|The Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP-SA) is part of a global initiative that aims to address the most pressing energy, environmental and economic challenges of our time through promoting clean technology innovation and supporting Small and Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups. Specific areas of focus are energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste beneficiation, water efficiency and green buildings and transportation.|
The GCIP-SA is implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) with funding by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). In South Africa UNIDO has partnered with the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) as the execution and hosting institution for the GCIP, while the US-based Cleantech Open serves as the main knowledge partner of the global programme.
Competition and Business Accelerator Programme
The GCIP-SA combines an annual competition and a business accelerator programme where SMEs and start-ups are continuously trained, mentored and assessed on their business models, investor pitches, communication and financial skills for the development of a more marketable and investor-attractive product and business.
The programme culminates in the annual gala and awards event, where the winner and two runners-up are announced. Winners are also announced in the following categories:
In addition to a cash prize and business support, the winning SME also gets an opportunity participate in the Cleantech Open Global Forum in Silicon Valley, USA to join a network of investors and potential partners and compete with winners from other GCIP countries.
|The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a partnership for international cooperation where 183 countries work together with international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector, to address global environmental issues. Since 1991, the GEF has provided $16.25 billion in grants and leveraged $90.12 billion in co-financing for 4 425 projects in more than 165 developing countries. For 25 years, developed and developing countries alike have provided these funds to support activities related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, and chemicals and waste in the context of development projects and programmes. Through its Small Grants Programme (SGP) the GEF has made more than 20,000 grants to civil society and community based organizations for a total of $1 billion. Among the major results of these investments, the GEF has set up protected areas around the world equal larger than the area of Brazil; reduced carbon emissions by 2.7 billion tonnes; eliminated the use of ozone depleting substances in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia; transformed the management of 33 major river basins and one-third of the world’s large marine ecosystems; slowed the advance of desertification in Africa by improving agricultural practices—and all this while contributing to better the livelihood and food security of millions of people.|
|UNIDO (UNIDO) is the specialised agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability. UNIDO’s mandate is to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development in developing countries and economies in transition (2013 Lima Declaration: Towards inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID)), enhancing its role in the global development agenda. The Organization draws on four mutually reinforcing categories of services: technical cooperation, analytical and policy advisory services, standard setting and compliance, and a convening function for knowledge transfer and networking. UNIDO’s vision is a world where economic development is inclusive and sustainable and economic progress is equitable. The Organization focuses on three main thematic areas, namely Poverty reduction through productive activities; Trade capacity-building, and Energy and environment.|
|The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) is an agency of the Department of Science and Technology. It was established in terms of Act No. 26 of 2008, with the objective of stimulating and intensifying technological innovation in order to improve economic growth and the quality of life of all South Africans by developing and exploiting technological innovations. TIA’s core business objective is to support the development and commercialisation of competitive technology-based services and products. The Agency primarily uses South Africa’s science and technology base to develop new industries, create sustainable jobs and help diversify the economy. It invests in the following technology sectors: Advanced Manufacturing, Agriculture, Industrial Biotechnology, Health, Mining, Energy and ICT.|
|The Cleantech Open (CTO) is a not-for-profit organization that runs the world’s largest accelerator for clean technology start-ups. CTOs mission is to find, fund and foster entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today’s most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges. Since its founding in 2005 by leaders in Silicon Valley and Boston, the organization has established itself as the leading force for accelerating clean technology entrepreneurs. Of the more than 1 000 companies they have worked with in the United States alone, nearly half have gone on to raise external capital now totalling over $1 billion.|
First implemented in South Africa by UNIDO in 2011, a growing list of countries is now engaged in the GCIP initiative. UNIDO is launching, together with its international and national partners, six international Cleantech accelerators in South Africa, Armenia, India, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey. The mission of each national accelerator is to find, fund and foster small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) that can tackle the most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges in those countries. The best companies from each country are then brought together at the Global Forum in Silicon Valley, CA, in November, where they can connect with potential partners, customers and investors from around the world.
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