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Lack of Government Support Hurts U.S. Clean Tech Industry, According to Report

Countries that put significant resources into supporting clean tech innovation are rewarded with more emerging and commercialized clean tech companies, according to Coming Clean: The Global Cleantech Innovation Index 2012 — a new report from the Clean Tech Group, LCC. The U.S. placed fifth out of 38 countries, with the top score for several indicators including research and development funding, general innovation drivers (i.e., Entrepreneurial culture and “general innovation inputs”) and strong emerging clean tech innovation. However, in comparison to other top performers, the lack of strong government policies in support of clean tech hurt the overall health of the sector in the United States. Other indicators that the U.S. performed poorly in were renewable energy consumption and clean tech company revenues.

Denmark ranked first due to its unique combination of a supportive environment for innovative clean tech startups, evidence of those startups emerging as well as a strong track record of companies commercializing their clean tech innovations and widespread market adoption. Israel (2nd), Sweden(3rd) and Finland (4th) rounded out the top five due to support supportive environment and high concentration of new clean tech companies. However, due to their relative size they lack the ability to scale-up these companies.

Although China and India placed 13th and 12th respectively, they “stand out as having a strong potential to rise through the ranks in the coming years.” In particular, China leads in clean tech manufacturing, is strong in early stage growth and shows potential to produce more early stage innovation in the future.

The Clean Tech Group developed the index comprised of 15 indicators related to the creation and commercialization of clean tech startups to measure the relative potential of each country to produce entrepreneurial clean tech startup companies and commercialize clean technology innovations over the next 10 years. The 15 indicators were divided between Inputs to Innovation (general innovation drivers and clean tech- specific innovation drivers) and Outputs of Innovation (evidence of emerging clean tech innovation and evidence of commercialized clean tech innovation). Read the report…

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