Pioneer Group has teamed up with CPI, the independent deep tech innovation organisation, to launch a Golden Ticket programme for innovations in planetary health.

The 2024 Golden Ticket Programme is open to hydrogen and climate technology companies that are innovating solutions to some of the biggest challenges we face, with funding for the initiative coming from the Hydrogen Innovation Initiative (HII) – a trusted group of organisations working with industry, government, and academia to create an investible, globally competitive hydrogen technology and services sector in the UK.

The overall winner of the Golden Ticket programme will receive:

  • 12 months of venture development support with Pioneer Group
  • 12 months of ongoing scale-up and innovation support with CPI, which may include tailored grant landscape review, bid development, technical consultancy and advice, and innovation support, one-to-one technology advisory sessions and use of test facilities
  • Use of incubation space at the Wilton Centre alongside scale-up work

CPI heads up the High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVMC) at Pioneer Group’s Wilton Centre, which is one of seven catapults across the UK and a partner in the Hydrogen Innovation Initiative. Together with CPI, Pioneer Group works with manufacturing businesses of all sizes to help turn ideas into commercial applications by addressing the gap between technology concepts and commercialisation.

Based in the Northeast, and one of Europe’s largest R&D sites, the Wilton Centre is home to a number of growing businesses working in circle economy, life sciences, sustainable processing, and manufacturing technology.

Of the Golden Ticket programme, Lisa Thomas, Pioneer Group Director & Venture Development Partner, says: “There is a growing awareness of the importance of identifying sustainable solutions to planetary health challenges if we are to reduce their impact on the future generations. At Pioneer Group, we create optimal environments for companies to focus on solving human and planetary health challenges, with the Wilton Centre providing the ideal base for biomanufacturing companies.

This year’s Golden Ticket programme in collaboration with the CPI provides the perfect platform for enabling innovation in this field and advancing pioneering scientific research for the benefit of human health. By entering this competition, businesses working in hydrogen and climate technology are in with the chance of winning cutting-edge expertise and support that has the potential to accelerate their innovation.”

Ian Smith, Head of Investment Partnerships at CPI, says: “We’re excited to collaborate with Pioneer Group on the Golden Ticket programme at the Wilton Centre, CPI’s head office. Teesside is at the forefront of clean tech and net zero technology advancements. Such partnerships are crucial for regional economic growth, which will not just create high-paid, high-skilled jobs in the Tees Valley, but also help futureproof and grow the UK economy. Together with the Teesside Industrial Cluster, we’re leading in clean energy, low carbon, and hydrogen initiatives.’’

The 2024 Golden Ticket winner will be chosen by a team of the CPI’s scientific and business leaders, along with Pioneer Group’s experts in venture building. The decision will be based on the strength and novelty of the scientific rationale, and the potential to transform planetary health.

For more information and to apply, visit: Applications close on 23 February 2024.

To date, Pioneer Group has supported 240 companies, of which 136 have raised £344m. For more information, visit: