Giving Compass' Take:

• Here are five innovations, spurred by government action that could help us address both the climate and COVID-19 crisis happening right now. 

• How can donors play a role in some of these action steps? 

• Read more about responding to the COVID-19 crisis in other ways. 

COVID-19 is a cataclysm of epic scale that has disrupted life as we know it globally. Early stage climate tech innovation is especially vulnerable to this disruption and, without swift, thoughtful action, we risk losing a decade of progress toward solutions that are critical for mitigating the most extreme effects of climate change.

By applying lessons learned from the 2008 cleantech collapse, we can address this pandemic while also supporting innovation to tackle climate change.

If necessity is the mother of invention, then crisis is her grandmother. Humans have a long history of mobilizing quickly and effectively to confront great challenges in times of crisis. Nowhere is this phenomenon more evident today than in the many efforts to design simple, mass-producible ventilators for victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. These ad hoc innovation initiatives range from Tesla’s corporate skunk works use of automotive parts to Italian internet-enabled hackers’ repurposing of scuba gear to a collaboration between Italian and Canadian Nobel laureate luminaries.

Turning crisis into catalysis requires quick action, and we only have a few months to get it right. These government actions could prevent us from losing another decade of innovation.

  1. Provide equal and streamlined access to sustaining funds for startups.
  2. Make special efforts to preserve the most vulnerable early-stage companies.
  3. Provide incentives for active investors to spur available fund deployment.
  4. Legislate and regulate to provide clear market signals that offer some degree of economic certainty.
  5. Build integrated ecosystems.

Humanity is in a race to prevent the most extreme effects of climate change and, even before the COVID-19 crisis, our early stage innovation efforts weren’t moving quickly enough.

Read the full article about innovation by Cyril Yee and Bryan Guido Hassin at GreenBiz.