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Tech scaleups selected for Net Zero programme to boost climate schemes

A tech scaleups growth platform has announced that 32 UK businesses have been accepted into a government-backed net zero programme.

Net Zero 2.0, implemented by Tech Nation, is the first government-backed programme supporting climate technology companies.

The selected companies were judged by a panel including climate specialists, investors and senior representatives from companies such as Google, National Grid, Sky Ocean, Bulb and B Corp, including Hayden Wood, CEO and founder at Bulb, Marta Krupinska, head of Google for Startups UK, and Pippa Gawley, founder & director of Zero Carbon Capital.

New data from Tech Nation and Dealroom has revealed there are 519 Net Zero startups and scaleups in the UK, more than France – 270 – and Germany – 318.

Areas of focus among the companies chosen for the programme are energy and electricity, transport, buildings and cities, and agriculture, as well as space tech for the first time.

Companies selected that are using space technology include Earth Blox, which is using satellite data to identify deforestation or mining activities, Sylvera, which uses machine learning and satellite data to verify the carbon offsetting company and Satellite Vu, the world’s first satellite constellation capable of measuring the thermal footprint of any building on the planet every 1-2 hours.

Sammy Fry, Net Zero lead at Tech Nation, commented: “With Europe recording its highest ever temperature on record this Summer, and the latest IPCC report published last month, there isn’t a more urgent time to take climate action.

“Every successful climate tech company is another step towards decarbonising the world. I’m proud to say that in the run up to COP26, our pioneering Net Zero growth programme gives these revolutionary, high-impact scale-ups the access they need to investors, insights, education, networks and practical support, enabling the UK to lead our transition to a green economy as quickly as possible.”

Gerard Grech, founding CEO of Tech Nation and founding member of the Tech Zero Taskforce, said: “Climate tech is playing an enormous role in reducing carbon emissions. Technology that helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, either directly or indirectly, across all sectors of society is in hot demand.

“But with 40 per cent of emissions reductions reliant on technologies not yet at mass-market scale, there is huge potential still to be realised. With these companies needing to scale further and faster than any other technology has before to meet the demand, we are committed to doing all we can at Tech Nation to support and accelerate the growth of the UK’s climate tech scaleups.”

Paul Struthers, Managing Director, UKI, Sage, said: “To tackle the climate crisis and protect the planet, we are taking action to address our own environmental impact and supporting SMBs to make it easier for them to do the same.

“Partnering with Tech Nation on its latest Net Zero programme allows us to support a generation of high growth tech businesses that will not only innovate to tackle the climate crisis, but also provide UK SMBs – who see sustainability as a big priority – with solutions to reduce their own carbon emissions.”

See the companies chosen to take part in the programme below.

Agritech & foodtech

– Better Origin – Cambridge Better Origin develops and operates insect bioconversion solutions that allow farmers and food producers to turn food and agricultural wastes into valuable nutrients through insects. The company’s goal is to democratise access to insect farming so that any farmer can access insect waste repurposing possibilities, in turn helping reduce the footprint of agriculture.

– Bx Earth – London Bx Technologies fuses technology with nature to transform how we grow food. The company is breaking new ground to digitalise and change the way we produce food through Software as a Service (SaaS) operational tools on farms and creating a market incentive to change practices. Two products tackle the supply and demand of independently verified, data backed, fully transparent carbon offsets and ecosystem service provision from food production; LOOOP & Earth Exchange.

– Gardin – Oxford Gardin’s remote sensing technology aims to empower food producers by monitoring and delivering insights on plant health versus the growth environment to reduce waste and make growing food more sustainable. Gardin’s full-stack solution is engineered to measure plant crop physiological traits such as photosynthetic activity, biotic and abiotic stress and nutritional density. It will also drive correlations between the physiology of the plants/crops and the growth environment so producers can make meaningful interventions exactly when needed.

Biotech and Life Sciences

– Unicorn Biotechnologies – Cambridge Unicorn Biotechnologies is developing a fully automated manufacturing platform to enable cellular agriculture producers to seamlessly scale products from the lab bench to supermarket shelves. The full stack platform combines hardware, software and analytics to completely automate cellular agriculture manufacturing, reducing costs and increasing product quality. By providing a clear path to take cellular agriculture products to industrial scales, the company aims to drive the transition to animal free agriculture.

– Xampla – Cambridge Xampla makes a replacement for specific microplastics and single use film packaging, targeting three launch applications with a patented, next generation material: plant protein. Xampla aims to become one of a handful of biobased majors by 2040, supplying plant-protein and other related materials to the major plastics customers.

