Sunday, June 4, 2023 | 03:34 am

Cleantech for the UK: Bill Gates and Rishi Sunak Meet With Startups to Advance Green Technology

Cleantech for the UK: Bill Gates and Rishi Sunak Meet With Startups to Advance Green Technology

The United Kingdom is one of Europe’s largest renewables marketplaces and has regularly attracted international investment, particularly in the offshore wind field. Cleantech alliances already exist all over Europe, with energy and climate seemingly always at the top of the agenda. 

Cleantech for Europe, a pan-European alliance, is leading the EU’s journey to net zero, while regional efforts in the Nordic and Baltic countries, as well as in France and Germany, demonstrate that clean tech is not going away this time.

Now, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have endorsed Cleantech for the UK, a new collaboration of cleantech investors and entrepreneurs.

The new cleantech program, which reportedly has over £4B in funding, was revealed at Imperial College London in an effort to promote the UK’s scientific research. In 2022, UK cleantech venture capital investment totaled £3.2B, matching the previous year’s record-breaking figures.

“The UK has all the ingredients to become a major player in the global push to build a net-zero emissions future, including world-class research facilities and forward-looking investors,” said Gates.

“It’s great to see cleantech businesses, innovators, and policymakers coming together to advance UK climate leadership.”

“Investing in renewables and cleantech is one of the best ways to strengthen our energy security, create better-paid jobs and grow the economy,” said Suank.

“With the launch of Cleantech for the UK, a new generation of talented British businesses can be confident that they have the backing they need to unlock green solutions to some of the biggest challenges we face.”

Among the founding members of Cleantech for Britain are Imperial College London’s Undaunted cleantech accelerator, Clean Growth Fund, Kiko Ventures, Decarbonization Partners, Just Climate, and Legal and General Capital.

It will be backed by Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy and Cleantech Organization.

After the launch event where Bill Gates and UK prime minister Rishi Sunak were present, Kiko Ventures founding partner Arne Morteani said the industry will need more regular meetings between all of its players to make more cleantech breakthroughs commercially viable. Attendees concurred that the UK needed to keep up its competitiveness to keep up with the US Inflation Reduction Act and the EU’s Net Zero Industry Act.

Gates and Sunak spoke with cleantech businesses Econic, H2GO Power, and Crop Intellect during their visit to Imperial College London.

Econic has created a catalyst that decreases the amount of energy needed to manufacture plastic. H2GO Power develops hydrogen storage technology, while Crop Intellect develops agricultural technology, including a device that produces plant food from air pollution.

Professor Hugh Brady, president of Imperial College London, said: “Achieving net zero will require an enormous step-change in our economy, industry, and civic systems.”

“We are fuelling a new generation of dynamic, cleantech businesses and helping them to scale and thrive.”

Sunak’s newest initiative to boost the country’s science and technology sector is the introduction of Cleantech for the UK. In a government reshuffle last week, he created the Department of Science, Innovation, and Technology.