A government technology ‘alliance’ founded in Scotland has launched a global climate change challenge – inviting nations to showcase their clean tech solutions at the Cop26 summit in November.

The CivTech Alliance, forged by the Scottish Government’s Civtech innovation arm, has worked with countries around the world on a special competition to coincide with the UN event in Glasgow.

Eighteen high growth companies from nine countries have been selected to take part in the CivTech Alliance Global Scale-up Programme, which brings together a ‘unique access programme for climate tech companies in the run up to, and during, Cop26’.

For seven weeks from 6th September the companies will participate in a series of meetings with policy-makers and procurement specialists and regional entrepreneurial ecosystems, rotating through each country for two to three days. The purpose is to provide access to public sector and ecosystem decision-makers they would not otherwise know how to access.

From using food scraps to feed insect farms, waste biomass being converted into hydrogen and platforms for sustainable fishermen to sell their catches directly to consumers, these solutions all have the potential to address climate change and sustainability issues. 

Two companies which have been previously part of the Civtech programme are part of the cohort – Iceni Earth and The Routing Company.

Ivan McKee, minister for business, trade, tourism and tnterprise for Scotland, said: “Scotland continues to demonstrate global leadership through the success of CivTech Scotland and the formation of the CivTech Alliance. These programmes have enabled us to foster international cooperation on shared global challenges and support pioneering investable companies.

“This is a clear demonstration of how the public sector can work with innovative companies and organisations to develop new solutions to the climate challenges we face while creating new green jobs.

“Collaboration between the public and private sector is essential in overcoming the climate crisis, and technologies like these are part of the global solution. I welcome this cohort to the Cop26 Global Scale-Up Programme and congratulate everyone in pulling this ground-breaking programme together.”

In collaboration with the United Nations Development Program, the World Resources Institute and Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc, three challenges have been set relating to the Cop26 goals around environmental resilience, food wastage and decarbonisation of commercial vehicles for fast-growth companies with global ambitions to solve.

Participating companies come from Scotland, Brazil, Israel, Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Australia and the US, and range in size from seven to over 1,200 staff. 

At Cop26 on 3-5th November a series of hybrid events under the theme of ‘Climate Innovation in Action’ will showcase both Scottish and international case studies in how the public sector has successfully collaborated with innovative businesses to develop new solutions to tackle the climate crisis both in Scotland and around the world.

Philippe Shuler, global impact manager for social impact company and anti-food waste app Too Good To Go said: “As we approach the 2030 deadline to achieve the UN’s SDG targets, the Scale-up Programme has identified a real need for the tech companies working to achieve them, to scale faster than ever.

“We are on a mission to drastically reduce global food waste and the harmful greenhouse gases it produces, and build a more sustainable food system for all. This is an invaluable opportunity for us to engage with policy-makers and share our experience and knowledge as we learn from each other.”

Alexander Holt, GSUP programme founder, added: “We urgently need to meet the challenges presented by climate change. Our alliance membership is brimming with talent, expertise, and with a shared goal of preserving our planet, we can help the global community meet its shared Net Zero ambitions.

“The calibre of companies joining this inaugural programme is exceptional. As a highly connected membership organisation we are focusing on more mature companies that have begun to scale, to leverage their potential and give them the opportunity to collaborate with public sectors around the world. This interaction enables them to inform decision makers to drive meaningful change and find solutions to real-world problems.

“This access programme model is highly innovative in its cross-border collaboration and gives everyone involved a chance to shape this journey together.”

CivTech Alliance participating country teams: https://cop26.civtechalliance.org/meet-the-teams


  • Australia – Go2Gov – South Australian Government
  • Brazil – IdeiaGov, Sao Paolo Regional Government; InvestSP
  • Estonia – Accelerate Estonia, Estonian Government
  • Germany – InnoLab, Baden-Württemberg Regional Government
  • Lithuania – GovTech Lab, MITA, Lithuanian Government
  • Poland – GovTech Center, Polish Government
  • Scotland – CivTech, Scottish Government
  • United States – 10x Programme, General Services Administration, US Government

Academic institutions

  • Denmark – Technical University of Denmark 
  • Spain – PublicTech Lab, IE Business School
  • Brazil – BrazilLab