Cleantech Innovators Programme: support for developers of clean technologies

Cleantech Innovators Programme: support for developers of clean technologies

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
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Dates / Project duration

January 2021 - December 2022 / 2 years

Field of action :

Study on climate change and its effects

Branch :


Location :

United Kingdom

Project sponsor(s) :

Imperial College London


Striking a balance between human development and environmental protection is one of the major challenges of our era. To tackle it, society must move away from traditional production methods and consumption patterns, and develop new technologies and companies capable of building a low-carbon future. This future will be shaped by clean technologies, as well as environmentally friendly products and services.

The objective underpinning the development of such technologies is to create an economy which produces net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, to limit the impact of climate change on humanity.

Over the last seven years, Imperial College London has successfully designed and managed the Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community (Climate-KIC), the world’s biggest ideas contest for climate-positive businesses. The programme has supported the creation of 90 new cleantech companies, 55 of which have secured more than $180 million in investment.

Bolstered by this success, Imperial College has developed a new support scheme for innovators: the Cleantech Innovators Programme. The scheme targets startups and supports them through three phases of development: creating a commercial model and prototype, testing and correcting the model based on customer feedback, supporting financing and structuring the first phase of development.

The programme operates as follows:

  • Startups participate in a two-day intensive training workshop to develop the commercial model. The best are selected to become part of the Innovator Cohort and receive a prize of £20,000.
  • Startups then enter a phase of intensive support with:
    • business coaching and intensive classes to enable startups to acquire skills in a variety of areas such as product shelf life and sustainability analysis, intellectual property and innovation project management;
    • the ability to ask for support to employ researchers and offer internships to students;
    • marketing support to better understand customers and make changes to prototypes based on customer feedback;
    • support to initiate the initial funding process, with a fundraising target of £250,000.
  • Startups that secure sales or substantial funding will be rewarded with a prize of £18,000.