£3.5m climate change fund targets sustainable agricultureJul 06, 2019
A CONSORTIUM of scientific research and academic institutions are working on solutions to tackle climate change linked to the agricultural sector.
The SHAKE Climate Change programme is designed to attract entrepreneurs or start-ups who have developed early-stage science or tech-based ideas that can have a significant impact on climate change and form the basis of a sustainable and socially responsible business.
Ideas can relate to any point in the food production chain, which contributes more than a quarter of global climate change emissions.
Over the nine-year programme, 15 ventures will receive up to a total £140,000 each, as well as two years of high-quality training and mentoring from leading experts in business and science, to help further develop their activity.
SHAKE Climate Change brings together experts from Rothamsted Research near Harpenden, Cranfield University, University College London, and the University of Hertfordshire with the financial backing of the Societe Generale UK Foundation.
Professor Leon A. Terry, director of environment and agrifood at Cranfield University, said: “Over the last few months, there has been a welcomed renewed vigour in discussions around how we tackle climate change. At Cranfield, we believe that technological innovation and intervention are key to creating a more sustainable agricultural sector that not only protects but enhances the environment.
“We are delighted to be a part of SHAKE Climate Change which brings together two of Cranfield’s key strengths; world-leading scientific research and business management.”
The Societe Generale UK Foundation is the independent corporate foundation of the UK branch of Societe Generale Group. Education and employability are the two key pillars of its Citizenship programme, with promoting innovation and supporting entrepreneurs central to its wider strategy.
The Societe Generale UK Foundation Board of Trustees said: “Through this funding, the SG UK Foundation is able to help to fund a significant programme to be led by Rothamsted Research which aims to leverage the best minds in science and business and combine this with entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, and the technological know-how of teams and individuals to truly make a difference in addressing the climate agenda.
“As well as receiving funding under the programme, entrepreneurs will benefit from mentoring and training programmes from world-class institutions to help make their projects viable, which can in turn lead to the creation of jobs in this important area.”
This summer, around 30 entrepreneurs or teams will be selected to participate in a one-week residential intensive workshop culminating in them pitching their ideas to a panel of experts. Of this initial cohort, around ten entrepreneurs and teams will be chosen for a further three-months of intense training to build their ventures.
Around five ventures will then be recommended for up to a total amount of £140,000 each to develop their businesses under continual mentorship for a further 8-12 months, followed by aftercare support.
Two additional similar waves will follow with the programme continuing to support entrepreneurs until 2027.