Sustex 2022: Tech for Sustainability panel
Updated: Oct 16, 2022
Zest's Managing Director Jeffrey Beyer joined a panel to share the unique advantages and specific needs of the UAE to support cleantech-powered growth.
The panel shared insights on how blockchain is finding applications for conservation and enhancing the robustness of carbon markets. Artificial intelligence is also increasingly playing a role in optimization of energy systems.
Beyer discussed the key differences between software-style cleantech, and hardware-oriented innovation. Cleantech hardware has a longer maturity period to prove reliability, more complex adoption into existing systems, and challenging regulatory barriers especially in sectors like regulated energy markets, aerospace, automotive and the built environment.
The investor profile for cleantech hardware is also different. The diversity of cleantech markets cuts across sectors, meaning many venture capital investors are challenged to understand the product-market fit in markets as diverse as agriculture, energy, industry and buildings.
Beyer suggested solutions to these challenges, ranging from establishing a cleantech centre of excellence, forming a purpose-built investment vehicle for sustainable ventures, enhancing tech transfer capabilities in UAE universities, and forming corporate partnerships to facilitate technology tests and trials.
The panel was moderated by Dr Jane Thomason.