UK is a world leader in climate tech
Tech Nation’s Climate Tech Report 2022 has revealed that international investment into UK climate tech companies has almost doubled, rising from $4B in 2021 to $7.5B so far in 2022.
While the trend is increasing for the UK and on a global level, this is not the case for all countries. Investment in the US, Germany and Sweden seems to be slowing down; receiving $2.1B, $4.4B and $2.2B less investment in 2022 so far (compared to 2021) respectively.
The UK is on track to see climate tech companies raising nearly $20B per year by 2030.
The UK is second only to the US for the number of companies working to address the climate crisis, with over 5,200 climate tech companies in the UK to date (compared with 14,300 in the US).
The UK has 8 climate tech ‘unicorns’; Octopus Energy, Newcleo, Depop, ITM Power, Ceres, OVO Energy, Smart Metering Systems (SMS plc) and Vertical Aerospace. The UK has a further 19 future climate tech companies on their way to becoming unicorns, currently valued between $250M – $800M, showing a healthy pipeline of climate pioneers in the UK.
The UK now needs to focus on enabling ‘gigacorns’ to thrive; a new term used to describe commercially sustainable companies that can remove a gigaton of carbon from the environment each year.
R&D spending must be protected for continued climate tech innovation
However, the UK’s climate tech ambitions are dependent on policy to fuel continued innovation. Amidst concerns that R&D might be cut, Tech Nation is urging the Government that R&D funding must be protected to help drive us towards net zero, and an innovation-led economic recovery.
A report from the IPPR suggests the UK lags £62B behind in R&D, with investment falling by a fifth since 2014 and with the UK now placing just 11th in the OECD in terms of total R&D investment as a percentage of GDP, well behind countries like Austria, Switzerland and the USA.
Gerard Grech, Chief Executive at Tech Nation, comments: “It is imperative we match the rhetoric ambition of making the UK a ‘forward facing, science superpower’ with the R&D commitment needed to achieve this. COP27 focuses the mind.
Tech Nation also urges that policies such as the government’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, which promises more investment into the UK’s Net Zero tech companies, are not only followed but prioritised, in order to see further growth in UK climate tech.