degree of maturity of the sector
The diversity of activities covered by the cleantech label presents a challenge in assessing its overall maturity level. Looking at the 9 identified sub-domains, one may however conclude that most domains have reached a certain degree of maturity in Flanders.
Sectors such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable mobility and sustainable buildings show an increase in start-ups, indicating a new or renewed wave of innovation and/or interest.
Meanwhile, the sub-domains of recycling & waste, water & wastewater, industrial processing & production, and – to a lesser extent – sustainable agriculture show a market with a majority of established stakeholders. This can be attributed to previous waves of interest, dating back to the 1970s for some, in these fields. However, the constant influx of start-ups indicates the presence of continuous innovation.
The average age of all cleantech companies in Flanders is 23.56 years. The profile of the distribution of age varies by stakeholder category. Implementors are the youngest stakeholders, with an average age of 20.99 years, Tech Providers are on average 23.12 years old, Pioneers are the oldest, with an average age of 37.24 years. Enablers show a fairly flat distribution with an average age of 25.84 years.
In 2019, 6 new stakeholders were registered within the cleantech sector. Four in the category of Implementor and 2 Enablers. This is below the average of 34.35 stakeholders created per year (period 2000-2020).