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Clean Tech and Data Science Trends In The Age of Covid: Part III

  So far, we’ve been looking at the trends in the clean technology and data science sector during the pandemic in terms of   companies’ requirements ,   startup activity and acceleration of existing trends in automation, robotics and artificial intelligence . Today, we’ll wrap up our series with a look at how jobs in this sector are holding up and the skills that are increasingly in demand.   First, how has hiring in the sector been impacted?   Like many sectors, hiring in the clean technology and data science sector has slowed as companies and organizations evaluate their status and determine what will be needed in the year ahead. Hiring in many traditional roles in organizations and companies (e.g. environmental consultants, power plant engineers, wastewater treatment scientists, city sustainability officers) has been put on pause or eliminated at this time. These companies are essential organizations and are open, but they are typically operating with a skeleton staff and are still

Clean Tech and Data Science Trends In The Age of Covid: Part II

  Last time , we looked at how Covid and the restrictions due to the pandemic are impacting the clean tech sector and accelerating existing trends in automation, robotics and artificial intelligence.   Today, let’s take a look at how the pandemic is impacting startups and funding.   For a long time, VC funding has been synonymous with innovation. Think of any of the large companies today - Google, Facebook, Uber, Tesla - they’re all products of the venture capital system. Clean technology saw a spike in VC funding in 2008-2010 and then interest and funding dollars waned after that - mainly because of a large number of bankruptcies and losses to the VC firms involved. Also, VC funding is often referred to as “impatient money” because returns on investments are expected within a relatively short timeframe, usually the life of the fund which is about 7-10 years. However, clean technology firms that rely heavily on infrastructure and hardware often take longer to exit and the returns are n

Clean Tech and Data Science Trends In The Age of Covid: Part I

  As Covid-19 sweeps around the world, we’re beginning to see the economic impacts from shutting down the economy in different countries. We’ve seen recessions and slowdowns before, most recently in 2008 and 2001, but this one feels different in several ways. First, the cause of the downturn is not a result of human antics, but a natural agent - a virus. Second, since we can’t really fix the economic issues unless the pandemic and infection rates are brought under control, the regular economic tools have limited impact. Third, this is probably the first time that the whole world is being impacted within a very short time, unlike the other downturns. This means that there’s no country or region that can act as a buffer or an economic engine for the rest of the world. Finally, it’s the sheer uncertainty in this situation - we’re still learning about the virus and there are a lot of open questions being researched now. For example, how it’s impacting different societies and populations, h