UKs first Cleantech Cluster celebrates 10 years and £135M+ invested in a greener future

November 17, 2021

The pioneering centre for environmentally friendly technology in the UK, Cambridge Cleantech, has marked its tenth birthday with a call for more companies to join its multi million pound pan-European success story.

The COP26 United Nations climate change summit in Glasgow has emphasised the importance of working towards a greener future, and the opportunities for innovators and investors in the sector. Cambridge Cleantech is helping to turn this strategic ambition into reality on the ground for the future of the planet.

Since its founding in 2011, Cambridge Cleantech has helped ground-breaking start-ups and entrepreneurs raise more than £135 million in backing, seen £26 million invested in climate friendly technology through collaborations with corporates, and saved 216,000 tonnes of CO2 being released into the atmosphere a year.

Martin Garratt, CEO of Cambridge Cleantech, said: “After 10 years promoting climate technologies, it is heartening to see the cleantech sector at the top of the political agenda. There has never been a more urgent time to support the cleantech sector and we will continue to play a pivotal role in bringing climate-focused innovators, corporates, investors and academics together. The solutions are already there, they now need to be implemented, and while we are pleased that political leaders have made a commitment to cutting emissions and accelerating the phasing down of coal, it is crucial that these agreements translate into firm action if we are to have any chance of staying within the 1.5C target.”

Martin is now calling on start-up and small companies with businesses based on sustainable futures to join the flagship Cleantech Collaboration Day on Thursday 18 November.

At the event, being held mostly online, big companies from across Europe such as Lufthansa, Cambridge Display Technology and Anglian Water, will outline what solutions they want from innovators to help make businesses greener.

Areas of interest include low carbon energy, future transport, recycling, and the circular economy. SMEs interested in pitching their ideas to the corporates can apply here:

One company that Cambridge Cleantech has supported along its journey is sustainable laundry startup Oxwash, who pitched at the business network’s investor pitch event Cleantech Venture Day in 2018 and have since raised £5.2 million in funding.

“Pitching at Cleantech Venture Day was an invaluable experience and allowed us to connect with some of the biggest investors in the greentech sector. Cambridge Cleantech are a brilliant organisation and through their introduction we were represented by the Cambridge MBA team in the MIINT competition, winning second place and securing 25K of investment from a US impact fund. I can confidently say that being a part of Cambridge Cleantech will open doors for you in the future,” said Tom de Wilton, COO & Cofounder, Oxwash.

Cleantech Collaboration Day is part of the Interreg North Sea Region Scale-Up programme, a partnership between cleantech clusters across Europe, including in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Holland, Belgium and Denmark. It offers access to vast markets for small companies which can make important contributions to a greener tomorrow.

One major corporate to join the cleantech events is FTSE 100 listed Johnson Matthey, a global leader in sustainable technologies.

Kalyan Sarma, External Innovation Manager at Johnson Matthey, commented: “We are delighted to be a part of Cambridge Cleantech. At Johnson Matthey, we believe that science and technology solutions are the best ways to tackle the environmental and sustainability related challenges the world faces today. We know we cannot develop solutions to all of these on our own, so we are keen to engage with ecosystems that enable us to collaborate with a wide variety of organizations, as well as allowing us to be part of discussions to shape long term strategies in sustainability. Through this partnership with Cambridge Cleantech, we hope to deliver innovative sustainable solutions which can be scaled up and commercialized and we are excited to make the partnership a success.”

In the 10 years since its founding, Cambridge Cleantech has expanded its work beyond the city and now has members from across the UK and internationally.

The organisation has proved influential, helping to found Oxfordshire Greentech, and acting as an easy to access marketplace bringing together innovators and buyers.

Cleantech Venture Days are held twice a year, with opportunities for companies to pitch their innovations to investors and corporate venture arms interested in the cleantech sector.

Since its inception, well before green technology became prominent in the public arena, Cambridge Cleantech has helped broker:

  • 11 corporate contracts, investing £26 million in the clean technology of the future
  • 18 pilot projects
  • £134.5 million pounds of investment into green technology companies

The organisation now boasts more than 250 innovator members, and in excess of 60 corporates.

It also works in partnership with academia, government and local authorities across the world in order to maximise the benefits of pioneering technology for societies everywhere.

For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact Cinthya Anand, Communications Manager at Cambridge Cleantech