Twenty four innovative clean-tech startups went through Vietnam's first-ever ‘Clean Tech Bootcamp' held to help small and medium-size enterprises develop and bring to market innovative clean-energy and energy-efficiency solutions in the areas of transportation, agribusiness, and water management.

The four-day programme of lectures and hands-on workshops gave their owners an opportunity to refine their product strategies, business models, and marketing pitches, sharpen their negotiating skills, and network with clean-tech entrepreneurs, investors, and peers.

"To tackle climate change, we need to help train innovative and successful climate technology entrepreneurs," Dr Aiming Zhou, senior energy specialist at the Asian Development Bank, one of the organisers of the training, said.

"A boot camp like this, which provides intense hands-on support to the most promising emerging climate technology businesses in Vietnam, plays a critical part in making this happen."

The initiative was developed by the World Bank's Climate Technology Programme in partnership with the ADB to accelerate the growth of new green businesses in the region and help reduce the threat posed by climate change.

With the successful conclusion of the boot camp, the programme will continue to nurture and mentor these and other climate technology SMEs and startups through the Climate Innovation Centre. This upcoming business hub is designed to provide services like early-stage financing, technology commercialisation, business development, and capacity building support.

Supported by the UK and Australia, the centre will deliver business advisory services and technology commercialisation funding to up to 65 climate technology entrepreneurs, including equity investments in 25 companies, in the first five years.

Through this, the centre is expected to reduce or prevent the equivalent of the annual emissions of 47,000 passenger vehicles (225,000 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions), improve access to clean water, increase agricultural efficiency, and provide access to renewable or more efficient sources of energy.

Overall, the centre will make one million people less vulnerable to climate change.

Vietnam is one of the five countries most vulnerable to climate change in the Asia-Pacific region. In the last 50 years sea levels have risen by 50cm, while extreme climate events (such as typhoons, floods, landslides, droughts, and saline intrusion) have cost the country 9,500 lives and approximately 1.5 percent of GDP every year, according to World Bank Vietnam.-VNA