Nurturing Tomorrow’s Transformative Entrepreneurs
This report investigates the countries where entrepreneurial clean technology companies are most likely to emerge from over the next 10 years – and why. Drawing on a wide range of factors and sources, the study seeks to answer the same question as the 2012
Global Cleantech Innovation Index, namely: which countries currently have the greatest potential to produce entrepreneurial cleantech start-up companies which will commercialise clean technology innovations over the next 10 years?
• 40 countries were evaluated on 15 indicators related to the creation, commercialisation and growth of cleantech start-ups.
• Israel topped the 2014 index, with its relative outperformance on the measure of start-up companies per capita being a key reason that it did so. The country generates the culture, education and ‘chutzpah’(1) necessary to breed innovation, plus it has the survival instincts to manage a resource-constrained geography.
• Finland took second place in recognition of the clear efforts the country is making to mobilize its workforce towards sustainable innovation. Finland is also developing novel innovation approaches to access larger, cleantech hungry markets in other geographies.
• USA came in third place in the 2014 index, with its clean technology start-ups clearly attracting the most venture capital on an absolute basis. However, in the past few years, there have been more cleantech funds set up to invest in China than for any other part of the world, with capital inflows expecting to rival that of the U.S. in the years to come.
• All of the top 10 countries in the index are relatively good at early stage cleantech development but share a common challenge in increasing commercialisation rates. Denmark, however, stands out for producing a large number of mature, publicly-listed cleantech companies relative to the size of its economy.
• While China, India and Brazil currently fall outside of the top bracket of start-up generators in the index, their rank is likely to rise in the years to come as they possess a strong climate for growth and development, high levels of pollution, or resource drivers to commercialise cleantech innovation.
• Even the so called ‘laggards’ in the index (e.g. Russia, Saudi Arabia) are beginning to implement supporting structures for sustainable innovation – in order to hedge against the realities of limited conventional energy sources in the long-term.
• Overall, this index demonstrates that countries will get ahead if they 1) are able to adapt to growing demand for renewables (at home and abroad); 2) are connecting start-ups with multiple channels to increase their success rates and; 3) are increasing international engagement to spur widespread adoption of clean technologies.
• Overall the index shows countries that put significant resources into supporting cleantech innovation are rewarded with more emerging and commercialised cleantech companies, validating the approach many governments have taken to actively promote cleantech innovation nationally.
(1) Hebrew/Yiddish slang word to mean someone that is brave and takes risks