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MI Innovation Platform: increasing confidence in emerging solutions

09-July-2021
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By Helen Fairclough (MI Platform Workstream Lead and Operations Manager)

After 18 months of development by MI members and the MI Secretariat it was rewarding to see the launch of the MI Innovation Platform at the Innovating to New Zero Summit on 2 June.

The Innovation Platform is a suite of programmes led by and open to all MI members that will increase global confidence in emerging clean energy solutions.

Building on the successes of the first phase, through the Innovation Platform MI will:

  • provide access to key and robust INSIGHTS to track innovation progress and accelerate learning on innovation policy.
  • provide mechanism for members and others to COLLABORATE to exchange knowledge, identify key R&D needs and convene funders.
  • ACCELERATE solutions towards the market by working with innovators, investors and end users.

Since 2015 MI has been improving evidence on global clean energy investments. For instance, India, Brazil and China have all reported on this for the first time. To maximise the impact of public investment in clean energy innovation, more and better data on innovation progress is needed to inform more effective decision-making at national and international level. Through the Innovation Platform MI will continue to collaborate with the IEA, IRENA and others to improve global Insights on clean energy innovation.

Over the past five years MI members have collaborated on eight Innovation Challenges with the aim of accelerating innovation in priority technology areas. While some of the Innovation Challenges have advanced to become Missions, others have stepped up their ambition to become Collaborate Initiatives, implementing new action plans in the framework of the Innovation Platform.

The Missions bring together dynamic and delivery-focused high ambition alliances investing significant resources to catalyse global action to achieve ambitious and inspirational innovation goals. The Green Powered Future and the Hydrogen Missions launched at MI-6 have built upon the achievements of the Smart Grids and Renewable and Clean Hydrogen Innovation Challenges.

The Collaborate Initiatives may be short or long-term activities and are open to all MI members and organisations in their innovation ecosystem (e.g. academic institutions). Their action plans address knowledge and cooperation gaps and focus on strengthening innovation communities to share research findings, national RD&D priorities, lessons learned, and best practices.

Four Collaborate Initiatives were launched at the Summit:

  • Innovation for International Sustainable Aviation Fuel – led by India and the US
  • Materials for Energy (M4E) – led by Canada and Germany
  • Innovation Community on Affordable Heating and Cooling of Buildings – participation from Australia, the EC, India, Sweden, the UAE, the UK, the US
  • Enhanced MICall series to facilitate transnational collaborative clean energy research, development and demonstration – led by Austria and Sweden

The first Accelerate Initiative will be the Mission Innovation CleanTech Exchange. Led by India and the Clean Energy International Incubator Centre, an international network of incubators will support new innovations to have a soft landing in international markets. It will share country specific needs assessments; run joint scouting activities; support programmes for start-ups; and conduct innovation exchange programmes. More information on CleanTech Exchange and the other initiatives will be provided in future news.

The Platform will complement and support other MI programmes such as Missions.

Members may come forward with new Insights, Collaborate or Accelerate Initiatives to tackle key gaps in the clean energy innovation ecosystem so look out for opportunities to get involved with the activities described above and for new developments.

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