SolarBotanic Trees selected for Central Research Laboratory Accelerator Programme and receives European Research & Development Funding

SolarBotanic Trees selected for Central Research Laboratory Accelerator Programme and receives European Research & Development Funding

05.04.2023: Internationally recognised accelerator programme selects SolarBotanic Trees for an intensive 3-month product-development-focused programme AI beta testing to optimise performance commences on scaled prototype Seedrs crowdfunding round an

    Internationally recognised accelerator programme selects SolarBotanic Trees for an intensive 3-month product-development-focused programme

    AI beta testing to optimise performance commences on scaled prototype

    Seedrs crowdfunding round announced

SolarBotanic Trees Ltd has been selected by the Central Research Laboratory (CRL) as one of 7 startups to participate in its 2023 Accelerator programme. The intensive 3-month programme will see a dedicated team of product designers from CRL working on the development of the first commercial prototype of SolarBotanic’s innovative solar ‘tree’.

The CRL and SolarBotanic team will be working alongside the design engineering and prototyping team from the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield that have been working on the industrial design. The AMRC team has been developing the full-scale field prototype as the company moves towards full scale commercial production by the end of 2023.

The project will also commence initial beta testing of dedicated AI software which will use real data from the field demonstration scaled prototype to simulate how the trees will perform across a range of atmospheric conditions in the UK and worldwide.

Chris Shelley, CEO of SolarBotanic Trees said;
“Working with CRL team members with a strong track record in industrial design is a huge boost to the project from a product perspective.  It will add further momentum by bringing in the skills and experience of rapidly bringing products to market. The design team will complement the industrial engineering excellence being provided by the AMRC as we move closer to the design freeze to move to the next stage of production.”

The CRL Accelerator programme provides hardware startups with world class industrial product design and usability capabilities to assist development of products that will contribute to a Net Zero future. The programme is partially funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Research England Development Fund that seeks to support pioneering startups that are working towards the global Net Zero goals.

Jim Reeves, Product Development Director with CRL commented “SolarBotanic Trees is an interesting project for CRL that presents some unique industrial design challenges. They are seeking a new approach towards solar, looking to balance aesthetics of the built environment with our needs for a net zero future.”

The CRL Accelerator programme launched in 2015 and has already successfully supported hundreds of startups by building everything from next generation modular battery technology for sustainable storage to precision retroreflectors to help eliminate space debris.

Seedrs Crowdfunding Round

In addition to CRL’s support, SolarBotanic Trees will begin a crowdfunding round in early April to build on the initial seed investment already secured by the company.  The funding will be used to progress towards Technology Readiness Level 7. TRL 7 will allow SolarBotanic Trees to continue the development of their functional prototype to commercial launch.

The company has already signed their first commercial partnership in late 2022 with RAW Charging and has further strong interest from commercial end users, EPC contractors and power systems operators to use the trees in their renewable energy commitments to the facilities they own, manage, and operate.

The full-scale field prototype will allow final decisions to be made on key component design and supplier selection as well as pre-launch engineering, testing and certification. The full commercial version will launch in the second half of 2023 after which the company expects to grow rapidly, deploying internationally and generating positive EBITDA by mid-2025.

The trees are designed for aesthetically sensitive locations and has a dome made up of photovoltaic (PV) ‘leaves’, that can harness enough solar energy to power individual homes, and charge electric vehicles; while its sleek aesthetic means it is not only easy on the eye but on the environment too - providing a clean and green energy solution to accelerate the UK’s Net Zero journey.

About SolarBotanic Trees Ltd

Targeting aesthetically sensitive flagship commercial locations initially such as car parks at airports, shopping malls, sports stadia and exhibition centres and has been made possible due to its unique new Photovoltaic (“PV”) leaf-shaped solar panel design to harness solar energy for charging and energy storage.  

Initially aimed at the rapid Electric Vehicle charging market for homes, businesses and commercial car parks, where solar power can be captured and stored for charging points.

It will also encompass a sophisticated AI-driven energy storage and power management system (PMS), where trees can be linked and form part of a local grid, or feed into the main grid, essential to optimise an increasingly electrified future.

About Republic & Seedrs

Republic is a financial technology firm that allows everyone to invest in private markets. Republic operates several distinct business lines including a retail investment platform, a private capital division, and a blockchain advisory practice. Seedrs, which just celebrated its 10th year of operations, is Europe’s leading online investment platform, enabling investment in startups, VC funds, secondary share sales as well as operating one of the most active secondary markets in the world.

Republic’s global platform has supported thousands of companies and has over 2.5M users across 150 countries. Republic is backed by dozens of leading investment firms and financial institutions and its affiliated entities have co-invested with the best names in venture and private equity.

Founded in 2016, Republic is headquartered in New York City with offices worldwide, including Seedrs headquarters in London and Dublin. For additional information, visit or

SolarBotanic Trees also photo


05.04.2023 / MaP

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