Royal Institution welcomes new funding to accelerate climate change innovation

The Royal Institution has welcomed the donation of £2.5m from HSBC UK, to Imperial College London, to fund a new cleantech accelerator for green start-ups.

Royal Institution welcomes funding for climate change innovation

The funding will support ‘The Greenhouse’ – part of a new centre for climate change innovation, a major joint initiative between the Ri and Imperial, based at the Ri – which will help around 85 UK start-ups developing services or technologies with the potential to impact on climate change, over the next four years.

The HSBC-UK funding will cover all Greenhouse activities, with each start-up receiving expert advice on commercial development, supporting them to become credible and investable businesses.

Lucinda Hunt, Director of the Royal Institution, said: “HSBC UK’s funding for The Greenhouse marks a major milestone in developing a centre for climate change innovation. I am delighted that the Ri is working in partnership with Imperial, and the centre’s other founding partners, contributing our science engagement expertise to help generate the public support that is so critical to the success of new technologies.”

Professor Richard Templer, Director of Innovation at the Grantham Institute at Imperial and one of The Greenhouse accelerator programme founders said: “We are very excited to be working with HSBC UK to support the growth of young, sustainable, businesses looking to tackle climate change. We will be looking to identify teams with really original or breakthrough ideas that can have real climate impact.”

Amanda Murphy, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC UK said: “Companies, especially start-ups, that are developing cleaner technology often struggle to access the networks, financial backing and business mentoring required to succeed. Our partnership will support UK innovators who are pioneering new frontiers in climate change solutions, giving them the very best chance to grow and thrive.”

A new centre for climate change innovation will bring businesses, entrepreneurs, policy makers, academics and the public together around climate change innovation, creating a focus for London-based innovators to implement global change through pioneering, practical solutions. It’s cleantech accelerator, The Greenhouse, will support up to 30 start-ups each year, with those comprising the inaugural cohort being:

  • Algreen – developing the first 100% biodegradable labels from seaweed
  • Nourisol – developing sustainable & cost-efficient biofertilisers, with algae isolated from farmers’ soils
  • Carbon Infinity – developing advanced sorbent materials and modular units for the direct capture and removal of carbon dioxide from ambient air
  • Construction Carbon Footprint Scheme – helping builders to easily calculate, certify, and properly offset their embodied carbon
  • Cryogenx – delivering portable cooling capacity comparable to an ice bath with only 2% of the resources
  • Dodo – helping companies become carbon neutral by connecting directly to a company's accounting systems
  • Filia – incorporating solar panels into external blackout blinds
  • Greener Beans – synthesising multiple environmental indicators to create a single comparable sustainability score for supermarket products
  • Hopes Sustainability – aiming to engage pupils at every UK school with climate change issues
  • Mana Biosystems – creating a hybrid insect rearing technology to commercially and sustainably scale BSF farming in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Nanomox – developing a low energy, sustainable, and cost-effective process to produce advanced materials
  • NuOceans – designing a circular economy model for the manufacture of sandals using unrecyclable ocean plastics
  • Olwg – developing an integrated clean energy project screening / decision-making tool that considers technical, commercial, and carbon accounting factors
  • The Tyre Collective – developing a device to capture tyre wear, preventing harmful particles from entering our ecosystem
  • Treeconomy – developing remote sensing technology to more accurately calculate woodland and forest carbon stocks, and monitor ecosystem change

A select number of businesses from The Greenhouse will go on to participate in HSBC’s global Climate Solutions Partnership innovation accelerator, powered by WWF’s Impactio platform, which will help further scale climate solutions, supporting business innovations in partnership with leading universities, research institutes, incubators and accelerators.

For more information please contact Robert Davies in the Ri press office:+44 (0)20 7670 2991