Growing and Transforming Global GreenTechs for Sustainability

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UOB FinLab’s GreenTech Accelerator (GTA) strives to develop and market green technology solutions for business sustainability.

The global community confronts dire environmental challenges encompassing climate change, inadequate sustainability governance, deforestation, soil degradation, agricultural waste, and the rapid pace of the fashion industry. In a stark illustration of these issues, 2023 emerged as a pivotal year, breaking records to claim the title of the hottest year ever recorded.

With worldwide temperatures averaging 14.98°C, a significant 1.46°C above pre-industrial levels and 0.13°C surpassing the eleven-month average for 2016, previously deemed the hottest year, the gravity of climate change becomes undeniable.

Compounding these concerns, human activities have propelled carbon dioxide levels in 2023 to unprecedented heights, surpassing even the pre-industrial era levels by more than double. In cities, rising energy use worsens the urban heat island effect, raising health risks and straining resources. Energy efficiency efforts fall short, leading to increased carbon emissions and exacerbating climate change. Urgent action is needed to manage carbon emissions as unchecked greenhouse gases intensify global warming. Transparent carbon reporting mechanisms are crucial for effective mitigation. Climate shifts endanger food security, notably in aquaculture, where changing conditions disrupt production.

In today’s world, societies are more aware than ever of the challenges associated with sustainability. Technological innovation emerges as a pivotal solution, illustrating its influence across diverse realms such as social relations, consumer behaviours, purchasing patterns, lifestyles, prosperity, and cultural development. Specifically, technology plays a transformative role in shaping the demand for energy and raw materials, optimising manufacturing processes and efficiency, enhancing product performance, and addressing issues related to waste management and reduction.

Despite its paramount significance, proponents of the technology and innovation sector face formidable challenges in achieving their objectives, grappling with limitations in essential resources such as human capital, financial investments, know-how, and other necessary supporting structures.

The birth of UOB The FinLab Greentech Accelerator

Launched in May 2022 by UOB FinLab, the GreenTech Accelerator (GTA) aims to grow and commercialise greentech solutions to meet the sustainability needs of businesses.

“Back in the early 2020s, we noticed that greentechs were still particularly nascent, especially in the ASEAN market. Through our Sustainability Innovation Programme (SIP), we also realised that there was a strong interest and demand for businesses to go green and adopt sustainable solutions. For instance, customers raised their purchases of sustainable items by 93% in 2022 despite the rising cost of living, and 72% of businesses believe climate change posed negative consequences to their operations and profitability. We have had more than 800 SMEs over the past 3 years attend our SIP, providing us with an opportunity to address the demand and supply gap. Hence, we decided to start the GTA to further amplify our contribution,” shared Shannon Lung, Head of UOB FinLab.

Diverging from the conventional approach of equity acquisition or fundraising assistance employed by many accelerators, the GreenTech Accelerator (GTA) operates as an equity-free platform, empowering businesses to retain rigorous control over their ownership. GTA’s distinctive value proposition lies in its dedicated focus on steering green technology enterprises towards business opportunities and impactful outcomes by fostering connections with entities facing real sustainability challenges.

In its inaugural event in 2022, GTA garnered applications from a diverse pool of over 150 candidates spanning 45 countries. The subsequent three-month Greentech Accelerator Programme saw 12 selected startups demonstrating their achievements in a compelling Showcase Day held at the Singapore Fintech Festival Labcrawl.


The success stories of HydroNeo and REDEX from the previous GreenTech Accelerator program serve as compelling use cases to highlight the benefits of becoming part of GTA’s network. “HydroNeo and REDEX are two great examples of successful past participants that leveraged UOB FinLab’s extensive network to create genuine business opportunities. As a result of the previous GreenTech Accelerator programme, HydroNeo connected with more than 15 industry players and managed to embark on a pilot project together with UOB to support Thai shrimp farmers in digitalising their business processes.

