While attending the 2021 NOAH conference in Zurich, Switzerland, I was delighted to get the opportunity to speak with David Avery about the work he does to discover and support CleanTech innovation.
David works for the Swiss investment and trade organisation, Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE), and has lived in Switzerland since joining an imaging company as a research and development scientist in 1993.
Moving through various technology, quality and procurement functions, David turned his attention to focus on CleanTech in 2012.
NOAH Conference, 2021
Impact Tech Leader Interview With:
Switzerland Global Enterprise
Nowadays, David's role enables him to discover some of the brightest most exciting CleanTech start-ups establishing in Switzerland.
With a dual focus on foreign inward investment and the promotion of Switzerland as an ideal location for CleanTech start-ups and export promotion, David looks out for companies that are focused on improving the use of environmental resources, helping companies ramp up and expand their international export activities.
What is CleanTech?
CleanTech (or Clean Technology) is a term used to speak about companies and technologies focusing on improving environmental sustainability, renewable energy technologies and other tech focused on the sustainable use of resources, or environmental protection activities. Originating from the American Financial sector, CleanTech is often synonymous with GreenTech and EcoTech.
50,000 Start Ups
2021 was a record year for Switzerland, having recorded an all time high of more than 50,000 companies set up during the year. Of this, service focused creations accounted for a 32.3% increase, with forestry and agriculture companies increasing by 17.2% on the year before.
David mentioned that they have created several tools to help start-ups succeed, including CUBE which is a directory of (currently) 623 Swiss CleanTech companies who are actively exporting. This includes the semi-famous Carbon Capture company, Climeworks (featuring on CUBE here, and on this website here)
Climate Tech Startups
David mentioned another tool called the Innovation Monitor.
The Innovation Monitor is a database of Swiss startups, project and companies working in the energy and/or environment sector. At the time of writing, the database contained 740 companies, so I decided to dig to see if I could find something interesting.
A minute later, I found something very interesting indeed.
Near-term Climate Action Tech
Earlier this week I put out a request on LinkedIn for help to find platforms that would allow me to make incremental, near term impacts on the climate through carbon removal.
So when I spotted Carbon Removed, I couldn't have been more delighted.
Carbon Removed work with partners such as One Tree Planted, Climeworks, CHARM industrial and Eden Reforestation projects to enable individuals to offset their carbon footprints against both near- and longer term projects.
It seems pretty simple to use - you input the amount of carbon you want to remove, it calculates a price. You pay that and they distribute the proceeds across the four projects.
Their page provides you with insights about how your money will be allocated, and you can download a certificate as proof, too.
Consumers can do this as subscriptions, one-off payments or even buy gift cards.
From my own point of view, I'd like to be able to choose the balance of my allocation and also do this via an API. I'll reach out to them to find out whether this is on the roadmap. Stay tuned.
When it comes to sustainable tech, there are a few regional hubs taking the lead, and rather nicely it's not all centralised in California.
Switzerland is one of these hubs, with an impressive, and growing cohort of CleanTech companies. I'll be paying close attention to Switzerland's climate role, for sure.
Are you a Swiss CleanTech Founder?
If you are a founder of a CleanTech company I'd love to help spread your message and tell your story. Why not get in touch using the form below...?