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21 clean energy innovators announced as 2nd cohort of Mission Innovation Champions


Brussels, Belgium – Mission Innovation (MI) unveiled the 2nd cohort of Mission Innovation Champions as part of the global MI Champions Program. The program seeks to celebrate and support innovative individuals who are accelerating the clean energy revolution.

During the MI Champions Awards Ceremony held during the virtual webinar “Promoting clean energy innovation in a post-COVID world” on 12 June, Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth,  recognised an individual from each participating MI member country and one representing the European Commission (on behalf of the European Union) as an MI Champion.

Commissioner Gabriel said: “Every day, talented and audacious people across the globe are creating clean energy solutions to make the planet a better place. In the current times, these innovators, inspired by their dreams of a sustainable future, bring hope and optimism to citizens. I warmly congratulate our Mission Innovation Champions whose achievements will inspire citizens around the globe to embark on the transition to clean energy.

Henrik Asheim, Minister of Research and Higher Education, Norway said : “Congratulations to the Mission Innovation Champions for 2020. Recognising new insight and excellent innovators is part of the foundation for how we can create value and deal with major societal challenges like green growth and adaptation to climate change. Both the Mission Innovation initiative and Mission Innovation Champions have put us on a faster route to where our economies can grow, with secure energy access for all.”

“I am delighted to congratulate this year’s Mission Innovation Champions,” said John Loughhead, Head of the MI Steering Committee. “Their dedication to finding the innovative solutions that can lead to cleaner, cheaper, and more widely-available energy is an inspiration to us all.”

Renu Swarup, Secretary DBT, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India said: “‘Driving and inspiring the global dream of a “Sustainable Future. I warmly congratulate our Mission Innovation Champions whose Clean Energy Solutions will connect “Bold Ideas” to the wider Clean Energy ecosystem for societal good.”

Mohammed Ghazali, General Secretary of the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Environment, Kingdom of Morocco said: “We would like to reiterate our commitment to clean energy innovation and I would like to sincerely congratulate all the nominees for the MI Champions competition wishing them success in accelerating the clean energy revolution.”

The 21 Champions listed below work in a variety of energy-related fields and industries. They are individuals with a track record of progressing creative new ideas that can drive the pace and scale of the clean energy revolution — they are the people inventing the products and services of the future or discovering the science that underpins them. The MI Champions will continue to receive recognition and support through outreach and communication efforts.

2020 Mission Innovation Champions

  • Australia: Anna Skarbek – CEO Climate Works Australia
  • Austria: Jürgen Mayerhofer – CEO Enspired-
  • Canada: Phil De Luna – Program Director, Materials for Clean Fuels Challenge Program at the National Research Council of Canada
  • Chile: Cristián O’Ryan – Founder of Endurance Electric
  • China: Can Li – Chairman of Catalysis Society of China, Dean of Materials and Chemical School of USTC, and the Director of the Dalian National Laboratory for Clean Energy (DNL)
  • European Commission (on behalf of the European Union): Maria Luisa Hernández Latorre – Co-founder and CEO of Ingelia
  • Finland: Krishnaswamy SANKARAN – Chief Executive Officer of Radical Innovations Group Ab
  • France: Ondine Suavet – Co-founder of MyLight Systems
  • Germany: Hans Marius Schuster – Founder and CEO of Arena-Innovation
  • India: Purnima Jalihal  – Head of the Energy and Fresh Water group in the National Institute of Ocean Technology
  • Italy: Alessandra Giannuzzi – Professor of Optics and Physics at Benigno Zaccagnini Institute
  • Japan: Yoshiki Takagiwa – Principal Researcher at National Institute for Materials Science
  • Mexico: José Amador Honorato Salazar – Research Scientist at the Experimental Centre, Puebla of the National Research Institute of Forestry, Agriculture and Livestock
  • Morocco: Jaafar Mounir Benabbou – Co-founder and General Manager of Solar E-Cycles
  • The Netherlands: Süleyman Er – Research Group Leader – Autonomous Energy Materials Discovery
  • Norway: Annemie Wyckmans – Professor and lead of NTNU Smart Sustainable Cities at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Republic of Korea: Sang Jun Sim – Professor, Department of chemical and biological engineering at Korea University
  • Saudi Arabia: Malak T. Al-Nory – Provost of Effat University
  • Sweden: Jan G. Skjoldhammer – Founder and CEO NoviOcean
  • United Arab Emirates: Ehab El-Saadany – Director of the Advanced Power and Energy Center (APEC)
  • United Kingdom: Michaela Kendall – CEO of Adelan

The MI Champions Program attracted wide interest from across the participating MI member countries with applicants spanning academia, business and research.  Following a rigorous competition and evaluations by a diverse panel of experts from around the globe, the top-scoring candidates from each country will be invited to an Award Ceremony to be held during the next face-to-face MI Ministerial, currently postponed due to COVID 19 restrictions.

Applications were evaluated based on the audaciousness and creativity of the ideas or solutions proposed; their potential impact; as well as the vision of the candidates towards addressing the climate change challenges in the energy sector through innovation.

The MI Champions Program recognizes individuals working on key innovative clean energy research and technology developments. By supporting cross-border exchanges of ideas and talent and building a community of visionaries committed to the promise of clean energy research and development, this program activates and engages a new generation of researchers, inventors, and leaders.

To meet this year’s Champions, please visit

For more information, please visit the MI Champions website or

Video recording of MI Champions 2020 ceremony:

About Mission Innovation:

Mission Innovation (MI) is a global initiative of 24 countries and the European Commission (on behalf of the European Union) working to reinvigorate and accelerate global clean energy innovation with the objective to make clean energy widely affordable. MI was announced at COP21 on November 30, 2015, as world leaders came together in Paris to commit to ambitious efforts to combat climate change. For more information, please visit