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Swiss cleantech innovation found wanting

Innovation in Switzerland’s cleantech industry is lagging despite overall innovation drivers in the economy being above average, a survey shows.

Commissioned by environmental organisation WWF, the “Cleantech Global Innovation Index” ranked 38 countries on indicators related to the creation and commercialisation of cleantech start-ups and the relative potential of countries to advance in the field over the next ten years.

Switzerland ranked 15th with the survey finding the country is an average performer in all areas except general innovation drivers.

Although the country scored well in terms of environmental patent output, its score was dragged down by average efforts in commercialising innovations and low consumption of renewable energies at home.

“The country is ranked highest for general innovation inputs though this is tempered by its weaker entrepreneurial culture,” the report said, adding that Switzerland ranked slightly above its neighbours France and Austria, but below Germany.

Denmark topped the index with the survey finding the country offered a supportive environment for start-ups ventures and a “strong track record” of commercialisation of cleantech innovations, particularly in wind.

Israel ranked second with a strong capacity to produce innovative cleantech companies, while Sweden and Finland ranked third and fourth respectively.

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