The innovation pipeline


We round off our panorama of Switzerland’s cleantech innovations with a series of projects and fledgling businesses developing products that are not quite ready to be introduced on a large scale but which feature promising technology. The companies feeding their developments into the innovation pipeline will without doubt add to the panoply of mature Swiss cleantech solutions in future years.


Towards a more sustainable construction industry

Oxara is developing a number of earth-based sustainable construction materials. Its range of admixtures and binders is cement-free and made up mostly of clay and construction waste, demonstrating the start-up’s focus on the circular economy and waste recycling.


Finding the right balance between fuel consumption and emissions

Vir2sense makes sensors that monitor CO2 emissions. Used in the marine and power generation sectors, these sensors improve the accuracy of the data collected in the most problematic environments. They could help the captain of a ship, for example, to strike the right balance between fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Fireforce Technology

Burning wood without producing noxious smoke

Fireforce Technology converts biomass into heat energy efficiently and with extremely low gaseous pollutant and particulate emissions. This disruptive technology does not require a smoke filtration system, opening up the way to clean combustion of all types of wood.


Helping sewage works clean up their act

Upwater offers sewage works ways of reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption and improving the stability of their processes. This spin-off of the Swiss aquatic research institute Eawag measures for example gaseous effluents to quantify nitrous oxides emissions, then proposes ways of reducing them.

Composite Recycling

Recycling composite materials

Composite Recycling has developed an effective way of separating the glass fibres, resin and plastic that make up composite materials, making it possible to recycle them more efficiently through pyrolysis and other methods.


Turning waste into valuable resources

TreaTech has developed a technology that uses catalytic hydrothermal gasification (HTG) to convert a broad range of waste streams. This technology turns the waste into valuable resources such as renewable gas, clean water and minerals such as phosphorus and nitrogen.


Using electric vehicles to store energy

Sun2Wheel is developing smart electromobility recharging and storage solutions. The company’s main focus is on bidirectional charging, which uses EVs themselves as powerbanks, in place of a permanently installed battery.


Autonomous groceries delivery with zero emissions

Loxo is developing an innovative delivery service featuring a driverless electric vehicle that makes grocery deliveries on request.


Capturing CO2 directly at the exhaust pipe

Qaptis is marketing CO2 capture technology that can be used to retrofit existing truck fleets. It has developed a system that can be attached to truck exhaust pipes to recover the heat and energy required to sequester the CO2 in liquid form.


3D geological and hydrogeological modelling

ISSKA has developed a web-based service, Visual KARSYS, that provides 3D geological and hydrogeological modelling. It enables users to create 3D models of their geological surroundings and visualise groundwater flows. In this way, Visual KARSYS helps prevent natural hazards and enables users to better manage and protect underground water resources in karst areas.


Removing nanoparticles to provide cleaner air

NanoCleanAir is developing technology designed to remove toxic nanoparticles from exhaust gases and the air. This technology can also be applied to the filtration of fine dust and biogenic aerosols such as viruses and bacteria. The toxic substances are removed by filtration and catalysis.


Extending the lifespan of composite materials

CompPair has developed a technology that extends the lifespan and reduces the maintenance costs of composite materials. The start-up uses self-healing technology featuring a resin that gives materials the ability to fill cracks themselves.


Ultra-modular photovoltaic roofs

Freesuns has developed a range of modular photovoltaic tiles that can be tailored to any style or shape of roof. These innovative tiles are suitable for all new and renovated buildings of any size.

Perovskia Solar

Digitally printed solar cells

Perovskia Solar is developing fully customisable solar cells made of perovskite. The start-up uses digital printing technology to make the cells, which means they can easily be tailored to the surface to which they are fitted. This technology is particularly suitable for small portable devices with low energy consumption.


Improving the carbon footprint of greenhouses

Infrascreen is marketing an innovative nanomaterial that reduces heat loss through radiation, making more efficient use of the thermal potential of agricultural greenhouses.


Getting smart-grid-ready hardware to work together

Neolec has come up with a modular, future-proof plug-and-play solution designed to optimise energy self-consumption in buildings. The set-up works by enabling smart communication between the equipment involved, such as a boiler, batteries, heat pumps and solar panels. It has also developed another innovative energy storage management system: Elec4Africa, developed for emerging countries, kicks in automatically when a power cut occurs.


The car with probably the lowest carbon footprint in the world

Softcar is producing a new generation of urban vehicles made out of biopolymers and composite materials in which the entire-life-cycle CO2 emissions are taken into account. The number of components in these circular-economy-friendly vehicles is deliberately limited to 1800 (compared to around 50 000 for a conventional car). The first cars are due on the market by 2025.


An on-demand detergent and disinfectant solution

Aquama has developed a detergent and disinfectant solution than can be produced directly by consumers and businesses. Its patented technology is based on an electrical chemical activation process.


Solar installations designed specifically for
agricultural greenhouses

Voltiris is increasing the productivity of agricultural greenhouses. By installing solar panels, this startup produces electricity from light – without affecting the light inside the greenhouse. These easy-to-fit installations feature coloured filters that let through only the wavelength of light that the plants need, using concentrators to focus the unused part of the spectrum to produce up to 70% of the energy needed to heat the greenhouse.


High-power-density electric-hydrogen propulsion

GreenGT is a company specialising in electric-hydrogen technologies that conceives and develops products for motor sports (the Le Mans 24 Hours) and the haulage industry (40-tonne trucks), as well as infrastructures and regional planning facilities. The company’s USP is its propulsion systems, which have an unrivalled weightto-power ratio, coupled with its expertise in the whole hydrogen value chain and its use in regional planning for


Creating vertical farms to minimise land-use impact

Yasai builds and manages vertical farms. This start-up creates circular food production systems in towns, cities and regions where agricultural resources such as fresh water and fertile arable land are hard to come by. Their method involves less use of pesticides and lower production costs


Off-grid renewable energy

WattAnyWhere has developed a power generator that provides clean electricity in places with no access to the grid. The generator, which uses a fuel cell to generate the electricity required, is fuelled by renewable ethanol (bioethanol). Applications of this system include charging points for electric vehicles.


Railway tracks can produce energy too

Sun-Ways installs removable solar power plants between railway tracks. Not only do these installations have no impact on the landscape or environment, but Sun-Ways’ patented rail-fixing system also enables a large number of solar panels to be laid mechanically in a very short time.

Librec recycling

Taking battery recycling to the max

Librec has developed an innovative and efficient process that achieves the highest possible recovery rate of the metals used in old EV batteries (lithiumbased batteries). All of the recyclable materials are fed back into the production of new batteries, without the use of chemicals. Librec is even capable of recovering the graphite, which accounts for up to 20% of the weight of a battery.


Productive farming in town and city centres

Umami grows herbs and vegetables in urban locations. The system devised by this start-up, based on vertical farming, creates optimum climate and nutrient conditions capable of achieving growing cycles up to three times faster and up to nine times more productive than conventional methods.


A zero-emissions boat that discharges only water vapour

Almatech Space and Naval Engineering has developed a reliable, zero-emissions fast boat. Called ZESST, it features hydrogen-powered engines and hydrofoils, resulting in an 85% energy saving, providing unrivalled passenger comfort – and emitting nothing more than water vapour.

Groam Tech

More sustainable insulating foams made from biomass

Groam converts agricultural biomass waste streams into a variety of new biodegradable foams. The foams can be used as insulation, in protective packaging for electronic goods, to replace plugs used in hydroponic farming and in the fashion industry, for example.