Finland is ranked second in the Global Cleantech Innovativeness Index 2014 published in partnership by the World Wildlife Fund and Cleantech Group which evaluates 40 countries on 15 indicators related to the creation, commercialization and growth of cleantech start-ups. Finland scores second on both cleantech innovation drivers and evidence of emerging cleantech innovation. According to the index, Finland has strong general innovation inputs, such as cluster development and human capital, and ranks second for public R&D.
Finland’s top emerging cleantech innovation score is supported by its high-profile cleantech companies and many new environmental patents. Finnish cleantech businesses currently employ around 50,000 people, with 40,000 new jobs expected to be created by 2020, which is a significant amount given the country’s population of only 5 million. Companies like MetGen are innovating around the country’s well known pulp and paper industry, and many others are focused on energy efficiency solutions
The index also highlights Finland’s supportive cleantech clusters and government policies. For example, Tekes - the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation is partnering with MOST, China’s Ministry of Science and Technology on joint calls for proposals for cleantech-related R&D projects in 2014. According to WWF, this may prove to be a lead example of a new direction for innovation policy in clean technology. Strategically combining the strengths of the world’s best Start-Up Generators (e.g. Finland) with the Strongest Commercialisers (e.g. China) carries a lot of potential for years ahead.
The index notes that Finland has so far not been very successful in commercialising cleantech innovation, with average cleantech companies revenues and few M&As and IPOs. According to Invest in Finland, this means there are many opportunities available for international companies interested in working with innovative Finnish cleantech companies.
Source: Global Cleantech Innovativeness Index, Invest in Finland