- Growing And Transforming Global Greentechs For Sustainability

“Through the programme, we connected with more than 15 industry experts, and we managed to embark on a pilot project together with UOB to support Thai shrimp farmers in digitalising their processes. We’re excited to leverage our IoT Smart Farming Solution to analyse production-related data and tailor energy-saving solutions for businesses, establishing a more sustainable and efficient farming ecosystem in Thailand and ultimately Asia in the long run,” said Fabian Reusch, Managing Director and Founder of HydroNeo.

Similarly, REDEX leveraged the networking sessions and masterclasses to meet industry leaders, educated businesses and increased mindshare of their product – Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and secured new clients, including UOB. Being in front of a curated network was instrumental for REDEX as it provided great opportunities for collaboration with new partners,” elaborated by Shannon Lung.

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What’s in it for GreenTech Accelerator 2024?

Building on the success of the previous run to regionalise the programme, GreenTech Accelerator 2024 is poised to make a significant regional impact, with a focus on Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia this year. “GTA 2024 plays a crucial role in ensuring global greentechs to have a platform that fosters business growth and innovation by bringing together an extensive network of industry leaders in sustainability, government agencies and businesses,” stated Shannon Lung.

With UOB FinLab’s support, GTA strengthens its mission to drive innovation and sustainability. Together, they empower green technology initiatives by tapping into UOB FinLab’s network and resources. This collaboration distinguishes GTA’s commitment to helping support innovations in green technology, aligning with UOB FinLab’s broader digitalisation goal and impacting various sectors.

GTA is designed to pioneer a regional-local or hyperlocal approach, aiming to foster innovation that transcends borders and sectors. By promoting cross-border collaboration, GTA facilitates the exchange of greentech solutions across regions. For instance, a sustainable solution developed in Singapore or Malaysia may offer valuable insights to address similar challenges in Thailand and beyond. Through GTA, a network effect is generated, enabling the sharing of knowledge, insights, and opportunities across diverse ecosystems.

Leveraging regional networks and expertise, while maintaining a global outreach, GTA establishes local chapters and encourages community engagement. This approach not only amplifies the impact of green innovations but also nurtures a collaborative ecosystem where local stakeholders actively contribute to global sustainability efforts.

By partnering with GTA, UOB FinLab aims to catalyse cross-sector efforts, highlighting technology’s role in sustainability, and showing that integrating greentech across industries is key to addressing environmental challenges holistically.

The GreenTech Accelerator 2024 program lays out clear criteria for applicants, emphasising the need for Asia-based startups that offer scalable global solutions, possess a Technology Readiness Level of 6 and above, and a focus on key themes such as energy efficiency, zero-waste and supply chain, sustainability reporting and carbon management, food and agriculture, and sustainable cities and urban planning.

Offering tips for prospective participants to wow the judges, Shannon Lung emphasised, “The judges are looking for mature, impactful, and deployable solutions that can tackle the needs of businesses. Be concise in highlighting your unique value proposition, how it can benefit businesses, your track record and ‘why’ you would be keen to be part of GTA2024.”

The application deadline for the program is March 31st. 

A slew of support for greentechs

To further demonstrate its commitment to empowering innovative solutions, GTA offers a total of up to SGD100,000 available for greentechs to pilot innovative, relevant, and deployable solutions with businesses. In addition, the selected greentechs will also undergo masterclasses, mentorships, and leverage on UOB FinLab’s vast network of 23,000 businesses comprising corporates and SMEs, governments, institutes of higher learning, associations and technology providers etc. to scale the business across the region.

Supported by key partners like Enterprise Singapore, A*StartCentral, Temasek Foundation, AWS, and Ecolabs, the GreenTech Accelerator 2024 is poised to be a transformative force, driving sustainable innovations in the heart of Asia.

GreenTech Accelerator 2024 not only helps bolster participating startups but also helps further our common goal of saving the planet. For more information, visit The Greentech Accelerator.

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Designed for business owners to enhance their digital capabilities through practical learning, this programme takes businesses to the next level.

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Designed for business owners to enhance their digital capabilities through practical learning, this programme takes businesses to the next level.

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