Carbon calculation

– Spherics Technology – Bristol Spherics is a cloud-based platform to help businesses measure, mitigate and manage their climate impact. The system integrates with established software packages and tracks and visualises the client’s carbon footprint in near real-time. It then makes custom suggestions on how to reduce the impact by matching company data trends with climate science research, to offset any unavoidable carbon emissions.

Carbon removal and offsetting

– Carbon Infinity – London Carbon Infinity is developing a cost-effective, modular technology called direct air capture (DAC), removing carbon dioxide directly from the air in the atmosphere. Advanced carbon-capture sorbent material and module design, combined with waste heat or renewable energy and water, can be used to form the building blocks of the industrial economy; whether non-petrochemicals, plastics, synthetic fuels for aviation or shipping, and atmospheric carbon-enriched products (concrete, carbon nanotubes). Carbon Infinity is initially focused on facilitating the de-fossilisation of hard-to-decarbonise sectors.

– Supercritical – London Supercritical help businesses get to net zero by measuring their carbon footprint and selling them high quality carbon removal offsets.

– Sylvera – London Sylvera considers itself the equivalent of Moody’s credit ratings for carbon offsets. The company uses machine learning and satellite data to rate nature based offset projects. The market reference data produced is being adopted by the biggest buyers, traders and exchanges.

Energy tech

*- ACT Blade – Edinburgh * ACT Blade’s vision is to produce the next generation of wind turbine blades for a net-zero future. The company is developing a lightweight and modular blade using sustainable and cost-effective processes and materials capable of delivering a step-change increase in energy production and reduction in costs.

– measurable.energy – Reading measurable.energy’s platform aims to eliminate all wasted energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from buildings, automatically and without any extra burden to occupants. The m.e platform focuses on Small Power, sometimes known as Plug Load power, which can account for up to 40 per cent of a commercial buildings’ energy consumption and has no useful management system. The platform is designed to fit into this management gap, reducing total energy costs and GHG emissions by up to 50 per cent, providing around a 4-year payback, and boosting occupant sustainability behaviour.

– Ripple – London Ripple enables people and businesses to part-own large scale wind farms and have the low cost, green electricity they produce supplied to them via the grid through utility partners. Ripple is the UK’s first clean energy ownership platform, making fractional wind farm ownership and supply simple and affordable. The mission is to make clean energy ownership affordable and accessible to everyone.

– PowerMarket – Oxford PowerMarket is digitalising and consolidating the entire life-cycle for enterprise solar assets, saving customers over 90 per cent of their time and resources by providing an alternative solution to the current management which is riddled with long, expensive, fragmented and manually driven processes and software tools.

– Solar Polar – Peterborough Solar Polar has developed solar cooling that delivers the cheapest Watt of cooling. The system is designed to be manufactured in the developing world and provides cooling for refrigeration and air-conditioning without any electricity or gas, using only natural refrigerants.

– Solivus – Westerham Solivus’ mission is to enable mega-buildings, homes and communities to lower their carbon footprint and generate their own local green energy through a suite of solar solutions. The company uses new organic thin-film solar technology to design products that are opening up vast new markets previously unavailable to traditional solar, both in the UK and internationally. Solivus makes a positive difference by creating truly sustainable, clean energy products, made using the latest innovations in renewable energy. One of Solivus’ solar fabrics, which is manufactured by Heliatek, won the 2020 Innovation Award at the World Energy Summit.

– ZUoS – Edinburgh ZUoS is an energy services platform to plan and operate a decarbonised energy system. ZUoS provides the ability to predict, schedule and control flexible demand at the local level in homes and businesses. By focusing locally, ZUos provides visibility and control enabling more renewables, low carbon heating and EV charging to be installed within each community.

Environmental monitoring

– Earth Blox – Edinburgh Earth Blox is a code-free, cloud-based, Lego-like SaaS that allows up-skilling of global teams in planetary scale satellite intelligence. Users can DIY their own Earth Observation Solutions using Earth Blox’s modular blocks to rapidly identify illegal activities like deforestation and mining, monitor a supply chain, manage post-disaster recovery and support nature-based solutions. Earth Blox enables anyone, anywhere to customise their own satellite intelligence to exactly suit their needs.

Fintech

– Tred – Leeds Tred is a consumer fintech whose mission is to make money work for people and the planet. Its first product is the UK’s first green debit card that lets users track, reduce and offset their carbon footprint as they spend, and plants trees with profits. The company will soon be launching more products, like green investing and a sustainable marketplace, to help people turn more of their money green.

