Climate change, pollution, and the deterioration of ecosystems are problems that are part of our daily lives nowadays. Throughout the world, the development of solutions to reduce the consumption of natural resources and limit greenhouse gas emissions is intensifying. The global cleantech market is worth 2,500 billion euros, with an annual average growth rate of 10.6% over the past 10 years, and it is expected to continue to progress at a rate of 6.5% per annum until 2025.The canton of Vaud has been active in dealing with these issues for a number of years now via such companies as Leclanché (energy storage solutions) and Romande Energie (development of renewable energies and energy efficiency), as well as being involved with innovative projects such as Bertrand Piccard’s famous SolarImpulse solar aircraft.In Western Switzerland, the cleantech cluster CleantechAlps is committed to promoting the sector. It helps to support and network companies involved, at the same time integrating the research institutes that are active in cleantech. The EPFL’s environment sciences and engineering faculty and the Ecotechnology faculty at the HEIG-VD in particular are a breeding ground for cutting-edge knowledge and indeed experts. Plenty of start-ups are also emerging in the cleantech sector, most notably in innovative fields such as agritech and smart grids.
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