Climate KIC launches the 'Tinder' of low-carbon innovations
Climate KIC UK, the UK branch of the EU's climate innovation agency, has launched a new web platform designed to connect entrepreneurs with low-carbon inventors.
Taping into the 'Tinder' phenomenon by facilitating communication between mutually interested users, the platform - known as The Exchange - aims to develop new climate-related technologies and “launch tomorrow’s low-carbon businesses”.
The Exchange works by listing inventions on one central web platform where entrepreneurs can search by subject areas. If they find an invention they like, they can use the platform to start a dialogue with the inventor.
After ‘matching’ on the Exchange platform, the new partnership can submit a priority application to join the Climate-KIC Accelerator, a unique business incubator programme that includes coaching, office space, masterclasses and up to €95,000 of seed funding. The Accelerator is intended to develop young start-ups into investable businesses.
Climate-KIC UK director Aled Thomas explained: “Matching the right entrepreneur or business person to the right inventor can be a crucial part of the process for a new technology.
“Greater collaboration between inventors and entrepreneurs will ultimately stimulate more business interest in climate innovation, leading to new revenue, jobs and economic growth in Europe.”
Inventors already on the Exchange come from the UK's best research institutes, including University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, Imperial College London, Newcastle University and the University of Edinburgh.
Climate KIC said the Exchange platform provides these academics with the opportunity to transform their ideas into commercial success and gives them a better chance of winning funding by matching with the right entrepreneur.
Another of Climate KIC’s flagship initiatives is its recent series of global ‘hackathons’ in more than a dozen cities around the world. Scientists, inventors and innovators were called together in June to work on local climate change challenges, ranging from rising sea levels and air quality to biodiversity and zero waste.
In London, for example, citizens were asked to find solutions to problems such as collecting air pollution data, improving community links for growing sustainable food and exploring how London can make better use of energy from waste.
The winners of the various hackathon events will be presenting their solutions to global leaders at COP21 in Paris next month.