After assessing how corporate investment can help certain climate technologies grow, researchers at the University of WisconsinMadison and the Center for Global Sustainability (CGS) at the University of Maryland find evidence in support of policymakers and researchers looking beyond government innovation and more comprehensively considering the role of corporations in energy and climate innovation.

Corporate investments in climate-tech start-ups are a growing but overlooked aspect of innovation that should be more fully considered in efforts to advance climate technology, according to a new report in the academic journal Joule.

Corporations are often strategic investors motivated by profits as well as by other interests including expanding existing business models, gaining innovation insights, or meeting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) commitments. Well-resourced corporations investing in start-ups that can rapidly commercialize innovation can have an outsized influence on which start-ups succeed and scale, therefore shaping climate technology trajectories.

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