Catalyzing Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystems for Our Global Commons
The Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement are the world’s commitment to safeguarding the global commons. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), with its unique mandate to support inclusive and sustainable industrial development, has partnered with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to address the most pressing global environmental challenges of our time. Through fostering innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems, UNIDO and GEF seek to promote affordable and scalable solutions enabling our partner countries to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies.
The GCIP promotes an innovation ecosystem by identifying and nurturing cleantech innovators and entrepreneurs; by building capacity within national institutions and partner organizations for the sustainable implementation of the cleantech ecosystem and accelerator approach; and by supporting and working with national policy makers to strengthen the supportive policy framework for SMEs and entrepreneurs.
Through this cleantech ecosystems and accelerator approach, the GCIP catalyzes investment to support and accelerate startup entrepreneurs towards the development and commercialization of their innovative ideas.
Partnerships and close consultations with all national stakeholders are critical to maximize synergies and share knowledge and best practices that can help in enhancing the contribution of cleantech startups towards climate change mitigation, while increasing productivity and generating growth and wealth.
The GCIP Accelerator
A key component of the GCIP is the annual competition-based Accelerator, which identifies the most promising innovators and entrepreneurs across a country. A selected number of startups in a GCIP country participate in a rigorous, competitive national acceleration programme that trains, mentors, promotes, and connects them to potential investors, customers and partners. As the best cleantech companies progress, they are continuously developed and assessed.
The Accelerator consists of an Official Launch, Investor Connect, National Academy, Business Clinic, and Mock Judging. In addition, the selected startups are continuously mentored and trained and access to capital and showcasing opportunities are facilitated on a regular basis in order to enhance their business skills and to connect them to potential business partners, financiers and investors.
A tailored mentoring programme is provided through an elite group of general and specialist mentors and trainers drawn from industries, universities, and professional institutions, as well as business leaders from within the country and abroad.
The GCIP started with four technology categories namely Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Waste Beneficiation, and Water Efficiency; in 2016, the Green Building category was added to expand the scope of environmental challenges addressed. The 2017 Accelerator has expanded to include two new categories, Transportation as well as Advanced Materials and Chemicals.
Further categories will be added in future Accelerator cycles to accelerate transformative clean technology solutions and integrated approaches for sustainable cities, healthy oceans and sustainable fisheries, and landscape restoration.
GCIP Global Forum & Cleantech Week
The national winners are invited to the annual GCIP Global Forum & Cleantech Week, a confluence of the cleantech industry and the climate movement hosted by the Cleantech Open (CTO) in California, USA. It aims to create new business opportunities, highlight solutions, engage citizens, cultivate partnerships, and spur investment in clean technologies to address climate change.
The GCIP national winners gain exposure to dynamic venture culture of Silicon Valley, and are connected with a community of cleantech innovators and entrepreneurs from all over the world. The GCIP national winner also meet with the national winners of the other GCIP countries, compete for the Global Prize.
The GCIP has been transforming the way we address the most pressing environmental challenges of our time, and is now a global programme making impact in 8 countries around the world.
Between 2014 and 2016, cumulative the GCIP received almost 3000 applications in the 8 countries of operation, and over 580 startup companies were selected as semi-finalists and benefited from the Accelerator’s training and mentoring programme, as well as the exposure to investors and the media. In 2016, the GCIP was conducted in 7 countries with 1385 applications received, of which 235 startup ventures were selected as semi-finalists. The number of applications in 2015 increased by 62.5% compared to 2014, and again in 2016 a 33% increase in applications was recorded compared to 2015. This shows the growing visibility and interest in the GCIP.
Global Cleantech Innovation Index
The Global Cleantech Innovation Index (GCII), a biennial index and report, was first created in 2012 to investigate the question: which countries currently have the greatest potential to produce entrepreneurial cleantech startup companies and which will commercialize clean technology innovations over the next 10 years?
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Cleantech Group (CTG) are developing the 3rd edition of the GCII for 2017, and UNIDO has partnered with WWF and CTG to produce a special addendum to the GCII focusing on cleantech innovation ecosystem of the eight GCIP countries.
