University of Bristol: Scientists’ new climate change-fighting tech could slash energy use


Albotherm’s new temperature responsive glass coating reflects sunlight, reducing the energy required to cool agricultural, domestic and commercial buildings, which is expected to account for 13% of global energy use by 2050.

As temperatures rise the coating naturally transitions from clear to white, helping to regulate the temperature inside without the need for energy input.

Albotherm is a University of Bristol spin-out company founded and led by two female scientists, CEO Molly Allington and CTO Sian Fussell. Molly said they were “proud” to be a female-led company – a rarity in the tech sector.

The pair met when they were both researchers at Bristol University. It was there that they discovered a shared passion for using science as a force for good.

Although Sian is still finishing her PhD at Bristol, the pair decided to begin developing what could be a game-changing product, and have now secured £370,000 ($500,000) in seed funding to take it to market.

Sian said: “When I started my PhD as part of the Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials, I became aware of the work being done on this fascinating new technology.

“I wanted to understand how we could utilise this technology’s potential to combat climate change. It is very exciting to see Albotherm gain the opportunity to bring this technology to the market.”

Maintaining temperatures is particularly important in agricultural buildings, where fluctuations not only costs money but also reduces yields.

Molly Allington said: “Two of the biggest climate challenges facing us today are securing food supply and lowering carbon emissions.

“Albotherm is combating these issues using our passive cooling technology to improve crop yields and cool buildings without energy input.”

The funding round was led by Sustainable Ventures. Albotherm is also part of the Spin Up Science Ventures (SUSV) acceleration program which helps academic founding teams to launch businesses based on scientific discoveries.

Dr Ben Miles, CEO of Spin Up Science, said: “We’ve been excited to work with Albotherm from the beginning to help realise their startup journey and support them through this funding round. Particularly as, out of all VC investments, only 1% go to all-female founding teams.

“This is a really important success. The team’s ambition and vision for a sustainable energy future really impressed us and we look forward to seeing this technology make an impact in the fight against climate change.”

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