The Net Zero Technology Centre has announced the winning start-up of the COP26 Clean Energy Start-up Pitch Battle, hosted by the Centre’s award-winning TechX programme.

The announcement comes after ten start-ups were given the chance to pitch their clean energy technology solutions at the Pitch Battle’s final event, live in Glasgow during the Centre’s COP26 programme, ‘The Road to Glasgow: Destination Net Zero’.

The winning company, Mineral Carbonatation International (MCi) from Australia, has developed a scalable carbon platform technology that safely converts industrial CO2 emissions into solid bulk materials, which has the potential to help accelerate the transition to net zero. MCi will receive a package of tailored support and the opportunity to pitch for investment or for a place on the TechX Clean Energy Accelerator. As well as widespread industry exposure, the winner will be invited to meet Kate Forbes MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy, to discuss their scale-up plans.

Start-up companies are vital to introducing and commercialising the next generation of technology that will disrupt the current energy system and accelerate the transition to net zero.

The Clean Energy Start-up Pitch Battle launched in September, showcased 29 clean energy start-ups on the Centre’s website which were subject to a public vote. The final ten companies were selected based on the global public vote and a judging panel consisting of sector experts.

Sophia Wang, COO of winning start-up MCi, commented:

“MCi are thrilled to win the Net Zero Technology Centre’s Clean Energy Start-up Pitch Battle - it is a wonderful encouragement for our carbon capture and utilisation technology.

Transforming emissions into useful materials for the circular economy can help us to decarbonise and create new global industries. Winning this battle will absolutely help us to scale and accelerate our plans to lock away 1 billion tonnes of CO2 into useful materials by 2040.”

Kate Forbes MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy, Scottish Government, said:

“My warmest congratulations to all the participants – it is exciting to see such diverse ideas and businesses represented.

“Innovation will be key to unlocking the technologies that will enable our transition to a net zero global economy, and we are determined to see Scotland at the forefront of developing new approaches to mitigate climate change.

“Our investment in the Net Zero Technology Centre is an example of how the Scottish Government will support the North East to become an international destination for clean energy start-ups, with its world class skills and research base.”  

Martin Gilbert, Chair of the final event’s judging panel, said:  

“The competition was strong with the finalists showcasing a range of breakthrough technologies that will certainly move the needle on energy transition. It’s fantastic to see entrepreneurs so passionate about their solution. Winning company MCi showed true innovation as well as grit and resilience, which will stand them in good stead as they further develop their technology and grow their business.

“Gaining exposure and securing investment can be tough for start-ups; the Net Zero Technology Centre’s Pitch Battle has provided a brilliant platform and launchpad for these start-ups who will play an essential role in achieving a net zero energy industry.”

HeraldScotland: Mark Anderson, TechX DirectorMark Anderson, TechX Director

Mark Anderson, TechX Director at the Net Zero Technology Centre, added:

“I was thoroughly impressed by the extraordinary innovation, ambition and commitment demonstrated by all of the Pitch Battle’s participating start-ups. The need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while still meeting our energy needs, has never been more crucial. As world leaders and policy-makers meet at COP26 in Glasgow to tackle the world’s greatest challenge, the technologies on show offer solutions with significant potential to help accelerate the energy industry’s transition to net zero.

Congratulations to our winner, MCi, who not only demonstrate how technology innovation is key to the transition, but also the importance of investing in start-ups and entrepreneurs.”