Governments funding crowded areas of innovation - Where does your tax money go?
Last week the Swedish energy agency and ALMI invest announced the creation of a joint 650MSEK GreenTech investment fund to help support innovative Swedish companies in the business of developing products and services that contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases. This initiative is a welcome step in helping innovative GreenTech start-ups overcome the financial hurdle one of the key market challenges facing their industry and provides them with an opportunity to embrace new approaches to clean energy generation, pollution mitigation and the efficient use of resources towards an environmentally sustainable society.
The GreenTech sector has been on a continuous growth trajectory for more than a decade now with some major innovations on the way and reaching a global market volume of EUR 2,500 billion in 2013. Check some of these ground breaking GreenTech innovations at http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/green-tech/ .
Most of the technological innovations achieved in the field within the last decade are associated with Intellectual Property Rights as can be seen in the attached plot indicating the number of worldwide patent applications over time within the different sectors of GreenTech. In total, there were roughly 900 thousand patents filed in the field within the last decade. The weekly average of filed patents grew from 1300 patents/week in the first half of the decade to an average of 2150 patents/week in the last five years!
In the light of these figures, it is imperative that whoever invests, enters or is active in this field to be fully aware of the relevancy of this huge volume of existing IP rights to their own activities and business ideas and make sure that they do not invest or embark on developing already existing or protected solutions thereby wasting capital and resources on “re-inventing the wheel” or running the risk of developing products without ensuring their right or freedom to do so beforehand.
It is equally essential that the companies keep track of the enormous number of new IP rights that are published on a weekly basis so as not to run the risk of infringing on others rights as well as always be ready to adapt accordingly.
Many of the innovations developed in the early parts of the last decade are in the phase of consolidation and implementation on a large scale as can be concluded from the many large projects that are now running across the globe.
The major ongoing R&D activities with new materials such as nanotechnology and graphene or new technologies e.g. related to sustainable mobility such as electric cars, drones etc., as well as the advances made in IoT will spur new major innovations within the GreenTech sectors and will surely lead to a new growth rate for the next decade or so.
The continued ratification of the Paris climate change agreement at UN by the major nations (http://unfccc.int/paris_agreement/items/9444.php) will also play a major part in creating great growth opportunity for the GreenTech industry in the next coming decade.
A final note: It is also very important to invest in GreenTech service providers as they play a pivotal role in driving the existing technology forward towards implementation and are major contributors to the sector's market volume. GreenTech service providers are a major player in driving innovation and market growth as they promote adaptation.