Climate change innovation in action in Glasgow

Connected Places Catapult has been working with CivTech Alliance to support their global scale-up programme which culminated in companies pitching their solutions at COP26 in Glasgow last week. CivTech Alliance is leading govtech innovation globally, putting Scotland at the forefront of innovation on an international level.

Eight governments and three academic/not-for-profit institutions across 10 countries came together to provide a unique access programme in the run-up to, and during, COP26 in Glasgow in November. The three challenges focused on 

These are all linked to UN SDGs and all a call to arms to look at unique technology solutions to tackle the climate crisis. CivTech Alliance is an example of taking action at a time when action is needed and innovation is the key to unlocking climate change and building a more sustainable way of life and creating change. A scale-up programme like this has never been done on such a scale and is an example of creative thinking and collaboration to create both trade and investment opportunities for Scotland and the markets involved but also to create change and support exciting and innovative startups and SMEs to create real change. 

The event was hybrid, held at SDI offices in Glasgow and offered the ability for people to take participate in person here and remotely (perhaps one of the few benefits of the pandemic making us more digital), this scale-up programme is a platform for global innovation and collaboration.

Day one was focused on the decarbonization of transport, bringing together an exciting group of companies from the US to Lithuania and more in between. The programme has bought different agencies and companies together on a shared journey of innovation and sustainability.

The first day culminated in a networking reception at Edinburgh Castle, where Mr Ivan McKee, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, outlined that whilst we were in a historic monument, which reminded us all of Scotland’s long history but it was also a reminder of the innovation and thought leadership that has come out of Scotland (inventors, engineers, philosophers like Alexander Graham Bell inventing the telephone, James Watt’s steam engine, John Logie Baird invented the television and Alexander Flemming, who discovered Penicillin (apt during the pandemic), and with innovation being at the heart of the CivTech Alliance Global Scale Up programme, the venue really encapsulated and continued the legacy of innovation and creativity, in Scotland, the wider UK but also globally. 

Climate change and resilience were at the core of this CivTech Alliance Global Scale Up programme and the companies that took part, are leading the way in using creativity and ingenuity to create change and make a difference but they need our support. Support of time, resource, investment but most of all, our commitment, that the only way to affect climate change and tackle the current crisis is very much to utilise innovation for change and create technology solutions to create a better future. 

To find out more about the CivTech Alliance Global Scale-Up Programme, click here.