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GE and Carbon Trust cooperate on European clean-tech funding

GE and the Carbon Trust have launched a pan-European partnership to accelerate European clean-tech growth, including a US$5 million business incubation fund

By Kari Williamson

The business incubation fund will target low-carbon technologies in 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.

The partnership is part of the US$200m 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 US$134m for investment and commercial partnerships with start-up companies globally.

Carbon Trust Chief Executive, Tom Delay, says: “Clean-tech 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.”

According to a recent Bloomberg New Energy Finance report, only 25% of the worlds clean-tech investment takes place in Europe today, compared to 42% in 2007. 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 clean-tech sector in this period, with Europe and Asia Pacific accounting for just 19% and 18% respectively.

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