I’ve long wondered: If/when cleantech comes back into vogue, what will it look like? The underlying trends — a world of constrained resources for 9 billion people by 2050 — continue to chug along, as solar panels and wind turbines grow and electric vehicles begin to make a dent. Will we dust off the term cleantech and try again, or will it look like something else?
I would venture a bet that in the next two years, startups and investors will embrace cleantech and climate technology again.
Green / sustainable technologies and a fresh look at farming are needed to reduce climate gas emissions, maintain soil quality and protect biodiversity. New business models are developed based on this premise, but cross-border collaboration and partnerships are needed to develop ideas and scale up businesses.
Wisconsin is home to some of the most talented people in the world. No, that’s not pandering; it’s the truth. We are a global leader in water technology, agriculture and more. I bet we can also be a leader in cleantech / climate technology. We are pioneers.
Many small businesses have the same concerns: Where do I find a market for my technology? How do I find funding to develop technology?
That is where the vast resources of Wisconsin’s export initiatives come to aid. The best part is that your idea doesn’t need to be high-tech; you only need an idea.
The SBDC’s Go Global Initiative helps identify those markets and how to enter them. Our Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC) aids startups and established businesses to develop their idea.
Developing products related to vertical farming, LED lighting, composting, batteries and renewable home energy are just a few opportunities. Wisconsin companies have a lot to offer within maritime, water, engineering and energy applications.
Green buildings — even smart, efficient and sometimes energy-producing buildings — have become part of a smart city priority. Many Norwegian municipalities are even taking a stake in private and public development. Green building is therefore part of a holistic plan of building a more sustainable society. A wide range of innovative technologies from Wisconsin can fit well into Norway’s smart city developments.
Earlier I mentioned that you only need an idea. The CTC has a program called the Ideadvance Seed Fund. It is accepting applications now through July 21 for the 2022 cohort.
The Ideadvance Seed Fund invites innovation from across the state. From startups to established businesses, if you are exploring a new technology, solution and/or market with business innovation, you might be a fit for Ideadvance.