The pan-European project includes Spain’s University of Alicante, the Arctic University of Norway, Austria’s Fachhochschule Burgenland, and Bulgaria’s Technical University of Varna, as well as the University of Edinburgh.
The consortium project is spearheaded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, and “recognising the crucial role universities play as ‘engines of impact’ in society’s net-zero transition”.
It will involve G-Force – an early-stage investment programme for climate-tech start-ups backed by Marian Gazdik, Boris Zelený and Brent Hoberman’s Founders Factory – working with the universities on nurturing academic entrepreneurship addressing the climate crisis.
As part of the project, Bratislava-based G-Force will focus on how improving big data adoption can help solve climate change challenges. This includes areas such as environmental sciences, sustainability, and the circular economy.
Mr Gazdik, co-founding partner of G-Force, said: “Universities have long been a catalyst of change and innovation. But as climate change continues to wreak havoc on the planet, their role in addressing the crisis has never been more important, because mission-driven students are fearless and bold.
“That’s why, as we are building a sustainability innovation hub in the heart of Europe, G-Force is proud to be partnering with universities across Europe to drive climate tech entrepreneurship – particularly as better adoption of big data can improve areas such as the circular economy.”
Charlotte Lee-Woolf, business development manager, at Edinburgh Innovations, said: “Being part of this new consortium, and leading the development and application of a new business model framework as part of the CloudEARTHi project, provides a fantastic opportunity for the University of Edinburgh to draw on its expertise and track record in the circular economy, data-driven innovation and entrepreneurship fields to help increase capacity of higher education institutions to drive forward the transition to a net-zero, circular economy.”
Founders Factory was founded in 2015 by Brent Hoberman, Henry Lane Fox and George Northcott, and says it is the world's leading venture studio and accelerator.