Cleantech is on the agenda for Ministerial visit


07-01-2014

The Minister for Africa and the British Overseas Territories, Mark Simmonds, visited the new cleantech business incubator building in Cambridge yesterday (Monday January 6th 2014).

A lively discussion with executives from Cambridge Cleantech member companies took place over a working lunch and covered the opportunities and challenges arising from developing trade links with Africa and the Caribbean. The opportunities for the renewable energy sector, not least in terms of solar, were a particular highlight. The FCO is targeting a number of African countries with which to develop trade links including Angola, Ghana and Mozambique.

The Minister took a tour of the new facility and met some of the early cleantech tenant companies as well as local businesses which have supplied products for the construction of the ‘environmentally excellent’ rated building.

Cambridge Cleantech, which is based in the new incubator, is working to develop the Cambridge area as Europe’s leading cleantech hub.

Nine million pounds has been spent on the new building which will be at the heart of the cleantech wave of Silicon Fen, supplementing the earlier ICT and Life Science waves of the last decades.

Martin Garratt, CEO of Cambridge Cleantech says: “we are looking forward to being a tenant at the new cleantech incubator where we will be among our own community of cleantech start-ups. We will be supporting the cleantech companies with ‘First Friday’ surgeries, specialists in residence and a cleantech events programme. We believe we are ahead of other European centres and can develop a globally recognised centre of excellence in Cleantech. We are also keen to develop international links for our members and Africa and the Caribbean can clearly provide business opportunities.”

The Future Business Centre has 35,000 sq ft for 50 start ups and is a ‘BREEAM Excellent’ (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) rated building which is naturally ventilated with a high thermal mass and using recycled concrete in the frame. The building uses a mixture of solar panels and thin solar films built into the roof and cladding to produce electricity and uses solar thermal water heating systems to reduce energy demands. With LED lighting throughout, an electric car charging point and a rooftop garden the centre is a showcase for sustainable building.

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Cambridge Cleantech is the members’ organisation supporting the growth of environmental goods and services or “cleantech” companies in Greater Cambridge and beyond.

Cambridge Cleantech