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COP27 Global Innovation Hub Session 7: Incubators and Accelerators: Where many of the new globally sustainable solutions are born

November 8, 2022
Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
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Mission Innovation’s NCI and the UNFCCC co-hosted the session launching a ‘Gigaton Challenge’ for incubators/accelerators together with Social Alpha’s Clean Energy International Innovation Centre. Incubators and accelerators around the world were invited to present strategies at COP28 that aim to deliver an aggregated potential impact of 1 Gigaton avoided emissions per year by 2030.


Massamba Thioye, Project Executive, UNFCCC Global Innovation Hub; Dennis Pamlin, Executive Director, Mission Innovation's Net-Zero Compatibility Initiative and Senior Advisor, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden; Smita Rakesh, Vice President & Partner, Social Alpha / Clean Energy International Incubation Centre; Simon Bennett, Energy Analyst, International Energy Agency; Frédéric Wils, Senior Business Development Manager, GIZ CATALI.5°T Initiative; Niclas Carlsson, Director of International Market Development, Swedish Energy Agency

There was a clear consensus that incubators, accelerators and related activities are an essential part of transforming society towards sustainability. It is essential to plan so that the most impact and transformational innovations are invested in and supported in a way that enable them to succeed. The economy needs to be transformed to focus on behavioral change and focus on human needs.

Smita Rakesh, Social Alpha / Clean Energy International Incubation Centre, said about the launch:

– I will take the opportunity of this session of incubators and accelerators, where innovations are born, to include a multi-tier ecosystem, because innovations not only need to be born here, but we also need to make sure they don’t die here.

Simon Bennett, International Energy Agency, added:

– Net-zero is not just about reducing emissions from the big sectors where emissions are already happening, it’s about behavioural change and changing the way the economy works to accommodate more renewables and to require lower energy input in the first place.

Frédéric Wils, GIZ, said:

– It’s great to have some fantastic climate tech start-ups, but if the investors can’t really judge the value these solutions, it ends there. We support not just the ones that make a kind of old school solution a little bit less resource intensive or more cost effective, but that they are really transformational.

Niclas Carlsson, Swedish Energy Agency, underlined:

– It’s important that we pick the right areas, we need to look 3-5 years ahead so we have our ear to the ground and understand what is happening globally. At the same time we need to understand what is happening in our own countries, what technologies are we developing, and then match those two.