Ecology has become an increasingly important topic in recent years. This dynamic is evident in the Swiss cleantech sector: Over the last ten years, 207 cleantech start-ups were founded which are still active today. The industry now accounts for almost 5% of Swiss GDP and the number of jobs has increased by 25% over the last five years.
According to the report "An Overview of Cleantech Start-ups," these new companies are also looking to internationalize their technologies, products and services. Their target markets are above all Germany (45%), the United States (27%) and China (17%).
Despite the great potential of these companies, every third start-up faces challenges finding financing. The authors of the study argue that Switzerland must make efforts to defend its position as a global leader in innovation, including in the cleantech industry, by providing assistance to these companies in raising capital.
Further research into the cleantech industry
38 companies are profiled in the report. Nonetheless, it should be noted that very little information on the ecosystem of these new cleantech companies has previously been available. This is due to the fact that clean technologies are not restricted to any one industry, and are thus hard to define. Every company that develops a technology, product or service in response to an ecological challenge is a cleantech company.
According to the authors, the report gives an initial overview and represents a first step in providing comprehensive understanding of this interdisciplinary industry. A second issue will focus on a comprehensive study of the development phases of Swiss start-ups: "The enthusiasm for accurate figures in this sector is so great that we cannot imagine quitting at this point," say the authors.
The report, which was supported by Switzerland Global Enterprise, can be found under downloads.