The collaborations would also help reduce the cost of technology as the Indian market would give them scale, and in return, make the technology more affordable for their own market.
“Big Swiss companies like Nestle and Novartis have business interests in India, but with cleantech, it is different. We develop a lot of technology but the price levels are very high in our country and we cannot produce those products. Indian market is huge and price sensitive. If we manage technology transfer with Indian companies, the prices go down because of the huge market here, and then we can manage to take back the product to our own market as well,” Philippe Muller, head of cleantech initiatives, Swiss Federal Office of Energy, told ET. Muller was in the city with a team of startups and researchers working on clean technology offerings, primarily in the energy space.
The companies from the land of the Alps have developed solutions that can help Indian solar industry, offer solutions for off grid power supply to rural areas, and even support the country’s aspirations for electric vehicles.
Swiss startup hiLyte LLC has developed a non-toxic iron consumable based battery that can be used for lights and even mobile phone charging in households which are not connected to the grid or face outages.
“It is like an affordable espresso machine for clean and safe electricity. We did some customer testing in a village near Patna in Bihar which had just been connected to electricity grid but still faced 6-8 hours of power outages. We want to explore more opportunities in India, it can be an affordable solution for power backup,” said David Lambelet, cofounder of hiLyte.
Martin Ebner, CEO of Battrion AG, which has thus far been active in China and Korea, is looking to tap on India’s plans to manufacture electric with its technology for lithium ion batteries that can reduce charging time to half.
“Besides existing battery makers, there are automobile companies and components makers which are interested in this. We have concrete interest from some companies,” Ebner said.