The Climate Innovation Exchange (CLIX), an Abu Dhabi-based global marketplace that connects capital with new innovative concepts, has been officially announced to forge partnerships between entrepreneurs and investors. The initiative aims to drive sustainable climate change solutions through knowledge, innovation and funding and represents a significant new addition to the World Future Energy Summit, which takes place 15-18 January 2018, during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
CLIX is being held under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, in collaboration with Masdar and the Zayed Future Energy Prize, and welcomed submissions from local, regional and global entrepreneurs who have developed ground-breaking cleantech and sustainability technologies and require funding.
His Excellency Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “In sustainability, the UAE is prioritising research, development and capability building that will significantly contribute to our transformation to a knowledge and innovation-based economy. This requires building partnerships between the public and private sectors to support efforts to develop successful solutions for all of today’s global challenges.”
He added, “CLIX serves as one of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week’s most prominent platforms that will create a competitive environment, bringing together investors and innovative entrepreneurs, and stimulate partnerships and innovation to help transform creative ideas into reality.”
Her Excellency Shamma bint Suhail bin Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, said: “We are proud of the cooperation between the Emirates Youth Council, Arab Youth Centre and Minister of Climate Change and Environment for the CLIX initiative. Through these partnerships, we aim to continuously engage young people in all areas, especially the environment, as our youth are able to provide best in class ideas to solve our challenges.”
She added that “Abu Dhabi and the UAE are home to innovative events that contribute to improving the quality of life and benefit from sustainable initiatives to improve the economy. The economy is built on diversified sources of income, innovation and knowledge, while it should not neglect the environmental standards.”
In the UAE, CLIX will further establish the country as a destination for climate change innovation, and builds on the national progress in renewable energy development and other areas of sustainability. According to the UAE Energy Plan launched in January 2017, the UAE will increase its clean energy contribution towards the total energy mix to 24% by 2021, and to 50% by 2050. National energy efficiency improvements of 40% by 2050 will result in savings of USD 190 billion.
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), said: “Tackling climate change is a global challenge and one that cannot be addressed only by the technologies of today. That is why we must nurture the next generation of powerful sustainable innovations that will also open up new business opportunities in the future. By bringing together entrepreneurs and investors, the CLIX initiative will be the first step of taking great ideas and making them a reality.”
Ara Fernezian, Group Managing Director at Reed Exhibitions, the organisers of the World Future Energy Summit commented: “The Climate Innovation Exchange is an incredibly important and exciting element of the World Future Energy Summit this year. By encouraging and facilitating investment opportunities in innovative climate change solutions, CLIX will have a direct impact on the development of new technologies that will bring about positive change on a local, regional and global scale. This is directly in line with the overarching mandate of WFES to drive new business opportunities amongst energy project developers, distributors, innovators, investors and purchasers.”
The inaugural edition of CLIX will focus on innovations that solve challenges in three areas: Air Pollution, Clean Mobility and Agriculture. CLIX is working with global idea innovator company Ideanco to determine the 30 best submissions entered, and bring those entrepreneurs together with prospective investors at the World Future Energy Summit.
Maher Ezzeddine, CEO of Ideanco, said: “Ideanco is proud to be part of the climate change startup ecosystem in Abu Dhabi and our global team is working closely with an impressive community of hundreds of entrepreneurs, startups, and investors in the three areas that CLIX seeks to address. We’re also working closely with our partner, the MIT Enterprise Forum pan Arab, which is accelerating our access to innovative companies in the field of climate change throughout the Arab world.”
The event will facilitate selected CLIX participants in their quest for funding by hosting a private space where they can pitch their ideas directly to investors. Entrants will also have the chance to exhibit their innovations to attendees at WFES with the potential of developing new business opportunities. One third of the selected entrepreneurs will be UAE nationals, while the remaining 70% will be selected from regional and international entries.
Through CLIX, potential investment for academic, profit and non-profit organisations ranges from USD 300,000 for concept entrepreneurs to more than USD 12 million for groups with nine or more years in business. Globally, investment in the cleantech and sustainability sectors has increased dramatically over recent years with funding for private clean tech companies estimated at USD 31.8 billion since the turn of the century, with renewable power development accounting for USD 11.4 billion of that figure.
More than 250 submissions have been received from entrepreneurs, start-ups and companies, and successful candidates will be brought to Abu Dhabi to present their innovations and ideas during the World Future Energy Summit in January 2018 in the presence of investors seeking to fund the world’s latest climate change solutions.