Trinity launches climate accelerator for built environment SMEs

11 Aug 2023

Image: © Naiyana/

The Built Environment Accelerator is a six-month virtual programme to help businesses scale up innovations that can decarbonise the sector.

Trinity College Dublin is looking for SMEs and start-ups in the construction sector to join its climate-focused accelerator.

The Built Environment Accelerator is a six-month programme, designed to help businesses gain industry contacts and commercialise their ideas. Trinity said participants will get access to an international ecosystem of mentors and entrepreneurs.

The programme also offers a mix of commercial and strategic supports for participating companies. The accelerator will be delivered remotely by Trinity and includes workshops and coaching.

There are estimates that buildings are responsible for 39pc of the world’s energy-related carbon emissions, due to the energy needed to heat, cool and power them, along with the carbon cost of construction materials.

The Built Environment Accelerator aims to support the growth of innovations that can decarbonise this sector. It is a collaboration between Tangent – Trinity’s ideas workspace – and innovation hub Green TechHQ.

Tangent CEO Ken Finnegan said the accelerator will help companies commercialise and scale their existing ideas and support new innovations that can “help the built environment sector accelerate its transition to net-zero carbon”.

“While many people focus on the risks brought about by global warming, a number of companies are seeing business potential in addressing the problem,” Finnegan said.

“I invite innovators and entrepreneurs with new solutions in low-carbon and green design, circular materials, energy and maintenance systems in addition to transport, monitoring and reporting systems to submit an application to join the programme.”

The cost of entry is €450, which is refundable if a participant does not transition to stage two of the programme. Interested businesses can apply on the accelerator website.

Last year, the Irish Government revealed its updated Climate Action Plan, which was the second time the plan was updated since it was first published in 2019.

The plan lists various targets to help Ireland slash its emissions by 50pc by 2030 and reach net zero no later than 2050. One of these targets is to retrofit 500,000 homes to an energy rating of BER B2 or equivalent by 2030.

In April, a report by University College Dublin claimed that Ireland will need to significantly scale up its residential retrofitting rates to meet these 2030 climate targets.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic