New climate finance risk analytics hub launches at University of Leeds Nexus

A new climate financial risk analytics hub has launched in Leeds, with the aim of forging stronger links between UK science and innovation and financial institutions.

The UK CGFI Innovation Hub, part of the UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment (CGFI), is situated in Nexus - the University of Leeds’ innovation community, in partnership with Leeds University Business School and the Priestley Centre for Climate Futures.

Matt Scott, executive director at CGFI, said: “The Leeds Innovation Hub will bring together climate science, financial institutions and innovative companies in the field of climate and environmental analytics to unlock opportunities for the UK and help to transform finance for a greener future.”

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The Leeds Innovation Hub is one of two physical hubs, with the other being located at Imperial College London, that will support innovation and commercialisation in the North.

Left to right: Dr Kanhu Charan Pattnayak, Professor Iain Clacher, Patricia Grant, Dr Anubhav Choudhary.Left to right: Dr Kanhu Charan Pattnayak, Professor Iain Clacher, Patricia Grant, Dr Anubhav Choudhary.
Left to right: Dr Kanhu Charan Pattnayak, Professor Iain Clacher, Patricia Grant, Dr Anubhav Choudhary.

Funded as part of CGFI by UK Research and Innovation through the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Innovate UK, the Hub will aim to nurture and support a “vibrant ecosystem” of enterprises providing climate and environmental analytics products and solutions built on science.

Dr Martin Stow, pro vice chancellor for business engagement and enterprise, said: “The new CGFI hub, based in Nexus, is an exciting new initiative that will help further strengthen and foster collaboration between academia, start-ups and businesses in the North.

“This hub will help accelerate the adoption of climate and environmental data and analytics by financial institutions, delivering a positive impact on the regional economy and beyond.”

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The Leeds Innovation Hub’s activities are aimed at helping financial institutions accelerate their use of climate data and analytics.

Its activities will aim to connect industries and networks across environmental science and finance, as well as offering knowledge exchange and support for the application of climate science in industry.

The hub will also aim to provide innovation and early-stage business support.

Professor Iain Clacher, professor of pensions and finance at Leeds University Business School and director of the UK CGFI Leeds Innovation Hub, said: “The opening of the CGFI Innovation Leeds Hub is the next step in accelerating the use of climate and environmental risk analytics into institutional investment and finance.

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“By working with industry, we will be able to deploy the best analytics for the problems facing finance today.

“As well as providing best in class analytics for real-world use cases, the CGFI Innovation Hubs will help to build the talent pipeline through CGFI Connect events, tech sprints, and hackathons, as well as through internships and placements.

“Building the talent pipeline is going to enable the UK to remain a global leader in climate finance and innovation in this space and will help to capture the economic benefits across the country from the transition to a low carbon climate resilient world.”

Professor Jason Lowe OBE, chair in interdisciplinary climate research – Priestley Centre for Climate Futures and head of climate services at the Met Office, added: “The latest climate science has enabled us to better understand the past in a way that helps us predict future climate and what the impacts might be.

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“Now CGFI is bringing together this climate knowledge and data alongside other academic disciplines to provide new perspectives that help make the science directly relevant to finance. Our Leeds hub adds the next ingredient, working with business to apply it in the real world.”