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Rishi Sunak & Bill Gates attend Cleantech for UK launch event with leading cleantech start-ups, accelerators and investors

February 15, 2023

Yesterday at Imperial College London, the Cleantech for UK initiative and coalition was launched. Cleantech for UK is an initiative aimed at paving the way for a new generation of global cleantech champions in the UK. The founding coalition members were joined by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Bill Gates, and three leading UK cleantech companies for the launch event, where participants discussed how the UK can lead the world in pioneering clean solutions on the path to net-zero emissions.

The founding coalition includes six accelerators, venture capital, growth investors and alternative asset platforms with combined funds of over £6 billion. The initiative is supported by Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy and organised by Cleantech Group.

UK cleantech venture capital investment was £3.2 billion in 2022, equalling the record-breaking amounts of 2021. This is especially remarkable in a cooling global venture capital climate, but the UK must go further and faster to maintain competitiveness.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

“Investing in renewables and clean tech is one of the best ways to strengthen our energy security, create better-paid jobs and grow the economy.

With the launch of Cleantech for UK, a new generation of talented British businesses can be confident that they have the backing they need to unlock green solutions to some of the biggest challenges we face.

This shines a light on the strength of UK innovation – and our ability to find new ways of doing things to drive economic, social and environmental progress.”  

Bill Gates said:

“The UK has all the ingredients to become a major player in the global push to build a net-zero emissions future, including world-class research facilities and forward-looking investors. It’s great to see cleantech businesses, innovators, and policy makers coming together to advance UK climate leadership.”

Roundtable participants with Bill Gates

The Cleantech for UK coalition’s objective is to supercharge UK cleantech innovation. The UK is home to excellent scientific research and a thriving innovation scene. But this world-leading capability is not consistently translated into world-leading cleantech scale-ups.

“To secure the enormous benefits on offer to those brave enough to lead the transformation of our industrialised economies to cleaner, decarbonised and resource-efficient versions of themselves will require innovation in all facets. Yes, technological, but equally in financial instruments and in policy-making. I believe a period of intense dialogue, experimentation and hyper-collaboration is needed for the UK to deliver on its net zero goals, its economic growth ambitions, and its national security.”

said Richard Youngman, CEO, Cleantech Group.

“Achieving net-zero will require an enormous step-change in our economy, industry and civic systems.”

said Professor Hugh Brady, President of Imperial College London.

“Imperial College London, one of the world’s leading universities, has the talent, resources, and influence to help accelerate the world towards this goal. We are fuelling a new generation of dynamic, cleantech businesses and helping them to scale and thrive. We are pleased to welcome Bill Gates and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to Imperial College London to launch Cleantech for UK, and look forward to working with our partners to unleash this kind of innovation across the UK.”

The founding coalition with Bill Gates and Rishi Sunak

Founding members of the coalition are: Imperial College London's cleantech accelerator Undaunted, Clean Growth Fund (cleantech venture capital investor), Kiko Ventures (cleantech venture capital investor), Breakthrough Energy Ventures (cleantech venture capital investor), Just Climate (climate-led investor), Legal and General Capital (alternative asset platform). The work of the coalition will be facilitated by Cleantech for UK.

Download the Executive Summary of the research.

Cleantech for UK is 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. Cleantech for UK is powered by Cleantech Group and supported by Breakthrough Energy. Similar programmes in continental Europe include Cleantech for Europe, Cleantech for France, Tech for Net Zero Allianz, Cleantech for Nordics and Cleantech for Baltics.

For further information contact:

Sarah Mackintosh