Switzerland and Canada launch first Cleantech Innovation Summit

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The first Swiss-Canadian Cleantech Innovation Summit is taking place on 16 and 17 March. Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin is opening the virtual gathering for Switzerland with a video message recorded the previous week. The Swiss cleantech industry is of paramount strategic importance.

Switzerland and Canada want to strengthen their economic and scientific cooperation in the field of clean technologies. The aim of the summit is to improve understanding of the Swiss and Canadian innovation ecosystems and to shed light on the transition from research to entrepreneurship.

The Cleantech Innovation Summit, held virtually, will be jointly opened by the head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER), Guy Parmelin, the Canadian Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, Mary Ng, and the Canadian Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Simon Kennedy. On the Swiss side, State Secretaries Martina Hirayama (State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI) and Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch (State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO) will also take part in the talks.

Switzerland is a leader in the field of cleantech

The Swiss cleantech industry is of paramount strategic importance. In order to decarbonise our economy and thereby combat climate change, progress in the field of clean technologies, especially in the energy sector, is crucial. Switzerland is a leader in the cleantech sector. The sector has been growing at an above-average rate for years; its value added amounts to almost 5 per cent of GDP. Every year, around 30 new cleantech start-ups are founded in Switzerland, with Zurich and Lausanne - the locations of the two federal institutes of technology - being the two most important centres.

The cleantech sector includes many innovative business fields. For example, hydropower, ecomobility, photovoltaics and materials. Several of these business areas will be discussed in depth at the summit.