Topic 8: Business models and value propositions for financing CAPs

Submitted by Robin Hocquet | published 29th Aug 2021 | last updated 12th Sep 2021

Background: The KE4CAP Synthesis Report

This topic page forms a chapter of the KE4CAP Synthesis Report, which brings together learning from across KE4CAP's activities, including five virtual knowledge exchange events, three bilateral knowledge exchange event series, and the KE4CAP Survey (see Further Resources for links to relevant pages). The KE4CAP project is providing a global forum for developers and operators of climate adaptation knowledge platforms (CAPs) to come together to share knowledge and best practices, and to work together to address common and emerging challenges.

This early summary (September 2021) aims to provide food for thought for the KE4CAP Synthesis Workshop and will be followed by a more detailed and further illustrated synthesis report (and further developed topic pages) in December 2021.

Introduction: Business models and value propositions

A sound business model is needed to support a platform and its associated services and products and to help facilitate access to core infrastructure and sciences on which a platform relies. Underpinning the business model is the need for a strong value proposition that communicates the added benefits of a platform in terms of informing and inspiring action. This topic focuses on how value propositions and business models can be developed, refined and communicated to gain buy-in from users and funders and considers how to incorporate flexibility to enable future innovations.

Lessons Learnt

Current practices

  • Core funding and public-private partnerships. Moving beyond project-based public funding, new business models are emerging where core funding is provided by national governments while public private partnerships allow for the further development of e.g. tools and services. 
  • Demonstrating value. Many CAPs are working to embed themselves within the wider national adaptation process and are positioning themselves as key knowledge providers supporting adaptation decision-making at local, regional and sectoral levels.
  • Defining roles. CAPs are refining their value proposition in the context of the existing climate services landscape. They are demonstrating their role as trusted knowledge brokers and communicating the effectiveness of adaptation platforms and underpinning research as part of the wider climate services agenda. 

Selected innovations

CAPA (Alps) and Climate Ireland. Working at the transnational scale, CAPA is positioning itself within the wider EU Strategy for the Alpine Region by acting as a cross-sectoral knowledge broker while Climate Ireland has successfully positioned itself within Ireland’s National Adaptation Framework as a key resource supporting adaptation action at all levels.

CCCS (Canada) and TCCIP (Taiwan). For CCCS, core funding is provided federally but through partnerships with public and private partners, further development of tailored platform products and services is undertaken. The TCCIP is working with the private sector to develop specific products to support financial disclosures. 

Australia. The active interest of the finance/investment sector in addressing its climate risks and reporting requirements has translated into a willingness within that sector to be engaged in future platform development; could be a powerful partner by articulating and demonstrating the value of investing in platform activities.

Shared challenges

  • Identifying appropriate business models that value both public good and private benefit, including stimulating and enabling innovations in models consistent with the evolving needs and capabilities of users and the resources available to platforms.
  • Overcoming the common short-term project-based approach to supporting platforms including the need to incorporate flexibility in terms of, for example, incorporating public-private partnerships, considering the provision of consultancy services, etc.
  • Co-developing and communicating value propositions that have legitimacy and weight within both the science and policy/practice communities, and which include recognition of the net benefits of both science-based evidence and practical action.