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Government needs to up support for green start-ups, say MPs



The government is “punching below its weight” when it comes to supporting businesses operating in the green economy, according to the Energy and Climate Change Committee. In a new report, MPs are critical of the government’s progress in working with low carbon start-ups and entrepreneurs.

A 2010 report from the National Audit Office (NAO) looking at the Department for Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) record criticised the government for a poorly coordinated programme of publicly funded development sustainable technologies. The new report from the cross-party committee builds on this and assesses the developments.

The MPs concluded that there has “not been enough progress” in the four years since and says the resources allocated by the government do not match its level of policy ambition.

The report points to the Low Carbon Innovation Co-ordinations Group as an example, claiming it’s poorly resourced. This, it says, is leaving the low carbon innovation sector without the support often needed to bring new products to market, known as the ‘valley of death’.

Tim Yeo, chair of the Energy & Climate Change Select Committee, said, “Entrepreneurs developing exciting new sustainable technologies sometimes need to help bridge the ‘valley of death’ and bring products to market.

“The government should be doing all it can to support innovative UK businesses in their efforts to access the growing global market for low carbon goods and services.”

He continued that the committee had been “surprised and disappointed” to hear businesses and academic partners expressing their frustration around that lack of consultation surrounding the new low carbon strategy.

The report states that whilst the committee recognises the industry is complex, DECC must ensure it has effective coordination between existing programmes in order to minimise the risk of gaps or duplicates.

This would give the long-term certainty of structure and funding that those operating in the sector would value, it adds.

Yeo added, “It is unsatisfactory that four years after the NAO criticised DECC’s support for businesses developing innovative sustainable technologies, the government still haven’t tacked the poor communication and coordination between its low carbon innovation groups and businesses and broader innovation partners.”

Photo: dynamix via Freeimages  

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Further reading:

TED talks: Stop the Rush! Why entrepreneurs should take the time to success – Phyllis Pierce

Entrepreneurs selected of social investment project

Social investment fund reveals support packages for 10 energy entrepreneurs

Postcode Lottery Green Challenge appeals for sustainable entrepreneurs

Startup loan scheme reaches £100 million


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