0in 0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none;”>Mark Leahey, executive director of the Medical Device Manufacturers Association, says that considerable opportunities within the industry include clinical trials, distribution, and contract manufacturing for device components, especially miniaturized equipment.
Going green with Cleantech
By developing new or renewable sources of energy and raw materials, and by improving the efficiency of consumption, cleantech is answering a vast market opportunity, says Brian Fan, senior director of research at the Cleantech Group, a global cleantech industry research and consulting firm in San Francisco.
“Technologies that improve efficiency or open up new sources for things such as water are profitable,â€ says Fan. “Also, opportunities in recycling range from designing new methods of sorting and managing waste to applying advances in chemical and material sciences to make use of previously unusable garbage.â€
Venture capitalists are investing in batteries, power electronics, and engines focused on optimizing efficiency, says David Prend, co-founder of Rockport Capital Partners, a cleantech venture fund in Boston and Menlo Park, California. Prend adds that green building and smart utility grids are also in demand.
Of course, one of the greatest challenges for the growth of cleantech companies has been inconsistent regulations and policies, says Ron Pernick, co-author of The Clean Revolution (Harper Collins; $26.95) and managing director of Clean Edge Inc., a Portland, Oregon-based firm that tracks and analyzes cleantech markets.
“Case in point: the investment tax credit and production tax credit for renewables is about to expire if Congress doesn’t extend it,â€ says Pernick. “Places where we’ve seen the greatest growth are those that have long-term plans and programs in place such as in Japan, Germany