As noted yesterday, it makes me nervous that so much money is pouring into biotech clusters; the sector has bubble-like features and is based on a absurd proposition: that technology will help us cheat death. New and renewable energy is a surer bet for a region’s economic future. World leader in this market, by some accounts, is Switzerland. The country is ranked as the worldwide leader in preventing carbon dioxide emissions, and third in recycling efforts; some 18,000 people are employed in environmental protection technology firms. The country has committed to reduce per capita energy use by two thirds. (Each day a person in Switzerland consumes about 6000 Watts of energy for the production of food and other goods, for heating and cooling buildings, and for mobility. The country has a target of a “2000-Watt society” and is investing heavily in new energy concepts and technologies to achieve that). Canada, too, is making a bug push; in Ontario, an organisation called Earth and Environmental Technologies (ETech) supports a wide range of projects to do with sustainable agriculture, clean water technologies, sustainable energy, resource management, and sustainable Infrastructure. The North East of England, has made renewable and microgeneration technologies a strategic focus, too. But it would be an exaggeration to describe these technologies as ‘solutions’. Still missing is a seamless and supplier-independent service that advises householders which, among the variety of different solutions, is appropriate, in what combination – and which fits them and looks after them. We’ll be looking at this gap in a project within Dott.