Wednesday, 6 June 2007


Welcome to Clean Ventures, a new blog looking at clean technology and venture capital investment from a UK perspective.
Some introductory notes:

The subject
Clean technology, or cleantech, is a sprawling category. One general definition is those technologies which improve performance, productivity or efficiency while consuming fewer resources or less energy and cutting waste and pollution. In its broadest sense, it's all about doing more with less, in a cleaner way.

Cleantech can cover a bundle of different areas. The largest category focuses on energy - cleaner ways of generating usable energy, and more efficient production and consumption. There's waste management - reducing wastage, and recycling or reusing what remains. Cleantech can also include new ways to purify and filter water and air. Then there's a host of supporting technologies, including new materials and process innovations.

All good treehugging stuff, of course, and it's previously been easy to dismiss as such. But there's now a very strong business case for cleantech. The problems these technologies address are those of climate change, energy dependency, pollution, resource depletion and unsustainable urbanisation - again, nothing new, but these problems are increasingly being recognised by governments and corporations as ones which demand attention and investment, creating a strong demand for new solutions.

That's why cleantech, in 2006, became the third largest investment category for venture capital investors, after software and biotech. With both the major VC and private equity groups and smaller specialists chasing the best clean ventures, it's a sector that's set to grow further. This is big technology and big business in the making.

The blog
Clean Ventures will attempt to track what's happening from a UK perspective. Inspiration comes from a number of US-based blogs (which I'll introduce in another post) which have been doing an excellent job of tracking what's happening over there. Obviously there's a much more limited number of companies and investment deals being done within these island shores, but the globalised nature of the industry and the problems it addresses means there should be plenty going on of interest to entrepreneurs, innovators and investors based here. I'll be writing from a UK perspective, but not, I hope, an exclusive or parochial one.

I'll be documenting VC deals in cleantech companies, new research and analysis on the sector, and policy news of interest. I'll be looking out for news on emerging technologies, companies and services. I'll also be looking at the possible investment bubble in listed cleantech businesses, and what that might mean for companies and investors.

It's likely to start out quite modestly, but I'm aiming to introduce new services and content as things develop. If there's anything you'd like to see, or you'd like to contribute to or support the blog, please add comments below or email me direct at

The author
I'm a freelance journalist of over 10 years' experience, specialising in technology, venture capital and entrepreneurial businesses. I've written mostly for specialist titles from Chemistry & Industry to Corporate Financier, and have won the BVCA/Isis Venture Capital Journalist of the Year Award for writings on technology investment for Real Deals. For more information, see my website at (where I also blog on various subjects including venture capital and environmental issues).

I recently worked with 3i on promotional literature for their growing cleantech sector, which helped rekindle my interest in the general subject. I'm also currently carrying out some original research at the University of Sheffield on bubble characteristics of the listed cleantech sector - watch this space.

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