Indian SMEs showcase innovative climate solutions

Topic: Cleantech Innovation in SME Sector in India
Venue: India Pavilion, UNFCCC COP 23, Bonn

  • WWF-India and UNIDO-India jointly organised an event on ‘Cleantech Innovation in the SME Sector in India’ on 16 November, 2017 at the India Pavilion at UNFCCC COP 23, Bonn. This event aimed to promote and showcase cleantech innovations by the SME sector as a solution for climate mitigation.
  • WWF-India represented by Dr T.S. Panwar highlighted the significance of the SME sector in the Indian context as it employs over 80 million people and contributes 8 per cent to the country’s GDP. Cleantech innovations in the SME sector have tremendous potential to improve efficiency, enhance competitiveness, and provide significant environmental and climate benefits, by reducing GHG emissions.
  • The event presented some of the success stories by Indian SME innovators followed by a panel discussion on ‘Accelerating Cleantech Innovation in the SME sector in India’. The panel discussion was moderated by Mr. Stefan Hennigsson, WWF who provided an overview of the global innovation ecosystem drawing examples from the Indian scenario as well. He discussed about WWF’s global innovation platform called Climate Solver that promotes innovative technologies and business models developed by SMEs in India as well as other countries.
  • The panel included senior representatives from the Government of India. Dr. P.C. Maithani, MNRE and Mr. Sanjay Bisariya, Ministry of MSME, highlighted various initiatives undertaken by the Government to boost innovation and entrepreneurship in the SME sector in India.
  • The finance sector was represented by Mr Manish Chourasia, Tata Cleantech Capital who emphasised on the development of robust business models and a good mentoring ecosystem. Representing the incubation/accelerator ecosystem, Mr Amber Maheshwari, CIIE mentioned the key initiatives rolled out to extend business development support for start ups and SMEs, including those in collaboration with the Government of India. Mr. Sandeep Tandon, UNIDO-India described about the GCIP initiative undertaken in partnership with the Ministry of MSME, and highlighted the programme’s achievements. Development Alternatives represented by Dr. Soumen Maity showcased their work done in developing innovative technologies in different sectors and highlighted the opportunity in terms of mainstreaming the informal sector.
  • Two promising start-ups from India were represented by Mr. Arindam Paul, Atomberg Technologies and Mr. Madhusudhan Rao, Oorja Energy Engineering Hyd. Pvt. Ltd. who presented their innovative technologies related to energy efficient ceiling fans and radiant cooling solutions for building sector.

Some of the key points that emerged from the panel discussion included:

  1. Need for development of enhanced networking opportunities amongst key stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem, including linkages to the global ecosystem.
  2. Better financing options at different stages of growth of the SMEs, and creation of a risk-credit guarantee mechanism
  3. Greater support for R&D, and technology validation
  4. Enhanced opportunities for outreach and visibility of the transformative solutions.

The cleantech solutions developed by the Indian SMEs have great potential for adoption within the country as well as in other geographies across the world, and thus can contribute significantly to the mitigation of GHG emissions thereby addressing the climate change challenge.

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