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Clean Tech Companies in Obama’s Administration

Insight Michael Moradzadeh Michael Moradzadeh · August 28, 2009

Clean Tech is generally considered to include multiple advanced technologies in four economic sectors: energy, waste, materials, and transportation. These technologies break down in categories such as energy generation and storage, water and wastewater, air and environment, etc. There is no clear-cut definition for a “Clean-Tech” Company, but as shown by its name, a clean-tech company should be a company equipping its core business with clean technology. As a related concept, Clean-tech Law contemplates a diverse set of legal issues related to the commercialization of clean technology, and the more traditional legal areas of clean technology law include intellectual property, patent law, licensing, litigation, and federal state legislative and regulatory issues.

According to reports prepared by Cleantech Group, compared to other industry sectors, clean tech now draws the most venture investments of any sector, recently surpassing software or biotechnology. However, since maintaining a healthy cash flow is one of the primary concerns of almost every company, and the venture investments in the clean technology industry sectors have fallen sharply in recent days, finding an alternative fund raising channel is vital to the survival of technology companies.

Media reports have now described Washington as the new driver of clean tech company growth. Obama’s energy plan calls for a $150 billion investment in clean technologies for over 10 years, aggressive targets for greenhouse emission reductions, and programs to promote energy efficiency, low-carbon biofuels, and renewable energies. Applications for government funds made available by the recent American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

As an alternative form of fund raising, applying for federal government grants might be a good choice for many clean tech companies nowadays, especially when the other channels of fund raising, such as venture investment and bank loans, is difficul to obtain. While the business plan submitted to the venture capitalists or bank is money-making oriented, government funding application should focus on the environmental impact of the technology development by the clean tech companies. It is not an easy task; it is a great challenge requiring a new kind of brain-storming by the management of clean tech companies and consultation with experts on clean tech law and policy.