An integral part of the GCIP is the strengthening of institutional capacities of local implementing partners, typically government agencies focused on SMEs and clean technology and innovation. The GCII-GCIP report therefore aims to further foster an enabling environment through national policies that promote innovation in clean technologies, and to serve as a valuable policy tool to stimulate a broader economic action plan including strategic support for cleantech solution providers. The GCIP-GCII report will be launched in June 2017.
GCIP Partner Countries
As our world continues to globalize, the synergetic value of collaboration among developing countries and advanced economies is quickly leading to innovation linkages, and receiving recognition as a catalyst for game changing solutions at the global level.
Starting with the pilot in South Africa in 2011, the GCIP has been implemented in a total of eight countries including, Armenia, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Thailand and Turkey, with the most recent launch in Morocco in 2016.
The Cleantech Open (CTO) is the world’s oldest and largest cleantech startup accelerator. Over the last 11 years of programming, CTO has established key cleantech innovation hubs in the U.S. and globally to find, fund, and foster the most promising cleantech startups on the planet. Since the beginning of the GCIP journey, CTO has been our knowledge partner and based on the proven accelerator model original created in Silicon Valley, the GCIP has adopted and customized the GCIP Accelerator and Global Platform. The GCIP countries benefit from CTO events, training, materials, as well as CTO’s extensive network of mentors, investors and experts.
The key objectives of the Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF) are to improve competitiveness of the Armenian IT/High-Tech sector in the global marketplace, build linkages with international entities, provide assistance in investment attraction, export promotion and establishment of a venture capital institutes, startup acceleration, as well as to stimulate formation of the Armenian IT industry development infrastructure, capacity building, IT/High-Tech industry development in the regions and formation of e-society in the country.
The Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MoMSME) promotes a vibrant micro, small and medium-enterprise (MSME) sector through designing and implementation of policies, and facilitation and monitoring of programmes, projects and schemes, with a view to assisting MSMEs and for scaling-up. MoMSME encourages entrepreneurship, employment and livelihood opportunities and enhance the competitiveness of MSMEs in the changed economic scenario.
Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MiGHT) is a partnership between the industry and the public sector in Malaysia, working together to prospect for business and technology at the domestic and international market-place. It is an independent and non-profit organisation driven by a membership drawn from both the public and private sectors. It acts as a think tank that underlines the key strategies that must be taken in order to develop the country’s high technology industry and to further position Malaysia as a globally competitive player. MIGHT constructs these strategies based on the combined input from the high technology industry, governmental and nongovernmental organizations, and academic institutions.
The State Secretariat of Sustainable Development is the ministerial department in charge of the development of the national sustainable development strategy and monitoring of its implementation and evaluation, in coordination and collaboration with the relevant ministerial departments. The State Secretariat also promotes cooperation with public bodies, local and regional authorities, the private sector and non-governmental organizations in the field of environment and sustainable development. It also works on the integration of the environmental dimension into development, education, training and scientific research programs and development of green entrepreneurship and friendly initiatives.
The Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST) is mandated to advise the Government on the development of Science and Technology (S&T) at the national level. The Council is involved in (S&T) and Innovation Policy making, planning, implementation and carrying out policy studies.
The PCST is also the secretariat of the National Commission of Science and Technology (NCST), headed by the Prime Minister (who takes the major decisions for the development of S&T). The PCST works as a ‘Think Tank’ to identify the priority areas of research and development keeping in view the futuristic developments of science and technology in Pakistan.
The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) was established in 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 commercialization 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.
The Department of Industrial Promotion (DIP), under supervision of Ministry of Industry, is mandated to support and reinforce small and medium enterprises (SMEs), community-based enterprises, entrepreneurs, and industrial service providers to achieve excellent performances and sustainability. The activities DIP carries out to deliver on its mandate comprise enhancing industrial networking of relevant public and private sectors; recommending policies and measures on development of as well as supporting capacity building of SMEs, community-based enterprises, entrepreneurs, and service providers.
The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK), established in 1963, is the leading agency for management, funding and conducting of research in Turkey. TUBİTAK is responsible for promoting, developing, organizing, conducting and coordinating research and development in line with national targets and priorities. Setting its vision to be an innovative, guiding, participating and cooperating institution in the fields of science and technology, TUBİTAK not only supports innovation and academic and industrial R&D studies, but in line with national priorities, also develops scientific and technological policies and manages R&D institutes, carrying out research, and technology and development studies.