Across the globe, over 120 technology incubators are helping to develop clean energy companies, including many in the developing world. New Energy Finance's commitment will support ten of the leading such centers (most likely associated with universities or national labs) with free information and research services for a two-year period.
The Commitment is designed to help incubators improve the support they can give to early stage clean energy companies. It will provide them with information resources and ongoing analyses that will help them to understand and quantify market opportunities; to market their incubatee companies to angel investors, venture capital and private equity investors; and, to secure the services of leading bankers, lawyers, accountants and other service providers.
New Energy Finance's services, normally provided on a subscription basis for a minimum of ,700 per subscriber, will be offered pro bono. New Energy Finance will also provide program management, training and technical support, valued at ,000 per annum.
Progress will be tracked through the numbers of incubators recruited to participate as well as the usage of services provided. New Energy Finance will also identify clean technology companies whose development has been accelerated by the incubators supported.
Several of the more advanced developing countries (China, India, Brazil, South Africa and others) have strong research bases in clean energy technologies, but commercialization is held back by the lack of access to capital and entrepreneurial skills.
New Energy Finance will help to address this gap, in partnership with local technology incubators, who are working to create clean energy companies. We will identify suitable incubator partners according to the following criteria: they must be in a developing country; they must have access to sources of world-class technology; they must have a full-time staff charged with its commercialization; and they must credibly commit to respecting the intellectual property inherent in the data services, reports and analysis to be provided by New Energy Finance.
New Energy Finance has designated its lead venture capital analyst, Mr Benjamin Kafri, to provide overall program management. He will be responsible for identifying suitable candidate incubators, recruiting them, training them, supporting them and monitoring progress.
New Energy Finance has already identified a number of candidate incubators. The second step is to select ten which meet the selection criteria and agree to participate. Once the selection is completed, New Energy Finance will set up its information services. The selected organizations will be provided with training and customer support plus the opportunity to draw on New Energy Finance's team of around 40 researchers and analysts. There may be an opportunity to bring together the participants in an annual Workshop on Clean Energy Technology Commercialization in Developing Countries but this would be subject to raising external sponsorship (see below under partnership opportunities).
This Commitment was inspired in part by the incredible energy of CGI and the realization that more needs to be done to ensure that no part of the world is excluded from the remarkable transformation of energy usage patterns that we are witnessing.