Clean tech beats biotech and IT

A virtual press conference yesterday from Cleantech Group and Deloitte announced that venture capital (VC) investments for clean technologies in the third quarter of this year overtook investments for (medical) biotechnology and IT.

Cleantech group defines clean technology as a diverse range of products, services and processes that are intended to reduce or eliminate negative ecological impacts while at the same improving the productive and responsible use of natural resources at lower costs and with improved performance.

Green chemistry, along with industrial biotechnology is included in their scope of analysis under “MATERIALS” although Cleantech and their partner Deloitte do not really cover these areas that much except for biofuels (pity…).

Anyway, clean technology is now said to be the largest US venture capital category with 27% share followed by biotechnology (24%), software (18%), and medical devices and equipment (17%).

Cleantech’s preliminary report estimates 3Q 2009 VC investments in North America, Europe, China and India totaling $1.59bn across 134 companies, up 10% compared to 2Q but still down 42% from 3Q 2008. Most of the rebound this quarter is attributed to effects of government stimulus funding worldwide.

“The two largest venture deals (Solyndra and Tesla Motors) and the largest IPO (A123Systems) this quarter were all recipients of US government funding. Hundreds of millions of dollars in new venture funds this quarter are also evidence of investor confidence and momentum, including $1.1bn in two new funds by Khosla Ventures alone.”

In terms of technology sector, solar continue to lead this quarter’s highest VC investments area with $451m in total, followed by transportation (subsectors include vehicles, biofuels and advanced batteries), which received $383m, and green buildings ($110m) that include energy efficient buildings, glass and lighting subsectors.

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