Australian green start-ups are fixing the climate crisis

This week, six years ago, ClimateLaunchpad saw its first light of day in this world. We have been growing ever since. Time to take a closer look at regional differences. What does it take to create impact with a cleantech start-up on one continent or the other? What stories can be shared from across the globe? This second article in a series shines a light on Australian cleantech successes.

Australia joined our competition in 2017 and has since been highly successful in attracting numerous promising teams and ideas, with Boot Camps at several locations.

Our Australian National Leads for ClimateLaunchpad are Jessica Hyne (Climate-KIC Australia’s marketing and communications lead), Will Soutar  (Climate-KIC Australia’s director of business development) and Belinda Whelan (Climate-KIC Australia’s director of strategic projects).

With their strong networks within the industry and experience in harnessing innovation to build high performance teams, they are eager to point the next generation of cleantech entrepreneurs in the right direction: “As part of Climate-KIC Australia, ClimateLaunchpad offers new ways to link businesses, entrepreneurs, research, investors, and government to address the challenges of climate change. The competition is part of a suite of innovation and education programs built on the experience of Climate-KIC Europe that are customised to the Australian market. We are thrilled to be able to provide access to mentors, decision makers, investors and research expertise.”

Their approach is paying off. Many former participants continued on to other programmes within the EIT Climate-KIC offerings and are turning their ideas into successful businesses. Some highlights of Australian start-ups’ achievements and milestones:

Capricorn Power (2017 National Winner)
They developed an efficient way to reduce waste and produce clean energy with one simple engine. Their scalable and turnkey solution can be delivered onsite in a compact green container. This technology has the power to reduce emissions and reduce energy costs in one hit. It is a game changer for basically any industry that produces waste heat.

In 2018 they were able to secure a $300k government grant to bring a first commercial engine to market. They won multiple awards including the 2018 Australian Technologies Competition. Currently they are working on a wholesale investment round and they completed two successful demonstrations. More on Capricorn Power on their website.

Sunovate (2018 National Winner)
Sunovate found a way to boost solar panel performance by 300%. Their system produces both electricity and heated air from PV panels to create a total energy solution. They beauty lies in the simplicity of the solution. It operates in conjunction with existing panels and can be fitted to the back of any solar panel. Last February they took their 20kW system in production, including a battery, heat pump and thermal storage.

Also, they partnered up with the CRC RACE for 2030; an unprecedented research partnership to support a customer-centered clean energy transition in Australia. More about how Sunovate is innovating solar on their website.

Carbon Sync (2019 participant)
Carbon Sync is changing agricultural landscape management.  With the technology of Regenerative Agriculture (RA) they aim to bring Australia to net zero emissions in as little as 20 years. RA improves rainfall infiltration and water use efficiency, decrease crop loss from pests and disease, reduce weed burdens, improve nutrient cycling, reduce reliance on external fertility and chemical inputs and build resilience to the extremes of weather.

Carbon Sync intends to start a pilot project across the wheat belt. Sixty farmers are invited to participate in a farm-scale commercial pilot to demonstrate the potential impact. The pilot will deliver four years of education and training to farmers in the programme. Read more about Carbon Sync here.

These are just a couple of former Australian participants on their way to create real change. We can’t wait to see what 2020 will bring in terms of new ideas, new teams and alumni milestones.

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