrete products can be manufactured on a large scale commercially viable manner."
 
It was Dr. Don MacMaster, President of Alpena Community College (ACC), who originally introduced Dr. Perkol-Finkel to Besser.  Dr. MacMaster invited Dr. Perkol-Finkel to present to the Concrete Technology class at ACC about three years ago. Following the presentation, ECOncrete launched a yearlong pilot study in Alpena, in collaboration with the Thunder Bay Marine Sanctuary.  Last summer, Kevin Curtis was contacted directly to begin discussions of working together on the project. 
 
Many thanks go out to Kari Schellie and Sales Agent Mano Riesman who worked with the ECOncrete team to prepare documents for presentation to the Israel - U.S. Binational Industrial Research & Development Foundation (BIRD) for funding of the project. Just last month BIRD committed to a substantial grant to be split by Besser and ECOncrete for the engineering, testing, and manufacturing of Bio-Enhanced concrete products.  Dr. MacMaster commends the team at Besser and ECOncrete for their accomplishment in winning the prestigious BIRD Foundation award. He shared, "It's indicative of the innovative spirit that characterizes both organizations. On behalf of Alpena Community College and the World Center for Concrete Technology, I look forward with excitement to this project which will bring world-class Israeli innovation and U.S. manufacturing expertise together in a dynamic partnership to mitigate global climate change. This award is truly great news."
 
Going forward, this project will be led by Ryan Suszek, with support from Jason Rensberry, Scott Foerstner, and Tim Farley.
 
For more information: www.econcretetech.com 
For more information: www.birdf.com
The group gathered for a commemorative photo after the agreement was signed. Pictured left to right: Scott Foerstner, CFO, Besser Company, Jason Rensberry, Controller, Besser Company, Ido Sella, CTO and Co-Founder of ECOncrete, Kevin Curtis, President & CEO Besser, Andrew Rella, Biologist at ECOncrete and Ryan Suszek,  Director of Operations – Pipe & Precast. 

Bio-active wall elements are designed to induce rapid plant wall coverage of inland buildings. Green plant coverage significantly improves urban landscape, provides cleaner and healthier air, and reduces the ecological footprint of urban development. The physical and chemical properties of the wall substrates strongly influence its capability to support and enhance growth. ECOncrete®'s bio-active wall induces natural growth of wall clinging plants, endolithic algae, lichens and mosses. Its high complexity and porosity create moist niches that support flora, without the need for complex soil systems.