Global Cleantech Innovation Index 2014 report released
(GLAND, Switzerland, 26 June 2014) - Israel, Finland and the U.S. provide the best conditions today for clean technology start-up creation according to the second edition of the Global Cleantech Innovation Index, released today by Cleantech Group and WWF.
While China and Brazil currently fall outside of the top bracket of start-up generators they are strong commercializers of cleantech , and even the laggards, such as Russia and Saudi Arabia have shown a significant move towards clean technology over the last few years.
The Index explores the question of where sustainable innovation companies are being created across the globe, as well as how well their products are being commercialized. It looks at why entrepreneurial companies, developing sustainable innovations, seem to spring up in certain geographies, and which economic, social and environmental conditions cultivate hotbeds for such innovation.
Richard Youngman, managing director Europe & Asia for Cleantech Group says, 40 countries, including all G20 countries, were evaluated on 15 indicators related to the creation and commercialisation of cleantech start-ups. “The result is an index which measures each one’s potential - relative to their economic size - to produce entrepreneurial cleantech start-up companies who will commercialize clean technology innovations over the next 10 years.”
Samantha Smith, leader of WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative says cleantech is finally coming of age. “Since the first Global Cleantech Innovation Index was produced just two years ago, we have seen a real increase in the disruptive start-ups we need to shrink our footprint on this planet. And that increase is spread across different countries, with some leading but all making progress. Of course, much more needs to be done in every country and by investors if we are to properly address climate change and achieve a transition towards a 100% renewable energy future.“
The Index identifies three country archetypes in the cleantech innovation landscape: the Start-Up Generators, the Strong Commercializers and the Laggards:
- All the top 10 countries in the index (Israel, Finland, USA, Sweden, Denmark, UK, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, and Ireland) are good at early stage cleantech development but share a common challenge in increasing commercialization rates. They share the country archetype of being good cleantech Start-Up Generators.
- While countries like China and Brazil currently fall outside of the top bracket of start-up generators they are Strong Commercializers of cleantech in terms of investing in scaling business, job creation and attracting investments for deployment on large domestic markets.
- The Laggards in the index, such as Saudi Arabia and Russia, are behind the competition but showing increasing support structures for sustainable innovation being built up in terms of ambitious renewable energy targets being set and cleantech being prioritised in key national innovation incubators respectively.
Stefan Henningsson, WWF senior advisor on climate innovation says cleantech innovation now permeates all realms of the economy, impacting industries as diverse as ICT, healthcare, food, electronics, chemicals and retail. “The cleantech entrepreneurs provide valuable insight and inspiration for policy makers, investors and industry to act and be a proactive part of the global circular economy.”
The index demonstrates that countries get ahead if they:
- are able to adapt to the growing demand for renewable energy (at home and abroad);
- are connecting start-ups with multiple channels (e.g. multinational corporates, public procurement) to increase their success rates; and
- are increasing international engagement to spur widespread adoption of clean technologies.
Michele Parad, senior analyst for the Cleantech Group says “many of the exciting opportunities ahead in further development and scaling up of the most innovative cleantech solutions to the global market lie in increased strategic cooperation between Start-Up Generators and Strong Commercializers.”
The term cleantech has been used interchangeably with ‘resource innovation’, ‘industrial efficiency’, ‘sustainable technology’, but all essentially have the same meaning – doing more while using fewer materials, less energy and reduced water - while making money doing so. Nuclear and fossil fuels have been excluded from any calculations in the index that relates to energy.