Cooling technology wins CleanTech Challenge 2023

A&B Smart Materials scoops £20k prize for development of smart hydrogels solution

Cooling technology wins CleanTech Challenge 2023 1140x346

A former Rolls-Royce thermal engineer, and an expert in nanotechnology and smart materials, have won this year’s CleanTech Challenge (CTC) with their novel cooling solution for solar panels.

Amaury van Trappen de Buggenoms and Benjamin White are founders of A&B Smart Materials, a revolutionary company developing cooling technologies for a wide range of applications using novel smart hydrogels.

Their passive cooling technology is set to transform many industries using technologies requiring thermal control solutions, such as photovoltaic panels, EV batteries, electronic components, specialised clothing, and cosmetics.

Amaury and Benjamin wowed the judges with their pitch for solar photovoltaic panel applications, which led to their £20,000 award at this year’s CleanTech Challenge. The 2023 competition was jointly hosted by the London Business School (LBS) and University College London (UCL) and sponsored by private equity investor Gore Street Capital, the Lindsay-Fynn Trust, London Evolutionary Research Network, London Business School’s Energy and Environment Club, and the London Business School Institute of Entrepreneurship and Private Capital.

Speaking about their award, Amaury van Trappen de Buggenoms and Benjamin White said: "We are incredibly grateful for our experience at the CleanTech Challenge. The event was exceptionally well-organised, which allowed us to focus on showcasing our technology and connecting with like-minded innovators. Throughout the competition, we received outstanding mentoring support that helped us refine our pitch and gain valuable insights into the cleantech industry. The networking opportunities we encountered were invaluable, as they introduced us to potential collaborators and investors who share our vision for a sustainable future.

“The £20,000 prize money will play a crucial role in advancing our venture, allowing us to further develop and test our solar cooling gel technology, ultimately bringing us closer to market. We cannot emphasise enough what an amazing experience this has been for A&B Smart Materials, and we are excited to continue our journey toward revolutionizing solar panel efficiency and making a positive impact on the environment."

Tiphaine Delepine from ClaraC, the winners of the audience vote, said: “The CTC was an incredible experience to connect with like-minded individuals in the climate tech space and get inspired by the creativity and passion of the other teams in the competition. We were able to improve and refine our pitch through three valuable mentoring sessions, and presented in front of an impressive panel of judges. We left not only with new knowledge, but also with renewed optimism for a greener, more sustainable future.”

About the CleanTech Challenge

The CleanTech Challenge is a global business pitch competition organised by students for students with innovative clean technology ideas. It is jointly hosted by the London Business School (LBS) and University College London (UCL) to help students develop their clean technology ideas into credible businesses. It began in 2011 and has grown in significance and stature.

The competition promotes an interdisciplinary approach, bringing together technical and business students to develop their ideas with the help of industry expert mentors. This year over 100 students across 23 nationalities entered the CleanTech Challenge, including its regional competition hosted by the Dutch and Belgium delegations, with 45 ideas. The top eight teams from the CleanTech Challenge and the two winners of the regional competitions came to London Business School to workshop their ideas with mentors over two days and pitch live to a panel of investors and entrepreneurs. With the generous support from Gore Street Capital and the Lindsay-Fynn Trust, teams competed for a chance to win £20,000.