cleantech research and entrepreneurship


CleanTech Snapshot

Investments in the US (Q4, 2008)

Source: CleanTech Group

types of innovation

1. Sustaining

  1. Revolutionary or discontinuous

  2. An innovation that creates a new market by allowing customers to solve a problem in a radically new way. (E.g., the electric car)

  3. Evolutionary

  4. An innovation that improves a product in an existing market in ways that customers are expecting. (E.g., efficient internal combustion engines)

2. Disruptive

An innovation that creates a new (and unexpected) market by applying a different set of values. (E.g., Li-ion batteries)


The Electrification of Motoring (link)


Cleantech encompasses knowledge-based products or services that improve operational performance, productivity, or efficiency while reducing costs, inputs, energy consumption, waste, or pollution.

Technologies are clustered in diverse industry sectors, including: Energy (about 2/3 of total investment); water and wastewater treatment; manufacturing; advanced materials; transportation; and agriculture.

The products or services range from energy efficient lighting, to wind and solar energy, to water filtration, to next generation batteries, to advanced materials to make products lighter, stronger and/or cheaper, to non-toxic pesticides, and to enabling technologies for smart electricity grids.

Strategic drivers are pushing clean technology into the mainstream and driving rapid growth and expansion.


  1. BulletThe availability of private and public capital,

  2. BulletDecreasing cost of technologies which drives scalable solutions,

  3. BulletCompetition between governments to build the jobs of the green economy,

  4. BulletThe certainty of climate change that is influencing companies to disclose and mitigate their exposure risks,

  5. BulletA changing consumer base demanding sustainable goods and services, and

  6. BulletThe resource demands of emerging economies such as India and China. 

Cleantech innovation implies the integration of new clean technology or services with business models that offer competitive returns for investors and customers. Hence, development of this sector is driven by productivity-based purchasing, enjoys broader market economics, with greater financial upside and potential for sustainable businesses see also sidebar on ‘Types of Innovation’).


CleanTech Innovation