Subsectors | Digital-Smart

  • Digital technologies (from the ICT sector) – the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) or Industry 4.0 – are increasingly permeating traditional cleantech-relevant industries
  • Digital technologies – typically software- enabled – are allowing new business models to capture (potentially significant) share-of- wallet in affected industries
  • Despite their “horizontal” nature, digital/smart businesses still require specific strong “vertical” expertise/contextualisation to ensure commercial B2B traction
  • Different end-industries will see different rates of digital/smart adoption, driven less by innovation per se and more by susceptibility to disruption (incumbents’ power, industry structure, regulation etc.)
  • The most disruptive technologies include: robotics, augmented/virtual reality, blockchain, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, 3D printing, CRISPR-Cas9, industrial IoT
  • Many digital/smart technologies are strongly inter-related, e.g. IoT / AI / cybersecurity / blockchain …
  • The cleantech-relevant industries likely to be most affected in the medium-term by digital/smart technologies are Power/Utilities, Transport, Industrial & Manufacturing
  • Poor investment performance and limited exit success is driving cleantech investors away from capital-intensive hardware-oriented opportunities to such digital/smart opportunities; likewise, corporate investors/acquirors are looking to hedge their bets against such disruption
  • Leading ‘digital’ corporates (Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft …) are in a rush to acquire successful/promising digital/smart start-ups