UCL News


New £40 million Clean Growth Fund to supercharge green start-ups

21 May 2020

A new £40M fund to invest in the UK’s most promising early stage clean growth ventures was today announced by the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and CCLA as part of an initiative supported by UCL academic, Professor Chris Rapley CBE.

Clean growth

The Clean Growth Fund will invest in the UK’s most promising early-stage “clean growth” companies pioneering carbon emission reductions in the areas of power and energy, buildings, transport and waste.  

It will seek to accelerate the development and commercialisation of clean growth technologies, to create new and skilled jobs across the country, and contribute to the UK’s efforts to deliver net zero by 2050.

There is a strong market need for new funding to support clean growth companies at the ‘early’ stage of their development.  BEIS and CCLA want to support and enable an increase in early stage investment in clean growth technologies and solutions.  Partnering public funds with private capital is key for delivering Net Zero and this Fund will show the opportunities available in the clean growth space.

Professor Rapley (UCL Earth Sciences), a specialist in climate science, has supported the initiative over the last five years by advising on science matters related to the climate crisis and the need for clean growth.

Professor Rapley said: "We urgently need to accelerate the scale and pace of action to address climate change – both to reduce our impacts on the climate system and to become more resilient to its impacts on us. Investments in early stage clean growth companies will be a key contribution to the national and global effort to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050."

The Clean Growth Fund will be managed by Clean Growth Investment Management LLP (CGIM).  The Managing Partner of CGIM is Beverley Gower-Jones, working in partnership with NorthStar Ventures to bring together in-depth knowledge of the UK low carbon technology sector and investment expertise.

BEIS and the CCLA are the cornerstone investors for the Clean Growth Fund, investing £20M each.  The Fund has ambitions for a £100M fund and CGIM is now seeking wider private sector investment from others – pension funds, Limited Partner (LP) investors and family offices.

Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, said: “The need for innovative and ambitious ideas across green industries has never been greater. I am pleased that with the help of this fund, promising clean growth start-ups will be able to step up to accelerate the UK’s recovery, while supporting our path to Net Zero by 2050.” 

“This pioneering new fund will enable innovative low-carbon solutions to be scaled up at speed, helping to drive a green and resilient economic recovery.”

James Bevan, CCLA’s Chief Investment Officer said: “We decided that it was time for CCLA to invest in the very best early stage technologies to support the UK Net Zero objective.  In partnership with BEIS, we have developed a solution, the Clean Growth Fund.  Through the Clean Growth Fund, we now look forward to working with other investors to support these exciting young UK companies aiming to reduce carbon emissions.”

Beverley Gower-Jones, Managing Partner of CGIM said: “The Clean Growth Fund is a significant boost to the country’s low carbon sector and is a clear signal from the UK Government that new and innovative technologies will be crucial to deliver Net Zero and the clean growth agenda. We want to hear from the very best clean technology businesses from across the UK.”