The hunt is now on to find companies to take part in the next cohort of the Innovator Challenge.
Businesses taking part in the Climate Innovation Platform (CIP), led by the University of Birmingham, gain access to tailored support packages to drive the commercialisation of innovative ‘clean’ energy technologies and services. Supported by HSBC UK and the European Development fund, the platform is targeted at companies at various stages of development who want to play their part in tackling the climate crisis.
Over the course of five months the 14 businesses now graduating from CIP have gained access to several linked opportunities, delivered by the University of Birmingham in partnership with the Energy Systems Catapult, this support included:
- Business engagement support through BEI’s ATETA programme. Designed to help SMEs improve efficiency and test new ideas, it offers access to research expertise and facilities as well as research and technical support from Knowledge Exchange Fellows.
- Incubation space at either the University of Birmingham or Tyseley Energy Park, along with Incubator Project Management.
- Access to a range of business development support, including financial planning, start-up mentoring, market research expertise, IP protection expertise, advice on regulation and standards, grant writing and bid development, and investor access support.
- An opportunity to pitch their innovations to representatives from HSBC UK
Companies of all sizes and sectors have a role to play in the transition to a low carbon economy, and it’s critical that we create opportunities like CIP so that SMEs can incubate, exchange ideas and gain access to meaningful support to develop the pioneering new frontiers to address climate change.Michaela Wright, Head of Sustainability, HSBC UK
The graduation ceremony took place at the University of Birmingham’s Exchange building and saw each SME pitch their business to a panel of investors. The second cohort were joined by alumni from cohort one and each SME was presented with a graduation certificate to commemorate their completion of the programme.
Michaela Wright, Head of Sustainability, HSBC UK said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to join the innovators in celebrating their graduation today. Companies of all sizes and sectors have a role to play in the transition to a low carbon economy, and it’s critical that we create opportunities like CIP so that SMEs can incubate, exchange ideas and gain access to meaningful support to develop the pioneering new frontiers to address climate change.”
Professor Martin Freer, Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute and the Energy Research Accelerator, said: “I am immensely proud of the businesses and their achievements to date. It has been a joy to see them flourish with the tailored support offered by the Climate Innovation Platform and I am excited to see where their journey takes them.”
Celebrating their graduation, the SMEs on the CIP programme reflected on their experiences which has helped them to grow as businesses and unite them as colleagues and peers:
Aneysha Minocha, Quantenergy Ltd, said: “Today has been incredible, it has been fantastic to reconvene as a team, as a Cohort”.
Kenny Cameron, Connected Response, said: “The Climate Innovation Platform is incredibly important to us, it has allowed us to better understand the market we are in.”
Rory Brown, Airhive, said: “I can really see how all of us have progressed. We found that working with similar early-stage start-ups and benefitting from pure learning and expertise that the University of Birmingham and Energy System’s Catapult provided was really helpful for us”.
Guy Newey, CEO at Energy Systems Catapult, said: “The UK’s path to Net Zero is being delivered by a host of pioneering SMEs who are innovating towards a greener future. Many of these SMEs lack access to the support and financing needed to scale-up their businesses to unleash their full potential. The Climate Innovation Platform is changing the game by helping accelerate the climate innovators’ commercialisation journey to realise their business vision.
“It has been a delight to be part of the CIP collaboration enabling the businesses within Cohort Two, to flourish. I will be watching with a keen eye, those we have supported through this programme, to see what comes next for them and how their talents help the UK unlock Net Zero.”
CIP will support 100 businesses over the course of four years (2021-2024), with participants ranging from entrepreneurs with an idea that they want to develop, through to established businesses developing cleantech.
Climate Innovation Platform Cohort Three
The application round for the Climate Innovation Platform’s third cohort is now open. CIP are looking for businesses committed to driving energy technology innovations to apply before 17 April.