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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Al-Mashat: Startups Play Vital Role in Encouraging Solutions to Mitigate & Adapt to Climate Change.


Thu 09 Nov 2023 | 11:57 AM
Rania Al-Mashat
Rania Al-Mashat
Nada Mustafa

The Ministry of International Cooperation announced the details of the second edition of the Global ClimaTech Run2023 competition, where the first edition was launched within the framework of Egypt’s hosting of COP27 in 2022. 

The competition aims to stimulate startup companies working in the field of climate action technology from various countries of the world, in partnership with the Ministries of Communications and Information Technology, and the Environment, along with development partners; UNDP, USAID, Microsoft, and the World Bank Group.

 The second edition of the international competition comes within the framework of preparations for COP28 in the United Arab Emirates.

This came during the high-level event witnessed by the Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, at the Ministry’s headquarters in the New Administrative Capital, with the participation of the United Nations Development Program Resident Representative in Egypt, Alessandro Fracasetti, Director of Microsoft, Mirna Arif, and representatives of the World Bank Group and many others.

Al-Mashat noted that the second edition of the ClimaTech Run 2023 witnessed the addition of three selection criteria for startup companies, namely: Growth, Resilience and Potential; with the aim of identifying startups that have the ability to make a significant positive change to the environment and society, and develop innovative solutions that address climate change, and expand mitigation and adaptation ideas and solutions.

Al-Mashat added that the competition builds on the efforts achieved in 2022 at COP27, where 422 startup companies from 66 countries participated, most of whom were in the early stages of growth by 82%, and based on the intense competition, only 48% of the competition were able to reach the final stages. Therefore, this year, the focus was on that category that did not reach the final stages of the competition in the first edition; featuring 405 startup companies that were invited, and entries from 44 countries.

H.E. noted that the competition aims to stimulate and encourage innovative and sustainable digital and technological solutions to enhance climate action and confront its economic and social repercussions.

H.E. also pointed to the vital role that startups can play through innovative ideas to combat the repercussions of climate change by reducing emissions in the energy sectors, enhancing food security, and stimulating smart and sustainable transportation, explaining that Egypt aims to stimulate the participation of relevant entities in transforming climate pledges into actions.

For his part, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, H.E. Dr. Amr Talaat, confirmed that the Climatech Run is an important platform to motivate entrepreneurs and startup companies to green technological innovation, and to find innovative digital solutions to enhance climate action and address its challenges, especially in light of the current need to take proactive steps in sustainable development.

H.E. Talaat explained that climate challenges represent a global problem that requires global cooperation. He added that the role of technology can help reduce negative impacts by adopting environmentally friendly technologies and integrating information technology into environmental resource management.

H.E. pointed out the commitment of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in actively participating in the activities of ClimaTech Run’s second edition in partnership with the Ministries of International Cooperation and Environment, international organizations, and the private sector, based on the Ministry’s vision of the importance of supporting all efforts aimed at adapting information technology and digital innovation to confront climate challenges and the shift towards a green economy.

H.E. also added that the startup sector in Egypt is witnessing rapid and steady growth, accompanied by great interest from risk capital companies and investment funds. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology is adopting an integrated strategy aimed at providing the necessary support for emerging technology companies, spreading a culture, promoting the growth of the entrepreneurship environment, and supporting emerging companies. He explained that Digital Egypt Creativity Centers are being established throughout the Republic to provide an integrated environment to incubate innovative ideas and help entrepreneurs.

During the events, it was announced that 3 startup companies qualified for the final stage of the competition to participate in COP28. They are Powerstove from Nigeria, which specializes in renewable energy solutions in developing countries, FreshSource from Egypt, which specializes in supply chain solutions for agricultural products in the Middle East and North Africa and promoting sustainable food systems, in addition to Kumulus from Tunisia, which specializes in solutions for providing clean drinking water using solar energy.

For his part, the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme, Alessandro Fracasetti, expressed his happiness to participate in the competition and to provide support to young entrepreneurs and innovators to enhance joint efforts to combat climate change, especially building on the efforts that the competition’s first edition witnessed. He explained that the Development Impact Acceleration Lab will be part of this initiative to provide support and assistance to startups.

For her part, the Director of Microsoft Egypt, Mirna Arif, said, “We are happy to be part of this important initiative for the second year in a row to support social entrepreneurship, and Microsoft is always keen to contribute and encourage emerging companies, whether through training and technical support, and this is an integral part of its interests.”

The Representative of the World Bank, Federica Ranghieri, said in her speech, “We thank the Ministry of International Cooperation for its leadership in these efforts, and the competition is certainly very important as it is based on an accurate understanding of the importance of environmental work and confronting climate change and the challenges it imposes on us. From here comes the necessity of supporting innovators and young entrepreneurs to catalyze innovative solutions in mitigation and adaptation.”

The Climatech Run competition is an example of constructive partnerships between the government, development partners, the private sector, and major technology companies, in order to unlock the horizons of climate action for emerging companies. The first edition of the competition was implemented in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Food Program, and the United Nations Development Program, the African Export-Import Bank, Google, the United Nations Population Fund, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Microsoft, and the business accelerators Falak Startups, the Entrepreneurs Network, AfriLabs and many other partners.

The competition comes in response to the global call for the need to address climate change and innovate sustainable solutions aimed at preserving the environment and prioritizing environmentally friendly technologies that support solutions for adaptation and mitigation of the repercussions of climate change.

The first edition witnessed the submission of more than 422 companies, from more than 66 countries around the world. From the continents of Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australia, more than 166 artists from 55 countries around the world also presented in the digital art track, and awards were allocated to emerging companies operating on the African continent.

Rania Al-Mashat
Rania Al-Mashat
Rania Al-Mashat