Clean technology innovators could benefit from a £1.75m UK government fund to expand their businesses.
The funds are an expansion of the Carbon Trust’s business incubation scheme, which is aimed at growing a new generation of UK companies specialising in the development of environmentally friendly technology.
Recent research from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills shows that business leaders expect clean technology to be the UK’s highest growth sector in the coming years. The Carbon Trust believes that additional funding will play a crucial role in making this happen.
The approximately 90 companies incubated by the Carbon Trust scheme so far have raised around £86m in private funding.
The Carbon Trust is currently looking for 25 new joiners to the scheme over the coming year with up to £70,000 of support on offer to each.
The funds will cover strategic and business development consultancy, advice on corporate finance, management team recruitment and mentoring, product development, market research and engagement and guidance on intellectual-property protection.
The Carbon Trust claims that incubatee companies typically attract around £16 of private funding for every £1 spent on incubation services.
According to the organisation, the companies that joined the scheme in 2008-09 have raised almost £19m in private investment with the Carbon Trust’s support.
Dave Raval, head of the Carbon Trust incubation scheme, said that the UK could be a hub for clean technology with solid business investment.
‘You may have a great technology or service idea but, to make it fly and become a commercial reality, you need a strong business behind you and the know-how to attract investment,’ he said.
The Carbon Trust has selected six early-stage business growth consultancies to assist the scheme’s expansion. These companies include Angle Technology, CLT, Conduit Partners, E-Synergy, Isis Innovation and TTP.
The organisation has also set up a network to scout for promising low-carbon technology companies across the UK. The network includes SETIC (East Kilbride), UMIC (Manchester), SETsquared (Bath), Life-IC (Rotherham) and Imperial Innovations (London).