cleantech insights

Organica Water, Innovation in Wastewater Treatment, and Good Neighbors

Felix Talvard

Matthew Kuzma, Vice President – Technical Solutions & Global Business Development of Organica Water, talks about change in wastewater treatment and being a good neighbour.

Organica WaterOne of our sessions during the Cleantech Forum Europe that will be held in Stockholm (May 19-21) is titled the 10 Year Track – How we (can have) Impact.  The theme is about how European companies are tackling environmental and resource challenges in some of the most populous and impoverished regions of the world. One of the speakers in this session is Matthew Kuzma of Organica Water, a company revolutionizing urban wastewater treatment and 2013 Global Cleantech “Company of the Year” in Europe and Israel.  Founded in 1998 in Budapest, Hungary, Organica Water now holds a major office in Princeton, USA as well as offices in cities such as Delhi, Shanghai and Jakarta.  We asked Matthew about his outlook on the future of cleantech and the future of his company.

Given the theme of our Forum (the “10 Year Track”: ideas on where innovation around energy and resources might take us in the years ahead) what is in store for Organica Water in the next 5 to 10 years? And for the water sector in


Rising Cleantech Stars: The Race to the Global Cleantech 100 List is On!

Michele Parad

The nominations are flooding in! This is our fifth year collating the Global Cleantech 100 list and accompanying Summit and Gala, and it looks like 2013 will be the most competitive year yet.

With input from the players in cleantech innovation, Cleantech Group runs a rigorous process each year to determine which 100 global private clean technology companies will make the biggest market impact over the next five to 10 years. This is certainly not an easy exercise, especially given that we come across thousands of pioneers, each deserving of its own accolade.

Just this past month, we have received over 4,000 nominations (and expect many more prior to the May 31st deadline). But the Global Cleantech 100 is not a popularity contest. In our current Phase I, we are combining the votes from expert judges, accredited nominees, and the wider community with raw, solid factual data on cleantech news, which we collect daily through our i3 platform.

So far, we have come across some interesting themes and commentary from nominees. Here is a glimpse:

  1. “Where Cleantech  outperforms Dirtytech” in transportation
  2. “The no need for incentives” value proposition in solar
  3. “They have succeeded where others have failed”

Global Cleantech 100: An Interview with Mark McGough, CEO, Ioxus

Whitney Michael

I had the pleasure of speaking with Mark McGough, CEO of Ioxus, just after the conclusion of the “Asia Advantage” panel at the Global Cleantech 100 Summit on October 18.  He spoke on Ioxus’ strategy to expand in Asia alongside representatives from Boston-Power, LanzaTech and Waterhealth.

Ioxus, one of this year’s Global Cleantech 100 companies, makes ultracapacitors that other companies put in their products to make them more efficient and work better.  Mark was kind enough to speak with me about Ioxus’ product, strategy and being a part of the Global Cleantech 100.

Describe your ultracapacitor technology for us.

We make components that go into other people’s products.  If I can paraphrase BASF, we make their products better.  We make wind turbines more efficient, we make hybrid buses perform better, we make flashlights last longer.  In each case, we provide an ultracapacitor-based form of energy storage.

The number of ways designers are using ultracapitors exponentially increases each year.  it doesn’t have as much energy storage capacity as a battery, but it charges very quickly in a matter of seconds….you can charge and discharge it a million times and it’s much more powerful. So it has higher power density, so when …

The 2011 Global Cleantech 100 is here

Whitney Michael

The 2011 list of the top private companies in clean technology has been released.  Based on Cleantech Group data and vetted by a panel of international experts, this is the only list based not on one or two people’s editorial opinions, but on the collective opinion of the world’s cleantech leaders.

The list was announced live at the Global Cleantech 100 Gala dinner in DC on Monday night to a sold out crowd that included executives from over 30 of the 100 companies.

We invite you to read the 2011 report and let us know what you think.  

For the first year, all the companies in the Global Cleantech 100 are profiled in the i3 research platform.

Some facts from this year’s report:

  • The United States leads with the most companies on the list in absolute numbers.
  • Weighted for size of economy, the frontrunners are smaller countries such as Denmark, Israel, the Netherlands and Sweden.
  • Over 350 investors, from 28 different countries, hold shares in the 100 companies.
  • Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is the most prolific shareholder this year, with investment in 14 companies on the list. Generation Investment Management has the highest percentage of its investee companies

In a Sea of Rankings the Global Cleantech 100 Floats to the Top


If there is one thing the cleantech space has enough of, it is rankings, lists and awards. I am personally aware of more than 100 and got the feeling this may have all gone too far when I came across Energy Priorities’  ‘Top 10 “Cleantech Top 10″ Lists for 2011’.

However it is clear that this plethora of rankings and lists exist for a reason; people crave a light of clarity to be shone through the fog that permeates our fast moving sector. Even a full time analyst has to make a concerted effort to keep abreast of the sector’s developments, with a constantly shifting legislative framework and torrential investment activity: we saw 165 venture and 217 M&A deals last quarter alone (see Cleantech Group’s Quarterly Investment Monitor).

There is one question that is central to all stakeholders in our industry: who are the most promising cleantech companies out there? Start-ups need to know the benchmark of success, and all aspire to be recognised in such a category. Investors need to know who to invest in; corporates need to know where to source the next wave of disruptive innovation.


Many approaches have been taken to provide …

Elephants and fleas: learning to dance for a cleantech future

Richard Youngman

Hardly a day goes by in my cleantech world where I don’t pick up on an example of elephants and fleas coming together in some way to develop clean technologies of the future. Borrowing Charles Handy’s metaphor from his famous book, the elephants represent the large incumbent, slow-moving organizations, the fleas the nimble, upstart, entrepreneurs who feed off the elephants. The two are inter-dependent, albeit dancing together is awkward.

Yesterday, in my daily caffeine-supported scan of the wires, I read about the relationship of Novozymes and Lignol, and EnOcean and Texas Instruments. Earlier in the week, more details of the partnership originally announced in May between Tesla and Toyota surfaced through the filings for Tesla’s forthcoming IPO. I could have picked other examples. But these are good ones, as they illustrate the inter-dependencies, the international nature of such marriages of convenience, and the broad spectrum of industrial players and sectors involved.

Novozymes, the Danish industrial enzymes producer, and Lignol, a TSX-listed, pre-revenue, Canadian cellulosic ethanol developer, have agreed to collaborate on research to develop a process of making biofuel from forestry waste which can compete on price with gasoline and corn ethanol in the US.

Enocean, a German developer …

2010 Global Cleantech 100: in search of elusive exits and the brightest newborns

Richard Youngman

A year is a long time in politics, the old adage goes. The same might be said of cleantech too.

It is over a half year, since in our “ten predictions for 2010”, we anticipated a rise in investor exits in 2010. Our assertion in November 2009 was that growth and venture capital investment activity would be buoyed by attractive valuations and the return of the exit. We wrote, “exits in the form of IPOs (A123Systems went public in September, and there are over two dozen IPOs now in the queue) and a growing number of trade sales to corporate buyers will encourage investors in private companies to believe they can generate returns.”

It is nearly a year since, in partnership with the Guardian, we published the first Global Cleantech 100, a list of the 100 private cleantech companies most likely to make the most significant market impact over the next 5 to10 years – according to the world’s cleantech community.

If ever there was a list of cleantech companies where one would have expected exit action over the last months, it would have been this. However, the relative small amount of exit turnover on the list is well-aligned …