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Israel Hailed as World's Top Leader of Cleantech

According to the 2014 Global Cleantech Innovation Index, Israel has the most potential to produce and commercialize entrepreneurial cleantech start-up companies in the world.

Published Tuesday, the report states that “Israel topped the 2014 index, with its relative out-performance on the measure of start-up companies per capita being a key reason that it did so. The country generates the culture, education and ‘chutzpah’ necessary to breed innovation, plus it has the survival instincts.”

The 2014 Global Cleantech Innovation Index is released annually by the Cleantech Group and World Wildlife Foundation. These groups gather data on 40 countries reflecting their level of innovation and complies them for the report. The reviewed data includes the levels of innovation, government support and infrastructure, and existing cleantech companies in fields like alternative or renewable energy.

Israel scored a 4.34 on the index, followed by a 4.04 from Finland and a 3.67 from the United States.

Israel had a particularly strong score in the Emerging Cleantech Innovation category, scoring 8.92. There were only three other nations that scored above a five on the measure, which included data on early-stage investment and high impact companies. Most countries scored between zero and two. Despite Israel’s overall score, however, there were other countries that outdid them in the individual categories.

The report states that "no one country excelled in all four indicators. Israel, for example, far exceeded others in the emerging cleantech innovation factor, however dropped to eighth place in the ‘evidence of commercialized innovation’ factor – confirming that there is room for improvement in even the most inspiring countries.”

For the past three years, Israel has had nearly 20 of its cleantech companies voted onto the shortlist of the Global Cleantech 100 index.
Avi Feldman, the cleantech forum leader at Israel Advanced Technology Industries, says cleantech companies take longer than others to get from early development to marketing their products and producing revenues.

He also said that the government is helpful to the industry, but could do more to ensure that cleantech companies are able to develop beyond their early stages. “A lot of companies end their life not because they aren’t good enough or not interesting enough, but because of lack of funding,” he told the Jerusalem Post.

Feldman believes that Israel should do more to encourage the use of renewable technology into its energy plans. "Israel has the best conditions for solar [energy production]," he said, "but gets only 1% of its energy resources from it.” According to the index, Germany's rate of energy is near 30 percent renewable and American energy is about 13%.