Breakthrough Energy Ventures founder Bill Gates was in attendance to see UK cleantech players getting organised

UK's cleantech ecosystem is taking heed from continental peers, hoping to lift funding to even greater heights.
Breakthrough Energy Ventures founder Bill Gates was in attendance to see UK cleantech players getting organised

These days cleantech alliances exist right across Europe, with energy and climate seemingly never far from the top of agendas. A pan-European alliance, Cleantech for Europe, is spearheading the EU's path to net zero while regional efforts in the Nordics and Baltic countries, as well as in France and Germany, show that this time clean tech isn't going anywhere.

A £6 billion UK initiative along similar lines was recently announced by partners including Kiko Ventures, with the initiative supported by Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures and organised by Cleantech Group. The coalition, dubbed Cleantech for UK, will aim to promote new UK cleantech champions, drawing on the country's world-class research facilities and investor base. Its provided data suggests last year £3.2 billion was poured into UK clean tech investments, matching the all-time high recorded in 2021.

Following a launch event attended by UK prime minister Rishi Sunak and Bill Gates, Kiko Ventures founding partner Arne Morteani said the sector would require all of its stakeholders to get around the table more often to turn more cleantech innovations into a commercial reality. The UK needed to maintain its competitiveness, attendees agreed, to keep pace with the US Inflation Reduction Act and the EU's Net Zero Industry Act.

"As the most active cleantech VC in the UK for the last decade, we know how much innovation there is in Britain for climate solutions," Morteani said. "However, big cleantech innovations need all stakeholders to work together to make them a reality. Cleantech for UK will help set the agenda and make the connections needed so that cleantech innovation can thrive.”

Also joining the new initiative are Undaunted, Imperial College London's cleantech accelerator, Clean Growth Fund; a commercial VC fund backed by the UK government; Just Climate; a climate-led investor; and Legal & General Capital; the alternatives wing of insurance firm Legal & General.

Ann Mettler, vice president for Europe, Breakthrough Energy, added: "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.”

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