Rishi Sunak and Bill Gates endorse Cleantech for UK initiative

Cleantech for UK Image credit: Simon Walker / No 10 Downing Street

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have given their support to Cleantech for UK, a new partnership between cleantech investors and entrepreneurs.

The new cleantech initiative, which reportedly has over £4bn in funds, has been launched in a bid to support the UK’s scientific research and was unveiled on Wednesday afternoon at Imperial College London.

“The UK has all the ingredients to become a major player in the global push to build a net-zero emissions future, including world-class research facilities and forward-looking investors,” said Gates.

“It’s great to see cleantech businesses, innovators, and policymakers coming together to advance UK climate leadership.”

Also discussed by Suank and Gates was the potential for the UK to “lead” in solving energy, security, food supply and global public health problems.

Cleantech for UK’s founding members includes Imperial College London’s cleantech accelerator Undaunted, Clean Growth Fund, Kiko Ventures, Decarbonization Partners, Just Climate, and Legal and General Capital.

It will be supported by Gates’ organisation Breakthrough Energy and Cleantech Group.

During their visit to Imperial College London, Gates and Sunak met with cleantech startups Econic, H2GO Power, Crop Intellect.

Econic has developed a catalyst that reduces the amount of energy required to produce plastic. H2GO Power is creating hydrogen storage technology, while Crop Intellect creates various agricultural tech including a left that makes plant food from air pollution.

Professor Hugh Brady, president of Imperial College London, said: “Achieving net zero will require an enormous step-change in our economy, industry and civic systems.”

“We are fuelling a new generation of dynamic, cleantech businesses and helping them to scale and thrive.”

The launch of Cleantech for UK is Sunak’s latest move to support the country’s science and tech sector. Last week, he established the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology in a government reshuffle.

“Investing in renewables and clean tech is one of the best ways to strengthen our energy security, create better-paid jobs and grow the economy,” said Suank.

“With the launch of Cleantech for UK, a new generation of talented British businesses can be confident that they have the backing they need to unlock green solutions to some of the biggest challenges we face.”