Proptech

– Ambue – Oxford Ambue gives people information and advice to use energy more efficiently in their homes, by creating a unique Digital Twin of each home which is used to analyse the energy use and automatically generate technical documents, so that contractors can carry out the work. Our users save energy, which means they save money, put less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and help combat global warming.

– Qualis Flow – London Qflow enables developers and construction teams to better manage their materials and waste. Using a unique combination of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, Qflow automates the digitisation of material tickets and waste transfer notes as they enter construction sites, independent of supply chain systems. Qflow provides direct access to critical information on site, ensuring quality and safety of products.

– Satellite Vu – London Satellite Vu will monitor the temperature of any structure on the planet in near real-time to determine valuable insights into economic activity, energy efficiency and carbon footprint. The high-resolution infrared dataset will enable better business decisions and accelerate our journey to net zero. Satellite Vu brings a new category of satellite data to solve our global challenges.

– Sphera – Durham Sphera is an award-winning speciality materials start-up focusing on low carbon, next generation construction material alternatives for the race to Net Zero. Their products include the world’s first carbon zero and carbon negative concrete blocks, and admixtures to accelerate concrete curing rate and decrease cement content. These innovations help to simultaneously tackle climate change and plastic pollution.

Supply chain

– Sourceful – Manchester Sourceful is an end-to-end sourcing and supply chain platform focused on sustainability. With Sourceful, businesses can source, configure and design sustainable packaging from a network of vetted suppliers and automate their inventory replenishment. They can also leverage Sourceful’s proprietary life cycle assessment tool to understand the impact of product decisions in real-time and offset their carbon footprint to achieve net zero.

Transport tech

– CATAGEN – Belfast CATAGEN is a clean air data company providing emissions testing services to the world’s leading car and motorcycle brands. It uses a proprietary toolset to help these brands meet or exceed global emissions standards. Using this knowledge and data, CATAGEN is developing PED, a new product which mines the unique data and uses models to create a software technology platform to inform individuals about their emissions footprint to create behaviour change.

– Electric Assisted Vehicles Limited – Oxford EAV is the leading provider of last-mile transport solutions specifically designed for our evolving urban environments – making them zero-emission, low cost, reliable and future-proof.

– EMSOL – London EMSOL deploys leading-edge air pollution monitoring in conjunction with state-of-the-art, real-time vehicle tracking technology. By intelligently combining these datasets, EMSOL can, with unparalleled accuracy levels, identify exactly the who, what, where and when of pollution. This allows EMSOL customers to evolve from passive ‘observers’ into proactive climate heroes and achieve their net-zero goals.

– Miralis Data – Lancaster Miralis Data develops products that support the transition to zero-carbon vehicles and make companies more productive and efficient through better use of their vehicle fleets and the goods that travel on them. Miralis’ main product is Fuuse, an electric vehicle charge point management platform that enables organisations to deliver more for their drivers, minimise operational costs and create new revenues.

– Paua Tech – London Paua makes public electric vehicle charging a simple experience with a mobile app for drivers to find, charge and pay for charging through aggregating chargepoint providers and drivers. Businesses are supported with a centralised billing function and a fleet managers dashboard.

– The Tyre Collective – London The Tyre Collective is a cleantech company building innovative solutions to save our air from tyre wear. Tyre wear is the second-largest microplastic pollutant in our oceans and a stealthy source of air PM pollution. The company is spearheading the capture and monitoring of tyre wear, accelerating the shift towards zero-emission mobility.

– Sunswap – London Sunswap is developing hardware and software to accelerate the decarbonisation of transport refrigeration. Sunswap’s battery- and solar-powered transport refrigeration unit (TRU) replaces dirty and loosely regulated diesel incumbents currently used by supermarkets and other refrigerated fleet operators.

– Magway – London Magway is an all-electric, zero-emissions, low-footprint, high-capacity delivery system. It has the capacity to take up to 90 per cent of online delivery vehicles off our roads, drastically reducing congestion, pollution and the carbon footprint of shopping online. Magway can deliver the equivalent of 20,000 40ft container loads through each 1m diameter pipe per week, giving people what they want, when they want it, efficiently and sustainably.

Wash tech

– Oxwash – Oxford Oxwash offers sustainable, on-demand laundry and dry cleaning services to both B2B and B2C market segments. Oxwash is a tech company at heart, with an in-house team of developers building a scalable solution to power the international laundry revolution.