Business News

Could climate tech be boon for Massachusetts economy?

What is climate tech and why does it matter?

Climate tech is a term that encompasses technologies and innovations that aim to mitigate or adapt to the effects of climate change. It includes sectors such as clean energy, sustainable transportation, carbon capture, smart agriculture, and climate resilience. Climate tech is not only important for the environment, but also for the economy, as it can create new markets, jobs, and opportunities for growth.

According to a recent report by PitchBook, a data provider for the private capital markets, climate tech is one of the fastest-growing segments of venture capital, attracting $60 billion in funding in 2020, up from $10 billion in 2013. The report also identifies Massachusetts as one of the leading hubs for climate tech innovation in the US, with more than 200 startups and over $4 billion in funding since 2010.

How is Massachusetts fostering climate tech innovation?

Massachusetts has a strong ecosystem of academic institutions, research centers, incubators, accelerators, and investors that support climate tech entrepreneurs and researchers. Some of the notable examples are:

  • The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), a public agency that provides grants, loans, and technical assistance to clean energy companies and projects. MassCEC also runs programs such as Catalyst, which awards up to $65,000 to early-stage startups, and InnovateMass, which provides up to $250,000 to demonstrate and deploy innovative technologies.
  • The MIT Climate Grand Challenges, a new initiative that aims to tackle complex climate problems and deliver breakthrough solutions to the world as quickly as possible. The initiative recently announced five multiyear flagship projects, one of which is “Bringing Computation to the Climate Challenge”, led by professors Noelle Selin and Raffaele Ferrari. The project will build a new climate model from the ground up, using new computational techniques and data sources, to provide localized and actionable climate forecasts for decision-makers.
  • The Greentown Labs Climate Tech Summit, an annual event that brings together entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, and industry leaders to discuss the latest trends and opportunities in climate tech. The summit also features a pitch competition, a demo day, and a career fair for climate tech talent. The 2021 summit was held in October and attracted more than 1,000 attendees and 100 speakers.

Could climate tech be boon for Massachusetts economy

What are some of the promising climate tech startups in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts is home to many climate tech startups that are developing innovative solutions for various sectors and challenges. Some of the examples are:

  • Form Energy, a startup that is developing long-duration energy storage systems that can store renewable energy for weeks or months, enabling a reliable and affordable transition to a carbon-free grid. The startup has raised $240 million in funding and has partnered with utilities such as Great River Energy and Minnesota Power to deploy its technology.
  • Boston Metal, a startup that is developing a novel process that uses electricity to produce steel without emitting carbon dioxide, unlike the conventional blast furnace method. The startup has raised $140 million in funding and has received support from the US Department of Energy and the Bill Gates-led Breakthrough Energy Ventures.
  • Indigo Ag, a startup that is using microbiology, data science, and digital tools to improve the health and productivity of crops, while reducing the environmental impact of agriculture. The startup has raised $850 million in funding and has launched initiatives such as the Terraton Challenge, which aims to remove one trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by enhancing soil health.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *