- Low carbon incubation fund launched as Europe sees a 40%
decrease in share of clean energy investment since 2007
- Partnership seeks to support start-up clean technology
businesses as GE'S Innovation Barometer indicates 1 in 2 businesses
see the UK as a challenging environment for innovation
- Initiative an extension of GE's ecomagination Challenge - a
$200M global programme to find and fund the best ideas in clean
GE and the Carbon Trust today announced a new pan-European partnership to
accelerate European clean tech growth amid growing evidence that
the region is struggling to keep up with other parts of the globe
in this critical sector.
The initial 18 month phase of the partnership includes a $5
million business incubation fund targeted at new low carbon
technologies in the area of infrastructure applications. The Carbon
Trust will work with GE to identify and evaluate early stage
companies, then incubate and invest in those with the most
potential. This partnership is part of the $200 million GE
ecomagination Challenge, a global open innovation initiative with
Venture Capital partners that launched in 2010 to find and fund the
best ideas around clean tech technology. To date, GE and partners
have committed $134 million for investment and commercial
partnerships with start-up companies globally.
According to GE's recent Innovation Barometer, which polled
2,800 businesses across 22 markets globally, the majority of UK
companies surveyed saw innovation as fundamental to the future
health of the UK - both economically and socially - but that
sufficient triggers are not in place to stimulate and encourage
The results make it clear that UK companies see collaboration as
a key to future growth. 84% of UK businesses believe that
developing partnerships and collaboration with a combination of
players - including government, big business, SMEs and individuals
- is the key to success in innovation. Almost 9 out of 10 UK
businesses also claim that SMEs and individual entrepreneurs can be
as innovative as bigger companies, reinforcing the need for seed
funding and support for local innovations and ideas.
Carbon Trust Chief Executive Tom Delay
"Cleantech has the capacity to be a strong growth driver for
Europe given its strong research capability and track record in
this area. However, there is increasing evidence that other parts
of the world are catching up and overtaking the region. This
exciting initiative will accelerate the commercialisation of
Europe's more promising cleantech businesses."
Over the past five years Europe has seen its global clean energy
lead eroded compared to other parts of the world. According to a
recent Bloomberg New Energy Finance report*, in 2007 42% of the
world's clean energy investment took place in Europe compared to
just 25% today. During the same period Asia Oceania has almost
doubled its share of overall investment.
Analysis of venture capital investment activity in Q4 2011 by
the Cleantech Group showed that North America accounted for almost
two thirds of total venture capital investments in the cleantech
sector in this period, with Europe and Asia Pacific accounting for
just 19% and 18% respectively.
GE UK Chief Executive Mark Elborne
"GE was one of the first global companies to develop a strategy
around the environment and business with our highly successful
ecomagination initiative. We are increasingly focused on
identifying new businesses, technologies and human talent in this
area. GE sees the business benefit but also the potential these new
technologies offer in delivering overall economic growth and
improved resource efficiency."
Tom Delay continued:
"This announcement marks a major development for the Carbon
Trust and will help Europe achieve its potential. The region has
historically led innovation in this area but we increasingly need
to ensure clean technology businesses are commercialised fast and
effectively so Europe can keep ahead.
During a downturn, supporting these businesses becomes doubly
important: research studies show that such high growth businesses
account for a disproportionate amount of job growth. At the same
time, they have a greater need for capital than lower growth
businesses and this can be an issue if banks are restrained on
lending. Incubation funds such as this one can help,"
For further information
GE Media contacts:
Corporate Communications Director, GE UK
0207 302 6068
07717 517 071
Joanne Milroy / Ben Steele
020 7526 3600
For more information and to speak to a Carbon Trust
spokesperson, please contact the Carbon Trust press office:
0207 544 3100
Notes to editors:
GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people
and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges.
Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and
finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just
imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the
company's website at www.ge.com.
ecomagination is GE's commitment to imagine and build innovative
solutions to today's environmental challenges while driving
More information on GE's Global Innovation Barometer can be
About the Carbon Trust
The Carbon Trust is a not-for-profit company with the mission to
accelerate the move to a low carbon economy, providing specialist
support to business and the public sector to help cut carbon
emissions, save energy and commercialise low carbon technologies.
By stimulating low carbon action we contribute to key UK goals of
lower carbon emissions, the development of low carbon businesses,
increased energy security and associated jobs.
We help to cut carbon emissions now by
- Providing specialist advice and finance to help organisations
- Setting standards for carbon reduction
We reduce potential future carbon emissions by
- Opening markets for low carbon technologies
- Leading industry collaborations to commercialise
- Investing in early stage low carbon companies
*Bloomberg New Energy Finance report "Global Trends in Renewable
Energy Investment in 2011".