The Federal Administration’s Swiss Cleantech Masterplan is devised for the purpose of improving Switzerland’s innovation capacities, specifically in the area of cleantech. ‘Cleantech’ provides a huge opportunity for innovation and manufacturing in Switzerland, a means of creating jobs and maintaining living standards. At the same time, efficient and clean technologies play an important role in meeting global challenges, such as climate change, depletion of natural resources or increasing environmental pollution. For this reason, the Federal Department of Economic Affairs and the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications worked together to draft the Swiss Cleantech Masterplan (SCMP). With this plan, the federal government seeks to make Swiss cleantech companies more innovative by encouraging close cooperation between scientific, business, governmental and political stakeholders.
As a starting point, the ‘Education - Research - Innovation – Market’ value-added chain was analysed. The results clearly showed that there was room for improvement. The cleantech sector in Switzerland is essentially well-positioned and there is a broad knowledge base and also considerable specialisation. While the number of Swiss cleantech patent applications is increasing, Switzerland’s share of cleantechrelated patents worldwide has fallen slightly. Switzerland enjoys a strong position as far as foreign trade in cleantech products is concerned. Swiss exports of cleantech products and services are growing, albeit at a slower pace than Swiss exports in general. Furthermore, Switzerland’s share of the world cleantech market is diminishing. Thus, Switzerland has lost some of its lead in the cleantech sector to international competition and has even fallen behind in some cleantech sub-sectors. These developments clearly run counter to the dynamic growth witnessed in the cleantech sector outside of Switzerland.
The SCMP establishes a vision and four objectives for the Swiss cleantech sector. It provides an overview of existing activities and services in the cleantech sector and analyses Swiss strengths and weaknesses in the fields of science, education and employment. In a final step, the SCMP defines areas of focus where improvements can be made. For each area of focus, specific policy recommendations are made to the federal government, cantons and companies.
Following the Swiss tradition of broadly discussing and analysing policy strategies together with the population, the SCMP was published on the internet (November 2010) together with an invitation from the Federal President, Doris Leuthart, to actively discuss the programme and to contribute to its improvement. Over the course of three months, a public audience was moderated and resulted in more than 100 responses and advisory opinions from all different organisational and institutional levels. Then, after closing the audience, the results report was included in the SCMP, and a new chapter of conclusions and more precise recommendations was elaborated upon and added. Currently, the SCMP is on its way to be adopted by the Federal Council of Switzerland and will eventually start a country-wide programme towards the extended use of renewable energies and a more resource efficient Swiss society.
|Award category:||going green|
|Sector:||Economic affairs, competition, SME|
|Type of activity:|
|Keywords:||Resource efficiency, green economy, renewable energies, sustainability|
|Short English description:||‘Cleantech’ provides a huge opportunity for innovation and manufacturing in Switzerland, a means of creating jobs and maintaining living standards.|
|Organisation:||Swiss Confederation – Federal Office of Professional Education and Technology|
|Level of government:||national level|
|Size of organisation:||>100|
|Number of people involved:||11-15|
|EU membership:||other European country|