Over the past few decades there has been a lot of attention on renewable energy technologies to guarantee energy security and fight climate change.
Equally, there has been much talk about entrepreneurship as a way to enhance the national competitiveness of nations, as a mechanism to achieve economic recovery, and for innovation and job creation. So what does it mean when we talk about cleantech entrepreneurship?
What is Cleantech Entrepreneurship?
Isn’t this a little niche in the energy sector where startups and university spinouts dabble with very expensive renewables?
Well, not quite. Cleantech is much broader than just renewable energy sources: they are the innovations that provide solutions to global environmental challenges. These “clean” technologies go beyond green, “end-of-pipe” technology aimed at mitigating existing environmental impacts (for example scrubbers on the exhausts of fossil fuel powered engines/stations, or filters on effluent pipes).
Instead, cleantech solutions are aimed at providing novel products, services, processes and business models that provide significant gains in terms of provision and management of energy, water, food and resources while greatly reducing or eliminating negative environmental impacts and improving the responsible use of natural resources.
Solving practical problems and creating value in society
Equally, entrepreneurship is much broader than only starting up new ventures: it is a way of solving practical problems by combining resources in innovative ways to create value for society.
This means thinking about problems in creative ways to recognise opportunities for new products and services for which there are markets and for which there are viable business models to create economic and societal value.
This means entrepreneurship is an approach that is useful in a wide range of contexts, not just company formation.
What the Cleantech Entrepreneurship covers
So the new MSc in Cleantech Entrepreneurship covers energy production and distribution, water treatment, waste management and resource efficiency as areas where clean technologies can make a real difference towards a more sustainable society.
The entrepreneurship component of the course focuses on the entrepreneurial skills and knowledge to help solve societal problems and to guide commercialisation processes in a range of ventures and organisations. In short, the course aims to help aspiring cleantech entrepreneurs have a real impact in the world.