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The cohort at their graduation ceremony.
Graduation ceremony at the University of Birmingham’s Exchange building, with participants showcasing the progress their business has made during their time in the programme.

Thirteen cleantech businesses have celebrated their graduation from the Climate Innovation Platform’s ‘Low Carbon Energy Solutions, Innovator Challenge’, having gained new skills to develop clean energy solutions.

The Climate Innovation Platform (CIP) offers Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) at various stages of development tailored packages of support to drive the commercialisation of innovative energy technologies and services that will help tackle the climate crisis.

Over the course of six months the SME’s gained access to several linked opportunities, delivered by the University of Birmingham’s Energy Institute in partnership with the Energy Systems Catapult and supported by HSBC UK as part of the bank’s global Climate Solutions Partnership programme.

This support included:

  • Access to Energy System Catapult’s launchpad incubation programme.
  • 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.

The CIP programme helped our business move forward by supporting the preparation of a business plan, a critical step in our journey towards commercialisation.

Professor Luisa Orsini, Daphne Water Solution and University of Birmingham

Paul Jordan, Business Leader, Innovator Support, at Energy Systems Catapult, commented: “Clean tech SMEs are pioneering exciting new pathways to Net Zero with brilliant tools, products, and services. The Climate Innovation Platform is helping these climate innovators to accelerate their commercialisation journey – to realise their business ambitions and bring new products and services to market.

“We have watched with pride as the SMEs on the CIP programme build out their vision and help take us all one step closer to Net Zero by 2050. A low-carbon future will only be possible if we continue to support SMEs and clean tech startups and create markets that are conducive to their success. We wish the graduates of Cohort 3 the very best and look forward to seeing where they take their ideas next.”

Michaela Wright, Head of Corporate Sustainability at HSBC UK said: “Collaboration, creativity and diversity of thought are key to addressing the climate crisis, and it has been wonderful to see these innovative early-stage start-ups thrive within the CIP programme. We will continue to work with the University of Birmingham and others to bring together our combined knowledge, insight, and international network to help scale up climate solutions to have real-world impact.”

It has been a pleasure to commemorate the progress these incredible innovators have made during their time on the Climate Innovation Platform. The cohort was comprised of some truly inspiring businesses, and I look forward to seeing what they will achieve in the future.

Professor Martin Freer, University of Birmingham

Speaking about his experience in the programme Mark Alderson, Managing Director at First Editions Ltd said: “During our journey with the Climate Innovation Platform, First Editions were provided with a series of powerful resources delivering a unique perspective and shaping our long-term growth. The series of masterclasses and workshops enabled us to explore a number of key areas whilst interacting with the other SMEs in our cohort. Thank you to all involved from TEP, UOB, and the Catapult.”

Professor Luisa Orsini, Co-founder and CEO of Daphne Water Solutions said: “The CIP programme helped our business move forward by supporting the preparation of a business plan, a critical step in our journey towards commercialisation. We were inspired by other entrepreneurs on the programme and found the programme very helpful. The graduation ceremony was the occasion for all of us to look back and realise how much we achieved in the past six months. Thank you!”

Shaun Keep, Production Manager, Checklist Films said: “The expert advisors and facilitators made us very welcome, and the programme was extremely helpful for us at our stage of development. In particular, we found the pieces on understanding our market (route to market) and funding and support sources were very valuable. It has made a significant difference to our approach to selling and our pitch package for investors. We have, along the way, designed a decarbonising strategy that will be challenging but will throw a marker down for the film/TV production industry. We will also offer our productions for emissions monitoring by research groups so we can contribute to the better understanding of cradle-to-grave carbon footprint and in turn help the whole industry become decarbonised. Thanks to all involved.”

Professor Martin Freer, Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute, said: “It has been a pleasure to commemorate the progress these incredible innovators have made during their time on the Climate Innovation Platform. The cohort was comprised of some truly inspiring businesses, and I look forward to seeing what they will achieve in the future.

“CIP will support over 85 businesses from various sectors over the course of four years (2021-2024). Participants across the CIP programme range from entrepreneurs with an idea that they want to develop, through to established businesses developing cleantech."

The graduation ceremony took place at the University of Birmingham’s Exchange building in December and saw each SME showcase the progress their business has made during their time on the programme. The graduates were joined by alumni from cohort two and each SME was presented with a graduation certificate to commemorate their completion of the programme.The fourth cohort of the CIP Low Carbon Energy Solutions, Innovator Challenge will launch in January 2024.