Australia ranks low on cleantech innovation

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Australia has one of the lowest rankings in industrialised world on cleantech innovation, a new report finds.

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Australia not only has a miserably low ranking on the deployment of large scale solar, it also has a low ranking in cleantech innovation, if the latest assessment in the Global Cleantech Innovation Index is any indication.

The assessment  – conducted jointly by The Cleantech Group and WWF – includes research and development and innovation in areas such as wind, solar, other renewable technologies, energy efficiency, smart grids and integration, and battery storage.

The top ranked country cleantech value-added from manufacturing in Denmark, which has 55 publicly traded cleantech companies, including biotech company Novozymes, wind company Vestas, and energy efficiency specialists Rockwool, Grundfos and Danfoss.

Australia ranks poorly on most measures, a result of a lack of capital and policy uncertainty that still cripples investment.

On the first measure, the drivers determining the emergence and early-stage progress of cleantech innovations and entrepreneurial cleantech companies, Australia has a low rank. This factor is made up of OECD records of environmental patents filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty; Cleantech Group data on cleantech venture capital (VC); and records from the 2011-2013 Global Cleantech 100 lists, (Cleantech Group’s annual ranking of the top 100 private cleantech companies glo

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And Australia does not rank well on its ability of a country to scale-up cleantech innovations – as many of its cleantech developers can testify. This measure is derived from: cleantech manufacturing value-added; cleantech company revenues; renewable energy consumption data; cleantech late-stage private investment, M&A’s and IPOs; and the number of publicly traded cleantech companies in major indices.

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This is the country assessment from the report. As the graph next to it illustrates, the drivers are there but the results are not – Australia ranks well below the average in commercialised innovation and emerging innovation.

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 9.56.13 pm copy“Australia scores very well on innovation drivers, but ranks lower on innovation outputs. The country’s performance on general drivers was built on a reasonably entrepreneurial culture and good early-stage entrepreneurial activity. Cleantech- specific drivers are supported by Australia’s attractiveness for renewables, mainly due to its geo-climatic features, and a good number of cleantech funds. While Australia has seen a number of later-stage cleantech transactions, the country’s commercialised and emerging cleantech innovation score are held back by low renewable energy consumption. Uncertainty surrounding the continuation of carbon pricing, the renewable energy target and other policies has correlated with weaker early-stage private investment in the country.



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  1. Peter Davies 5 years ago

    No surprise to us, the government has been too busy trying to steal technology rather than assist innovative companies develop new markets. An activity that seems one of the few with bipartisan support and uses a network of “entrepreneur/public servants” who swap positions between senior PS program management roles and private/public board membership depending on the flavor of the politics of the day. This deeply entrenched network uses Government grant programs as a hunting ground for investor mates as well as obstructing where they can to reduce buy price. Then there is the flip flop policy management which ignores sovereign risk. Companies that have world class technologies, if they can negotiate these traps, then head offshore as we are.

  2. Murphy 5 years ago

    Topic goes to another unanticipated aspect comes with living in SA and enjoying the meter spinning backwards experience, covers corporate and home producer. Stress relief leads to the imagination freed up, has led to a more collaborative problem solving nature in other community related needs.

    Talking science on front yard with the local kids explaining how their fuel cell cars operate is a thing to behold when thinking back to my own child hood in the 60s. If science has a problem it isn’t lack of public interested in science.

  3. Nicko 5 years ago

    Bit of a shame if Palmer lets ARENA go…he seems to have forgotten it…

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