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Bristol Uni spin out raises £370k to used tech to help fight against Climate Change

12 April 2021
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Albotherm, a University of Bristol spin-out company developing passive cooling technologies to reduce energy usage in agriculture and buildings,  is has completed a £370,000 seed funding round. The funding will support the development of Albotherm’s Variable Shading System, a temperature responsive glass coating to reflect sunlight and reduce the energy required to cool agricultural, domestic, and commercial buildings, which is expected to account for 13 per cent of global energy by 2050.

Albotherm's smart transitioning coating technology regulates the temperature of surfaces and structures without the need for energy input. When temperatures rise above a determined trigger temperature, our technology reversibly transitions from clear to white, reflecting away unwanted light to prevent overheating.

The funding round was led by Sustainable Ventures as part of its Sustainable Accelerator programme. Sustainable Ventures provides early stage investment opportunities and support to sustainability focussed start-ups with high growth potential. Albotherm is also part of the Spin Up Science Ventures (SUSV) acceleration program which helps academic founding teams to launch business based on scientific discoveries.

This investment follows the award of a £210k grant from Innovate UK in 2020.

Albotherm is led by two female founders, Molly Allington (CEO) and Sian Fussell (CTO). The pair met when they were both researchers at the University of Bristol. It was there that they discovered a shared passion for using science as a force for good.

Sian Fussell CTO and Co-founder said: “When I started my PhD as part of the Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials, I became aware of the work being done on this fascinating new technology. I wanted to understand how we could utilise this technology's potential to combat climate change. It is very exciting to see Albotherm gain the opportunity to bring this technology to the market.”

Molly Allington CEO and Co-founder said: “Two of the biggest climate challenges facing us today are securing food supply and lowering carbon emissions. Albotherm is combating these issues using our passive cooling technology to improve crop yields and cool buildings without energy input.

“We are particularly excited to be working with Sustainable Ventures, Spin Up Science, and our experienced angel investors whose vision for a more environmentally conscious future closely aligns with our own.”

Susannah Mcclintock, Investment Director at Sustainable Ventures said: “We are delighted to have invested in Albotherm as we see the potential for their innovative technology to have a significant impact on emissions reductions in both the agricultural and building energy efficiency fields. We are also very pleased to have invested in Albotherm’s expert all-female team as part of our belief that diverse teams outperform and our on-going commitment to women in cleantech to invest in and support the very best founders.”

Dr Ben Miles, CEO of Spin Up Science said: “We’ve been excited to work with Albotherm from the beginning to help realise their startup journey and support them through this funding round. Particularly as, out of all VC investments, only one per cent go to all-female founding teams. This is a really important success. The team’s ambition and vision for a sustainable energy future really impressed us and we look forward to seeing this technology make an impact in the fight against climate change. ``


Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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