New UK Cleantech Initiative Aims to Boost Next Generation Green Technologies

A coalition of venture capital funds has recently launched a new initiative called Cleantech for UK, aimed at better co-ordinating support for the next generation of UK cleantech firms. The initiative was officially launched with the participation of Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy investment vehicle and analyst firm Cleantech Group. The coalition aims to bring together investors in early-stage clean tech firms to help accelerate investment in the fast-expanding sector. Participants in the new coalition represent combined funds worth more than £6bn and include cleantech venture capital investors Kiko Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and Clean Growth Fund, climate-led investor Just Climate, and alternative asset platform Legal & General Capital, as well as Imperial College London’s cleantech accelerator, Undaunted.

The founding members of the Cleantech for UK coalition met at Imperial College in London, where they were joined by Bill Gates and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for the official launch of the new group. The initiative describes itself as a “new initiative to establish a dialogue between the UK’s policy-making community and those living the reality of creating, incubating, investing in and scaling cleantech companies.”

Ann Mettler, Vice President for Europe at Breakthrough Energy, expressed her confidence in the coalition, stating, “The UK has all the ingredients to become a major player in the global push to build our net-zero emissions future, including world-class research facilities and forward-looking investors. I am confident that the Cleantech for UK coalition will become a key bridge between cleantech investors, innovators, and policy makers.”

The coalition aims to create an environment where cleantech investors, innovators, and policy makers can work together to achieve the goal of a sustainable future. It will draw on the experience of similar programmes established in continental Europe, including Cleantech for Europe, Cleantech for France, the Tech for Net Zero Allianz, Cleantech for Nordics, and Cleantech for Baltics. The Cleantech for UK coalition will encourage a period of intense dialogue, experimentation and hyper-collaboration to deliver on the UK’s net-zero goals, economic growth ambitions, and national security.

Beverley Gower-Jones, managing partner of the Clean Growth Fund, said that the UK is “well positioned to support the country’s climate tech entrepreneurs”. However, she also warned that if the UK is to have any chance of successfully winning a slice of the 4th industrial revolution, “we need to do more”. She stressed the importance of collaboration across finance, industry and government, as well as a significant ramp-up of venture capital investment into early-stage clean tech and first-of-a-kind demonstrator projects.

In conclusion, the Cleantech for UK initiative is an exciting step towards creating a more sustainable future for the UK. By bringing together cleantech investors, innovators, and policy makers, the coalition aims to create an environment where the next generation of UK cleantech firms can thrive. With support from Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy investment vehicle and analyst firm Cleantech Group, the coalition has the potential to make a significant impact in the fast-expanding clean tech sector.