The proposals are intended to help companies developing cleaner technologies in sectors such as renewable energy, wastewater treatment and land remediation.
Shadow Chancellor George Osborne asked a group of cleantech experts chaired by David Mott, co-founder of venture capital firm Oxford Capital Partners, to formulate the proposals.
Too many small firms fail because of a lack of access to capital and poor business expertise, the group concluded. Government support via the Carbon Trust is limited to carbon reduction technologies.
The group recommends establishing the Cleantech Incubator Support Scheme to provide a 4:1 ratio of public and private funding, with a limit of £600,000 per annum over 3 years, open to all environmentally beneficial technologies. It estimates that over six years it would help 300 companies at a public cost of £45 million and a private cost of £9 million. The scheme would be delivered by incubator organisations, including privately owned and publicly listed companies or university based-organisations.
Tory leader David Cameron said: “For over ten years the market for green goods has expanded and for over ten years this Labour government has stood idly by. The proposals we are outlining today provide a roadmap of how Britain can be the world leader in green goods, services and companies.”
Meanwhile, an Environmental Industries Commission survey has found that 33% of companies in the environmental sector believed the Conservative Party had the best policies to promote growth, compared with just 7% favouring the government.