Oct 29, 2021
JETRO Co-Hosts Online Event to Promote Collaboration between Japanese and British Companies in the ClimateTech Sector
On October 29, JETRO co-hosted an online pitch event titled "Climate Tech (Technologies that Contribute to Climate Change Solutions)" with the Set Squared Partnership*. Six UK startups that develop and provide technology-related products and services to combat climate change took the stage at the event, which aimed to promote collaboration between British and Japanese companies in the field of Climate Tech, including decarbonization and the circular economy.
Simon Bond, Director of Innovation at SETSquared, gave opening remarks, followed by a speech by Fumiko Uraki, General Manager of Venture Office, Technology & Business Development Division, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation. She introduced the company's efforts based on its 29% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 (compared to fiscal 2019) target, along with Japan's 2050 carbon neutrality target, and expressed her willingness to collaborate with startups in the Climate Tech sector.
Next, he introduced three startups from the UK related to Climate Tech that are conducting research and development to reduce GHG emissions from fossil fuels. Kelpie, which has developed a biopolymer using renewable biomass seaweed to provide sustainable bioplastics; Albotherm, which uses a special glass coating process that changes from clear to white to enable room temperature control inside buildings; and zero-emission Ecomar Propulsion, which develops marine environmentally friendly marine engines by using batteries and hydrogen cells, took the stage.
This was followed by a panel discussion followed with SETSquared, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, and Zero Carbon Capital on public and private investment and government regulation to combat climate change, as well as employment support for startups in the ClimateTech sector.
Startup introductions included Naturbeads, who are researching and developing biodegradable cellulose microbeads as an alternative to fossil fuel-based plastic microbeads; Nuspec Oils, who develop and manufacture biodegradable and thermally stable base oils for the production of environmentally friendly lubricants and chemicals; and Utnomy, who enables more efficient gas supply through the operation of artificial intelligence (AI)-based control systems.
The second half of the panel discussion featured the same three companies as the first half. Future issues in the ClimateTech field were discussed, and the importance of the role of the ICURe program, which examines the market potential of products and services generated from university research and supports financing, was emphasized. Finally, Mr. Masahide Sakishige, Deputy Director of JETRO London Office, explained the "J-Bridge" program.
* This is an incubator network that supports technology transfer and spin-out companies from six leading universities in the UK.