Twelve Nordic Startups on a Mission Innovation journey to combat climate change

Twelve Nordic Startups on a Mission Innovation journey to combat climate change

One innovation that can give support wind to more than 25 000 Cargo vessels. A new concept for less driving by finding empty parking slots through sensor technology and a way to save energy through collecting the warm air from restaurant kitchens. These are some of the twelve Nordic innovations that have just reached the market and are nominated for being WWF Climate Solver Honorees 2018 on the journey to Malmö and one of this years largest events on climate change, energy & innovation.

We must acknowledge and be inspired that already existing innovations like these can have a major impact on combating climate change whilst their market expansion could generate export revenues and growth. If the world chooses to invest in innovations like these for exponential growth of jobs, turnover and revenue whilst greenhouse gas emissions are avoided at scale and less water use & air pollution come as warmly welcomed co-benefits as we advance towards a more circular economy. If we act. And let's all push for and expect that this years Talanoa Dialogue leads to higher climate ambitions from countries as well as across all sectors of society. 

So who are they? The 12 are applying a combination of digitalization, engineering and systems thinking into new business models within heavy emitting sectors such as transport, buildings, food and industrial manufacturing. Innovations with large energy and resource savings potential across sectors are dominating this year. Energy and resource efficiencies across economies are known to give the fastest and largest greenhouse gas savings. So the twelve nominated companies in the Nordic countries are: 

Same Tap – 98% less water by Altered Stockholm AB, Sweden

Electric Vehicle charging as real estate service by Parking Energy Ltd, Finland 

Energy efficient filtration in process industries by Sani Mebranes, Denmark

Putting brains in your industrial control system by Smart plants, Norway

Fully automatic room level service for individual and stable heating – using less energy by Fourdeg, Finland 

From waste to value by converting low-grade heat into electricity by Againity, Sweden

Max power & control of electric grid with neurons by Heimdall Power, Norway

Bio-based composites in a large range of real-life applications by Trifilon, Sweden

Avoiding unnecessary driving by finding parking spaces fast by Apparkingspot Nordic AB, Sweden

Wind propulsion for large ships by Norsepower, Finland

Energy recovery in restaurant ventilation by Enjay AB, Sweden

Scalable IoT solution that optimises buildings heating and cuts peak load demand by Leanheat, Finland 

Check them out today! Already reaching this far in Climate Solver Nordic process 2017/18 – these are the best of the best in terms of Nordic start-ups with an early stage commercial offer and large climate impact potential.

As the world of energy and climate change innovation will gather in the the Öresund region 21-25 May for the 9th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM9), the 3rd Mission Innovation Ministerial (MI-3) and Nordic Clean Energy Week - https://cem9-mi3.eu/ - WWF will take the 5 of these with largest impact potential with us. It is a natural fit as these forums are distinct in character and content but they share a common goal with WWF values: Accelerating the clean energy revolution. Energy Ministers from more than 20 countries (and the European Union) – that account for about 90 percent of global clean energy investments and 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions - gather to discuss the future of energy, investment needs, innovation programmes and systems as well as research & development that can help us solve climate change challenges. This also makes it an impactful gathering so please join us.

From WWF we have specifically partnered with Mission Innovation, European Commission, Swedish Energy Agency, BAND, ALMI Invest and City of Malmö around the Cleantech Capital Day to be run at Malmö Live – same venue as the Minister meetings – 22-23 May – see http://ccd.cleantechscandinavia.com/. We will host a Climate Solver & Finance event with the five Climate Solver Nordics and foresee dialogue and forging of new partnerships around accelerating climate change innovations like these onto global markets. This will be a great chance for our new Climate Solver Nordic honorees to join the now 100 Climate Solver innovations from around the world and present their innovations for a number of international decision makers.

So how did we find the 12 nominated finalists? We partnered with Nordic Cleantech Open again this year to tap into a large number of amazing Nordic startups – 116 of them this year to be precise. They were screened by a large number of investors and experts in the jury in order to find the once with a great team, excellent technology and big market potential. These were the NCO Top 25 for this year. From Climate Solver we also invited startups of such quality that they have been a NCO Top25 company over previous three years. From this cohort we have just now selected those 12 innovations and outstanding entrepreneurs with an early stage commercial offer that look set to have the largest climate impact potential over the coming 10 years. Now we are in detail assessing the level of avoided emissions that these innovations can bring over the coming 10 years if they grow and take significant market shares. So to be honoured Climate Solver a great innovation is not enough you must also be verified by WWF on climate impact performance to be among the biggest in the startup community at the moment. This is an obvious practice for us but still now after the Paris Agreement a different practice from the large majority of other innovation challenges we see – including some of those on climate change.

We do this through the Climate Solver Tool and assessment framework that we have now used for more than 250 innovations over the last 10 years. We are encouraged to see a few others starting to take up this important practice from a climate change perspective and we encourage all of you innovation portfolio managers to adopt a practice like this. Or do you already know how to maximise the climate positive value from your innovation portfolio? Tools are there to be used. And Mission Innovation is working on and has the opportunity to launch a framework for avoided emissions from innovation as well. WWF strongly encourages Energy Ministers to adopt such a framework as part of the future Mission Innovation initiative and where sustainable, high climate impact innovations can continually be at the core of the initiative. Seize your power! The urgency in the climate challenge means it really is time for speeding up the change by faster commercialization and scaling of a range of high impact innovations we already have at hand.    

And not only Ministers are in the driving seat to seize their power here. We need more corporates, investors, cities and countries act responsibly by setting science based targets on tackling climate change and act to implement those in order to create an increased demand for impactful innovations like these. In addition these large players must act as test beds and venture partners with our most impactful entrepreneurs. And engage in innovation across their own value-chains towards full decarbonisation. Or else these impactful innovations, like on Climate Solver, just remain beacons of climate hope on a sinking Titanic as we have acted too little, too late. The growth of solutions is unfortunately far too slow at present compared to the rule of thumb of halving global emissions every decade pace that science tell us is needed. We need exponential growth of solutions to tackle this challenge. And this is already happening with mainstream solar PV as well as wind power for example but we must broaden this to other technology areas. 

The large number and quality of Nordic start-up entries again this year reaffirms the WWF analysis that clearly shows how the Nordic region already is strong in nurturing a vast number of cleantech innovation startups (GDP related) compared to other world economies, see Global Cleantech Innovation Index 2017. WWF thinks it is time for the Nordics to also be an important hub in scaling up climate innovations by connecting high impact startups with the growing number of climate action committed corporates, cities and investors in the region and outside – this emerging ecosystem present a huge opportunity. The Nordics have some prerequisites for  becoming a true Silicon Valley of sustainable innovation but must be much better at taking these to scale and global markets in order to tap into some exponential growth opportunities. It is time to grasp that opportunity.  

Looking forward to seeing you with us in Malmö 22-23 May 

Together possible !    

 

Stefan Henningsson

Leader of WWF Climate Solver platform 

 

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