Miami politicians announce climate tech funds, plus local startups are in the spotlight. Refresh Miami

FL - At global Aspen Ideas conference, tech touted as solution to our climate woes

Miami politicians announce climate tech funds, plus local startups are in the spotlight

If you live in Miami, it’s easy to see the effects of our changing climate: sunny day flooding, record-breaking heat waves, and increasingly extreme storm surges.

But at this year’s Aspen Ideas: Climate conference in Miami Beach, global leaders showcased Miami as an example not only of a major city that is vulnerable to climate change – but also one that is doing something (although perhaps not enough) about it.

The conferences’ organizers touted the three-day affair this week as a solutions-oriented event. Thanks to this focus, technology and innovation were center stage and a major topic of conversation amongst the 2,500 participants. This is even more than last year’s event, which already showcased a fair amount of tech solutions.

Refresh Miami was on the scene to bring you the key takeaways from this year’s Aspen Ideas: Climate conference.

Attention, climate tech startups: New funding opportunities on the horizon

Sure, climate tech is not one of Miami’s biggest verticals. But there’s still a case to be made that our city is a burgeoning hub for tech that helps address the climate crisis. To that end, two separate government initiatives to spur climate tech innovation were announced at Aspen.

“I am proud to announce that I secured nearly $10 million in community project funding for Florida International University’s Robotics and Autonomous Systems Laboratory for Coastal Conservation and Restoration,” said Miami congresswoman Frederica Wilson [pictured below]..

“We’re looking for solutions around climate, around sea level, around solar, energy, transit, housing – so many of the challenges that we have and believe that together we can solve them,” Levine Cava continued. “And we’re willing to put our money behind testing and then scaling them. And if there is a successful solution, the County is committed to procuring those services so that they can thrive.

”We’re so excited that we became a tech hub and have brought so much innovation, new ideas, and new entrepreneurs to Miami – and we know they can be the solution,” Levine Cava told Miami-Dade Innovation Authority, which will oversee the distribution of $9 million in seed grants for startups that are working to tackle our thorniest climate challenges.

Part of these funds come from external partners including the Knight Foundation and Citadel.“It’s fantastic to see the innovation and drive that people here in Miami have,” she said, reflecting on her time meeting local climate tech startups at a roundtable organized by the US and Miami chambers of commerce.

“So that is why the Miami-Dade Innovation Authority was created, to work with our startups and to challenge them: please help us not only make money but be part of the solution.”

Verizon also announced the second Verizon Climate Resilience Prize on stage at Aspen Ideas: Climate, which will award a total of $500,000 to four climate-tech organizations innovating to reduce climate change impacts on communities.

And Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced the launch of the Refresh MiamiLevine Cava made this announcement alongside Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, a member of the Royal family of the United Arab Emirates, who also expressed excitement about our local tech ecosystem.

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