Green energy start-ups

The Carbon Trust has launched a £2.7m support package to help nurture early-stage technologies that could make an impact on carbon emissions.

The government-backed organisation said the funding would help early-stage ventures in areas such as renewable energy to get off the ground. Three technology groups will receive support under the scheme, called the Low Carbon Incubator Programme.

The three are Imperial College Innovations, the technology transfer arm of Imperial College, London; LIFE-IC, a Sheffield-based specialist in fuel cells and other energy efficient technologies; and Angle Technology, a Surrey technology consultancy and venture company.

The companies were selected from 32 original applicants for the programme. The Carbon Trust said a contract with a fourth organisation may be signed soon.

Each of the technology incubators will provide up to £60,000 worth of support for small early-stage companies developing low-carbon technologies.

They will help the start-ups to develop a business strategy, access relevant research and track down sources of private and public funding.

Areas of interest for the Carbon Trust include combined heat and power (CHP), domestic and industrial fuel cells and alternative energy sources such as hydrogen technologies.

The extra support is likely to be welcomed by start-up technology ventures operating in the ‘green energy’ field, which can experience difficulty finding support in their early stages.

The Carbon Trust claimed the three chosen incubators had a record of helping start-ups to market and would be able to expand their activities in the low carbon sector.

Imperial Innovations has already created seven spin-out companies based on low-carbon technologies.