Converge capitalises on net zero innovation ahead of COP26
September sees the staging of the 11th annual Converge Awards, Scotland’s annual celebration of academic innovation and entrepreneurship.
This year, the event takes on an even greater significance, less than two months before the eyes on the world are firmly fixed on Glasgow when the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) takes place.
As staff and students from Scotland’s university sector bring forward their innovative business ideas to participate in one of the four main Converge Challenges, – KickStart, Impact, Creative and the ‘flagship’ Converge category – there is wholesale recognition that ideas and innovation that help to further promote ‘Climate Action’ and a genuine commitment to seek ways of pushing carbon neutrality/net zero to safeguard our planet, are worthy of special recognition.
For this, Converge has announced a new partnership with low carbon energy company, SSE, which has been designed to springboard academic entrepreneurs tackling the climate emergency.
The partnership sees the creation of the SSE Net Zero Award, a stand-alone prize presented to the most promising net zero project from this year’s Converge cohort. Selected from a pool of semi-finalists across three Challenge categories – Converge, Creative and Impact – one aspiring entrepreneur will win £20,000 in equity-free cash and a package of in-kind benefits, with the winner announced by SSE chief executive, Alistair Phillips-Davies, at the annual Converge Awards on 30 September.
It is an appropriate response to Scotland’s hosting of COP26. A nation renowned for its spirit of inventiveness to influence and innovate across the globe for centuries, can continue this trend by setting a benchmark on pioneering a raft of net zero initiatives.
Claudia Cavalluzzo, director of Converge, comments: “Climate change is the defining crisis of our time with Scotland’s universities playing a key role in the race to accelerate our transition to a decarbonised economy. This new award will capitalise on those efforts by providing a much-needed boost to a climate-conscious entrepreneur working on the innovations of tomorrow that will contribute to Scotland achieving its net zero targets.“
Marta Smart is Head of Partnership Funding at SSE, and will sit on the award panel. She said “SSE is at the forefront of tackling the climate emergency and in the year of COP26, we’re very proud to be associated with this award which will provide a real and tangible boost to academic entrepreneurs helping Scotland deliver its net zero targets.”
Subscribers to Young Company Finance are invited to register to see the very best innovations emerging from Scotland’s academic sector by following the link to the event.