UK Corporates Partner To Fuel The Next Generation Of CleanTech Startups

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The partners are redefining how large corporates and cleantech startups can collaborate and work collectively to source and accelerate the uptake of innovation.

Corporations are engaging with sustainability in a very different way to how they were a decade ago, with many focusing on the urban environment they operate in. As it is common for companies to rent and own a large portfolio of buildings, energy efficiency and sustainable buildings are becoming more of a strategic focus for value adding and innovation. Sustainable buildings have also become a natural extension of their commitment to leadership in the community, health, and well-being of their employees and the environment.

The Innovation Gateway is an alliance of organizations across sectors working in partnership to reduce the risk and cost of adopting high-impact solutions to transform their buildings. The corporates involved are Heathrow, Carillion, Royal Bank of Scotland, University of Cambridge, Unite Students, Kingfisher plc and Lancaster University. The partners are redefining how large corporates can collaborate and work collectively to source and accelerate the uptake of innovation.

The Next Big Ideas

We understand that it can be hard for startups to break into the supply chains of big businesses without credible references and real-world performance data on their solution.

Innovation Gateway’s aim is to provide startups who have a solution towards a more resource efficient future with a chance to get in front of key decision makers at UK blue-chip organisations, at no cost.

Throughout the year the corporates come together to identify and prioritize common challenges that they are facing around their buildings, this could be around energy, waste, water, productivity and well-being. Once the partners have collectively identified the challenges to take forward, we then begin our global search for the next big ideas. To amplify our reach we work with our extended network of accelerators, incubators, and associations to find startups who have a solution to the challenges.

UK Corporates Partner To Fuel The Next Generation Of CleanTech Startups

How The Programme Works

For startups to participate in the programme, they are required to fill in an application which is sent to all the partners to review, and they are responsible for selecting the innovators for the Pitch event. The event is like a dragon’s den style competition where the innovator pitches their idea to all the partners and if successful on the day; the startup progresses to a more in-depth assessment stage to discuss trial options. This is where the Innovation Gateway gets interesting if the innovator is selected for a trial by one partner, the other companies will still benefit from the trial and the findings. We call this ‘the power of many’ where our corporate partners are collectively sharing knowledge, good practice and data to achieve resource efficiencies in their building.

UK Corporates Partner To Fuel The Next Generation Of CleanTech Startups

An added bonus for the startup is the sharing of trial data to all existing and prospective partners, amplifying the innovator’s market access. In the words of one of the winners, Nigel Bamford from Waterblade “the Innovation Gateway continues to be my no.1 sales tool. It has provided us with serious credibility and opened doors for us. As a result, we now have ongoing trials and sales with water utilities, shopping centers, hotels and even the Houses of Parliament! Additionally, we have a great deal of overseas interest with some export sales and representation in new markets like the Caribbean, New Zealand, and Botswana.

Since 2014, the alliance has sourced over 640 buildings related innovations, with around 40 of these currently under trial in the Partners’ buildings. Based on the experience of the partners to date, we estimate an organization with 10,000 employees can expect to make operational savings of ~€5.2 million over five years.

Innovation Gateway is always on the lookout for startups that are interested in accessing UK corporates to gain credibility and trial their ideas in a real business situation. The next call for innovations already started – so sign up today!



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