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South West’s ‘truly astounding’ tech sector to be showcased on national stage

Joe Bevan
Authored by Joe Bevan
Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2024 - 12:32

Region’s first Tech Prospectus to be launched revealing scale of blue and green sector 

A national showcase of technological innovation from the South West of England is set to take place in London.

The likes of Altilium, Kelpi, Cleaner Seas Group, LettUs Grow, Oxi-Tech, and MolendoTech are amongst the innovative growth firms across the blue, green and cleantech space, taking centre stage at the event, which also sees the launch of the first South West of England Tech Prospectus ahead of the forthcoming General Election.

The first-of-its-kind showcase is delivered by Tech South West, the representative body for the South West tech sector, which was recently described by StartUp Coalition as a “UK Cleantech Unicorn”. The project is run in partnership with Future Space, Microsoft, Neighbourly and Barclays. 

Founders and entrepreneurs will be joined by leaders of universities, science parks and innovation hubs, along with policy makers, investors and think tanks for the sold-out event.

Dan Pritchard, founder of Tech South West, said: “The South West leads the UK with its cleantech, marine tech, agritech, climate and environmental tech, and the rest of the world is starting to take notice. Through scaling companies, major partnerships, cutting-edge research and development, we are tackling some of the planet’s biggest challenges. The showcase and prospectus sets out our credentials and is another step on the journey as the sector moves forward at pace.” 

Microsoft is supporting the event as part of its work with Tech South West to drive positive impact in the region.

Sarah Fasey, Social Value Lead at Microsoft, said: “New technologies, including generative AI, hold promise for new innovations that can help address the climate crisis. The focus on blue and green economies at the heart of the South West economic plan is something Microsoft naturally wants to support and encourage.”

Altilium, based at Plymouth Science Park, has developed a proprietary process to convert end-of-life EV batteries and manufacturing scrap for direct reuse in new batteries.

President and Chief Operating Officer, Dr Christian Marston, said: “We’re excited to be part of this first Tech South West Showcase and proud to be representing the region’s fast growing EV battery supply chain. 

“Devon is a great place to be developing new technologies and Altilium is committed to scaling up its innovative EV battery recycling operations as part of our journey to build a sustainable circular economy for critical battery materials. With lithium mining and EV battery production also set to become important local industries, the South West is clearly leading the way in the UK’s transition to net zero.” leverages technology and community engagement to drive environmental sustainability and economic growth.

Rob Passmore, CEO and co-founder, said: “We are thrilled to be part of the South West Showcase, highlighting the strength and innovation of the blue and green sectors in the region. This event provides an excellent platform to showcase our collective efforts to address the climate and nature emergency, drive sustainable growth, and foster community prosperity through green jobs. 

“With its rich land and sea heritage and a strong R&D culture, the South West has the potential to lead nationally and internationally in the natural capital and environmental technology sectors, creating a new prosperity powerhouse.”

Award-winning giving platform Neighbourly is supporting the delivery of the event. The Bristol-based B Corp has developed a market-leading platform for businesses to deliver sustainable community investment.

Zoe Colosimo, Neighbourly COO, said: “The South West and its thriving tech community exemplifies how the UK’s technology sector is driving social and environmental progress through innovation. The support we’ve received from this infrastructure has been vital in driving progress towards our goal of £1 billion positive impact into communities by 2025.”

The new South West prospectus ‘Look South West’, to be launched at the showcase event, will help promote the investment potential and significance of the region within a wider UK policy framework of green economic growth, future technology and skills.

Professor Matt Freeman, Centre Director at Future Space Bristol, has assisted with the development of the prospectus. He said: “What the South West’s tech sector has achieved with comparatively little government investment is truly astounding. Having a prospectus that clearly shows the strength and power of what the region is capable of is important for so many reasons.”

Bristol-based Kelpi is a sustainable materials innovation company behind a unique seaweed-based coating for paper and card.

Neil Morris, Chief executive and co-founder, said: “Kelpi’s clients are global businesses across Europe, Asia and North America, but being based in South West England gives a sustainable deep tech business like ours unique advantages including access to talent, facilities, university research and investors. 

“The showcase will be another great way to take the best of the South West to a wider audience and further build our world-class businesses.”

LettUs Grow,is a B Corp agricultural technology provider operating from Bristol.

Chief Technical Officer Ben Crowther said: “The South West is a thriving hub for green technology, so we’re excited to be joining this event and to be showcased alongside other innovative companies in the space.

“The adoption and acceptance of new technologies into established industries, such as agriculture, can be a slow journey, so it’s incredible to be able to share our stories and support one another along the way.”

The Tech South West Showcase is on Wednesday June 12 at Howden UK, London.

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