For those working to battle climate breakdown, the complexity, uncertainty and scale of its challenges can make any single solution feel insignificant. That’s why the aptly-named Clean + Cool is on a mission to bring together and celebrate a community of cleantech FutureHeroes who share the same vision: relentlessly pursuing the reduction of negative environmental impacts.
“Those working in cleantech might be reluctant heroes, but all the coolest ones are.” – Guy Pattison, Clean + Cool
‘Cleantech’ is exactly what it sounds like – any clean technology that helps a more efficient use of natural resources. Whether recycling, renewable energy, sustainable transportation, green chemistry, lighting, water purification, biofuels, concrete that absorbs carbon dioxide or edible algae; the clean technology revolution is all about tackling the world’s toughest problems – while keeping it clean.
On both sides of the Atlantic, there are considerable human challenges to overcome. That’s why the Clean + Cool programme is on the lookout for entrepreneurs from the UK’s most promising early-stage cleantech companies with transformational potential: with the mission of helping them to develop their pitch, profile and network in the US – and then sharing their positive stories, to change the narrative into something more hopeful.
When Clean + Cool first came to the Bay Area in 2010, no one predicted the speed and combination of changes that have shaped our world since. As the team come up to the tenth year of running overseas missions, we asked Co-Founder Guy Pattison to tell us about three projects that represent some of the most exciting and promising Clean + Cool alumni…
1. Beautiful artificial coral reefs powered by waves
Coastlines and beaches are dynamic, living landscapes. They evolve and erode as sand gets blown by wind and tumbled by destructive waves; sandbars and pools arise and disappear; and dunes shrink and migrate.
“Will Bateman founded CCell to harness the power of nature to grow beautiful artificial reefs. He’s developing the world’s first eco-based coastal protection, growing corals at an accelerated rate, powered by renewable wave energy. Will’s vision is unique and tackles a major biodiversity issue, as well as coastal resilience.”
► Protect beaches by growing reefs
2. Bionic leaf eats CO2 to grow food
One of the planet’s smallest and fastest-growing organisms is helping inventor-engineer Julian Melchiorri to think macro by playing with the micro; tackling the epic problem of global warming and greenhouse gases by innovating with teeny, tiny plants like microalgae.
“This is a really bold vision and an unexpected solution: Julian has pioneered a ‘bionic leaf’ that uses photosynthesis to grow food. All the pathways to net-zero by 2050 include a big chunk of carbon removal, as well as carbon reduction. However, the Arborea BioSolar Leaf is one of the few carbon removal technologies we have seen using natural processes and biomimicry to create new products.”
► The most important chemical reaction in the world
3. Charge your smartphone off-grid
Mobile phones are increasing their penetration, but it’s common for farmers in rural India or Africa to travel for hours to reach the nearest town to charge them or get connectivity. So, how do you get power to the people who need it most, to those who can’t afford it? Daniel Becerra provides solar-powered phone charging and internet to people in developing countries via a small portable power station that charges many phones quickly.
“Daniel’s BuffaloGrid technology ensures that working phones are accessible to people in communities where access to education, health information, information about elections and banking to start a business is essential.”
AtlasVideo ► Power where the streets have no names
AtlasAgenda: Are you a CEO with an early-stage innovation that benefits the environment, a compelling vision of the future and the ambition to grow fast? Apply now for the upcoming 2020 mission: Clean + Cool GBIP (Global Business Innovation Programme) in London and San Francisco in January. Apply here before 1 November.
More videos ► What is ‘cleantech’? – and other LA stories