First-of-its-kind Global Cleantech Innovation Index Published
provide the best conditions today for clean technology start-up
creation, according to the first Global Cleantech Innovation Index.
Canada ranks seventh.
Sweden, Finland and the US provide the best conditions for clean
technology start-up creation, with companies in the Asia Pacific
region following closely behind when it comes to commercial
success, according to a newly released Global Cleantech Innovation
Canada ranks seventh, according to the report, which it
attributes to an entrepreneurial culture, relatively
high patent activity and existing corporate activity in the
green-tech sector. Canada’s rank is a surprise, according to the
report, because the country has “a poor reputation at a federal
level for political leadership on climate change.”
In Coming Clean: The Global Cleantech
Innovation Index 2012, the Cleantech Group and WWF
examined where entrepreneurial cleantech companies are growing
today, and which countries are falling above and below the curve
for fostering cleantech innovation.
Thirty-eight countries were evaluated on 15 indicators
related to the creation and commercialisation of cleantech
start-ups, generating an index measuring each one’s potential,
relative to their economic size, to produce entrepreneurial
cleantech start-up companies and commercialise clean technology
innovations over the next 10 years.
“The global macro-economic landscape
is shifting; fostering entrepreneurial start-ups and growth
companies with clean technology solutions will be an increasingly
important part of countries’ competitiveness on the world stage.”
Richard Youngman, Managing Director Europe & Asia, Cleantech
Group. The four top scoring
countries were Denmark, Israel, Sweden and Finland. These countries
all have small economies and while they are the source of much
innovation, they have less ability to scale-up companies. These
small countries need innovative approaches and collaboration to
compensate for the lack of large domestic markets and inconsistent
availability of finance throughout a company’s
The study emphasizes the growing importance of clean
technology innovations, which it says will be scaling up quickly in
the next 10 to 30 years, as the focus shifts from hydrocarbons to
“This index shows that several countries are on the right
track, but clearly much more needs to be done if we are to properly
address climate change and achieve a transition towards a global
100 percent renewable future,” said Samantha Smith, leader of WWF’s
Global Climate and Energy Initiative.
“The overwhelming majority of capital required for making
the transition to a low-carbon future will come from a variety of
private sources. Developing a working recipe for strengthening the
flow of public-private finance towards early as well as later stage
cleantech is key for countries that want to taste the economic
success of cleantech,” she added.
North America and northern Europe emerged as the primary
contributors to the development of innovative cleantech
The US placed fifth in the Index. However in absolute
terms, without factoring in economic size, the United States leads
in many measures of cleantech innovation: the country has the
greatest public cleantech R&D budget, the greatest number of
cleantech start-ups and investors, as well as the most venture
capital, private equity, and M&A deals in cleantech.
commercialization of clean technology innovations will require a
combination of academic research, private finance, government
policy and market demand. However, the Asia Pacific region performs well when
it comes to scaling up entrepreneurial cleantech companies to wider
commercial success and revenue creation. While
currently seeing fewer emerging cleantech start-ups and placing
13th, China leads in cleantech manufacturing, is strong in
early-stage growth, and shows potential to produce more early stage
innovation in the future.
The country is rapidly gaining access to funding due to
success in raising money for cleantech-focused funds. Additionally,
China has been home to the majority of cleantech IPOs since 2009,
many of which listed on the recently established ChiNext board of
the Shenzhen stock exchange.
Similarly, India scores 12th but is performing well in fund
raising towards Cleantech focused funds and has much activity in
later stage Cleantech companies.
Coming Clean: The Global Cleantech Innovation Index
2012 is available as a free download from
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