GEF CEO Joins in Launch of India Cleantech Program


    GEF-UNIDO program encourages public-private cooperation for sustainable growth through innovative energy technology
    NEW DELHI, India, May 3, 2013 – Clean technology entrepreneurs in India will benefit from international support under a program launched today by the head of the Global Environment Facility and high-level Indian Government and private-sector officials.
    “The planet is entering into the Anthropocene, a new ecological era in which human’s activities may go beyond the carrying capacity of the Earth’s ecosystems,” Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the GEF, said. “Here in India the public and private sectors have recognized the need for sustainable growth. With this Cleantech Program, the public sector is partnering with businesses to create a platform to promote clean technology, support innovation, and provide entrepreneurs with the skills and access to finance they need to succeed.”
    India Cleantech is funded by the GEF, administered by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and co-financed by the Government of India’s Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). The project will be executed by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce of Industry (FICCI), the leading industry body in India and a regional and global leader for private-sector businesses.
    Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility, with Madhav Lal, Secretary of India’s Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, at the launch of GEF-UNIDO Cleantech program for entrepreneurs.
    Mr. Madhav Lal, MSME Secretary, assured full support of the Ministry so that the goals of the project could be achieved.  Ms. Naina Lal Kidwai, FICCI President, applauded the Project stating that it can play a catalytic role in channelling innovative solutions for greening of SMEs in India and has the potential to bridge the gap between Cleantech innovators, Cleantech users, and Cleantech investors, who are the three important pillars of the Cleantech ecosystem.
    The project will establish a platform to support innovators and entrepreneurs through several channels, including training, mentoring, access to capital, and showcasing promising technology. Technology priorities in the first year will be energy efficiency, renewable energy, and waste-to-energy. The theme is to unite stakeholders to find, fund, and foster entrepreneurs with solutions to address today’s most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges.
    The GEF-UNIDO Global Cleantech Programme for SMEs focuses on enhancing emerging clean technology start-ups in participating countries as well as the local entrepreneurial ecosystem and policy framework. First implemented in South Africa, the GEF-UNIDO program now has approved projects in India, Armenia, and Malaysia. 
    Cleantech employs a competition-based approach to identify the most promising entrepreneurs across a country. A local business acceleration program supports, promotes and “de-risks” the participating companies and connects them to potential investors, customers, and partners. As the best Cleantech start-ups progress through the Cleantech Platform, they are continuously trained, mentored and assessed. The very best start-ups from each country are then brought together for the finals of the Global Competition in Silicon Valley, California, where they can both compete for the Global Prize and connect with potential partners, customers and investors from around the world.
    The program in each country is led by a local executing partner, supported by local stakeholders and advisors. An integral part of this programme is the development of the institutional capacity of local implementing partners, which are typically government agencies focused on SME development, clean technology and innovation. Furthermore, this programme seeks to reinforce, strengthen and connect existing in-country initiatives rather than duplicate existing activities.
    In most countries, the initial GEF funding will be for three years with the intention of holding two to three cycles of the annual Cleantech Platform. Some countries will have national programs from the start; other countries will start regionally and expand as experience grows. At the end of each three-year country program, the aim is for each national Cleantech platform to be fully up and running with sustainable support from the public sector and particularly private sector co-sponsors.
    For more information, see the GEF publication, “The GEF UNIDO Global Cleantech Programme for SMEs” available here.