PRESS RELEASE: STA new ‘Innovators’ membership offers free peer support and exposure to big investors

Solar Trade Association
Tuesday 16 October 2018
Green GB Week

Today at Solar & Storage Live on ‘Innovation Day’ of Green GB Week, STA Chief Executive Chris Hewett will launch the Association’s new “Innovators” membership category, which offers a complimentary one-year membership to qualifying innovation start-ups. Early members include peer-to-peer trading platform Verv; SolarCoin, the world’s largest community-based solar electricity reward programme, pioneers in simplified Solar Thermal technology Soltropy, and local energy market specialists Pixie Energy.

As well as receiving support through the STA Executive and active Working Groups, the STA has an important investor membership that collectively owns around two thirds of UK utility solar assets who take an interest in cleantech investment opportunities.

STA Member Simon King, Principal in Ventures Group at Octopus Ventures said; “Octopus Ventures helps pioneering entrepreneurs change the world and never have there been more opportunities for low-carbon innovation in the UK than there are today. STA Innovators aims to bring to the forefront and give a voice to some of the most exciting new start-ups across this rapidly evolving industry.”

Tom Haywood, Investment Manager at Foresight Group added, “Early-stage companies are often caught-out by a lack of resources and connections with industry. The STA’s Innovators network will help strengthen entrepreneurship by bringing innovators into the fold.”

The STA is especially pleased to announce the Innovators programme on ‘Innovation Day’ of Green GB Week, which aims to provide a platform for a new generation of innovative low-carbon firms to deliver clean growth.

The new membership category is available to academic research spin-offs, start-ups yet to develop sustainable revenue streams, and social enterprises that are developing disruptive technologies or new business models linked to solar generation, heat, and energy storage. Applications will be assessed for credibility against a range of criteria.

Yi Jean Chow, Product Manager at Verv said, “Our Innovators membership at STA has been extremely helpful as we build our peer-to-peer energy trading platform. We’ve had the opportunity to meet with key players within the solar industry – ranging from solar installers and potential partners, to thought leaders and regulatory experts.”

The new STA offer recognises the energy sector has entered an exceptional new era for innovation but emerging companies face challenges navigating a very complex regulatory landscape, which is often key to their business case. Start-ups can also greatly benefit from peer support and professional networking with established businesses. In turn, existing STA members and Working Groups will benefit from the participation of bright minds and disruptive new technology perspectives.

Ypatios Moysiadis, Greensolver Business Development Director and STA Innovation Ambassador said, “The solar industry is on the frontline of technology change and benefits from close engagement with innovators on what may lie ahead. Disruptive and important innovation can happen even in garages and cramped offices, as well as labs, by brilliant people with a vision for the future. We want to reach out to nurture and support innovators through networking, training, information dissemination and contact with funders. With the launch of the Innovators membership offer the STA strengthens its stake at the forefront of rapid technology development.”
STA Chief Executive Chris Hewett will be talking about the new Innovators offer at the STA’s post-subsidy policy session at 11.00 at Solar & Storage Live at the NEC on Tuesday 16th October. STA staff will be available throughout the exhibition, which is free to enter, at stand P72 with full details of the new Innovators category and application forms. Details are also available on the STA website. [1]


Notes to editors

For further information or to request an interview, please contact:

Name: Leonie Greene
Title: Director of Advocacy & New Markets
Main line: 0203 637 2945
Mobile: 07932 720 091

Background on the Solar Trade Association:
The mission of the Solar Trade Association is to empower the UK solar transformation. We are paving the way for solar to deliver the maximum possible share of UK energy by 2030 by enabling a bigger and better solar industry. We represent both solar heat and power, and have a proven track record of winning breakthroughs for both industries.