Insights / UCLB News

Earth Day: Anne Lane on the UCLB spinouts assisting net zero

22 April 2024


Today is Earth Day, so what better time to put a spotlight on the transformative role of university research in finding and applying real-world climate solutions at scale? 

UCL Business (UCLB), the commercialisation company for UCL, is helping bring to market technologies from UCL’s researchers and academics, forming spinout businesses which have the potential to radically reduce carbon emissions by transforming whole sectors and global industries.  

Whilst there is clearly an important role for international inter-governmental processes to achieve ‘net zero’, there is a parallel role for commercialisation and scaling of disruptive technologies in re-engineering global industries to achieve carbon reduction. 

Here are just a few of the spinouts pointing to impactful real world carbon saving solutions: 

Carbon Re 

Headed by founder Buffy Price, Carbon Re is on a mission to reduce gigatonnes of industrial emissions every year. It is focusing on decarbonising cement and other foundational materials (such as steel and glass) which are responsible for more than 20% of global emissions. Cement alone accounts for 8%. 

Its first product, Delta Zero Cement, is an AI-powered cloud platform driving energy efficiency in the high-heat part of cement production – where temperatures reach 1,400 

Bramble Energy 

Bramble Energy has released a whitepaper revealing its solution to achieving a game-changing $100 per kilowatt fuel cell stack. Currently, fuel cell costs remain a major barrier to mass hydrogen adoption. Bramble, however, estimates that its stack cost would be ten-times lower than existing technology and the ‘world’s cheapest to date’. 

Marnie Lake Carroll, Bramble Energy’s Head of Commercial Operations says: “Almost half the CO2 reductions required by 2050 will come from currently demonstrable technologies. The resources and the development of innovative solutions are already there for us to benefit from. A collaborative approach across industry and government globally will give us a fighting chance for a clean and stable future.”


Oriole Networks 

Lastly, Oriole Networks gained a significant amount of press on its recent launch, and for good reason. Its ‘light-powered’ infrastructure is set to revolutionise the AI sector after demonstrating 100x improvements in completion times using 40x less power. 

Data centres and data transmission networks accounted for around 300MtCO2-eq in 2020, and CEO James Regan expects to have a significant impact on this and be delivering global energy savings of TWh/yr quite rapidly as Oriole ramps up its deployments. 

Find out more about our spinouts here.