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March 06, 2012

GE and Carbon Trust invest £3.5m to develop low-carbon infrastructure technologies

GE and the Carbon Trust have launched a £3.5 million business incubation fund for new low-carbon technologies for infrastructure applications. The Carbon Trust will work with GE to identify and evaluate early stage companies, incubate them and invest in those with the most potential. 

The fund is part of the initial phase of a partnership between GE and the Carbon Trust intended to accelerate growth in European clean tech industries.

The move follows a decline in investment in the sector in Europe and concerns that the UK is seen as a challenging environment for innovation. According to GE's recent Innovation barometer, which polled 2,800 businesses in 22 markets across the world, most UK companies surveyed saw innovation as fundamental to the future health of the UK, both economically and socially, but said there are too few triggers in place to stimulate and encourage it. 

Carbon Trust chief executive Tom Delay said the move would "help Europe achieve its potential," adding: "The region has historically led innovation in this area but we increasingly need to ensure clean technology businesses are commercialised fast and effectively so Europe can keep ahead."

The GE/Carbon Trust partnership is part of the $200 million GE ecomagination challenge, a global open innovation initiative with venture capital partners that launched in 2010 to find and fund the best ideas around clean tech technology. GE and its partners have already committed $134 million for investment and commercial partnerships with start-up companies globally.

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