The nearly 40 year lead that the Nordic countries have on the US in clean technology is a direct outcome of a socially responsible decision by national governments which drove investment in basic research. At Nordic Green II, it was striking how advanced the Nordic countries are when it comes to clean technology innovation. The results are compelling. While the US is hard at work to make up the difference, and we bring many resources to bear on the issues at hand, it will be a costly exercise to match the Nordic success.
What is the cost of playing catch up?
ÔÇó Korea: ÔÇ£Green New DealÔÇØ ? $46 billion over 5 years
ÔÇó Japan: invests $63 billion over 5 years
ÔÇó US: plans to invest $172 billion over 5 years
ÔÇó China: invests $440 billion over 10 years
Fortunately for the US, industry is playing a critical role in funding cleantech ventures: the US represented 21% of 2009 VC investments as compared to China at 14% and India at 6%.
What are other risks we should be taking now? In cleantech? In healthcare? Or In education? Where are the next disruptive ideas for socially responsible innovations?