Co-Founder and CEO, ECOncrete Tech Ltd.
UN Region: Western Europe and Other
Dr. Shimrit Perkol-Finkel, a marine biologist with expertise in the eco-engineering of coastal and marine infrastructure, is pioneering innovative and sustainable technologies to confront climate change and reinvigorate our coastlines world-wide. Shimrit co-founded ECOncrete®, a cutting-edge company that protects and rejuvenates our coastlines and marine resources using bio-enhancing concrete solutions that are strong, cost-effective and low-carbon.
Shimrit’s deep connection to the ocean began in high school, diving at the age of 18. Through her work as marine biologist, Shimrit witnessed not only the beauty of the world’s coral reefs, but also their decline due to overexploitation, climate change and accelerated coastal development. This drove Shimrit to develop ECOncrete® in 2012 along with co-founder, Dr. Ido Sella, as a science-based solution to bridge the gap between the ever-increasing human desire to develop our coastlines and the urgent need to sustain our precious natural coastal and marine resources.
The company’s three pillars of innovation include science-based bio-enhancing concrete composition, increased surface roughness and 3D designs. These promote the synergistic effect of enhancing the marine life, benefitting the ecosystem, while also contributing toward the structural integrity and low-carbon footprint of ports, marinas, coastal protections schemes and urban waterfront projects.
The company has won several awards since its inception, including the Ocean Exchange challenge (Savannah, Georgia, USA 2012); best startup of the EISP 8200 competition (Israel 2014); first prize at the World Science & Technology Innovation (Shanghai, China 2015); SwitchMed Green Pitch competition (2017); and Port XL scale up alumnae (2018). Recently, ECOncrete® won the 2018 Biomimicry Design challenge for its Tide Pool Armor product and is one of the winners of the Island of Happiness, Coastal Design Challenge (Bali, Indonesia).
With nearly 20 years of experience in the field of marine biology and ecology, working in 30 countries, Shimrit specializes in sustainable management of urban marine habitats. Over the past decade, Dr. Perkol-Finkel has led several large-scale and long-term projects, such as the EU-funded MarUrbe project in Italy and a waterfront enhancement scheme in Brooklyn Bridge Park, NY. Shimrit serves as an ecological advisor for Israel’s marine spatial planning program, was one of the advisors for NY Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance’s Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines program and is involved in the ecological design of the federally funded “Living Breakwaters” SCAPE Team Project, winner of the Rebuild by Design Competition.
Shimrit holds a bachelor’s degree in life sciences; a master’s degree in zoology, ecology and marine biology; and a PhD in marine biology and ecology, all from Tel-Aviv University. She was also an EU Marie Curie Fellow during her post-doc at the University of Bologna, Italy.
Sustainable Development Goals 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), 13 (climate action) and 14 (life below water)