Champions Corners

Champions corners

The Mission Innovation Champions Program seeks to celebrate and support innovative individuals who are accelerating the clean energy revolution by working on key 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, the program activates and engages a new generation of researchers, inventors and leaders.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 Champions were selected through a rigorous international competition, including peer-to-peer reviews and evaluations by a diverse panel of experts from around the globe. Applications were evaluated based on the audaciousness and creativity of the ideas or solutions proposed, their potential impact and the vision of the candidates towards addressing climate change challenges in the energy sector through innovation.

Anna Skarbek

CEO of ClimateWorks


A former banker, policy adviser and lawyer, she is also a board member of Impact Investment Group, Green Building Council of Australia and the Centre for New Energy Technologies, and was a founding director of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. Previously, Anna worked in London’s carbon markets as vice president of advisory with Climate Change Capital. ClimateWorks’ independent, nonpartisan approach sees Anna and her team advising state and federal governments, large corporations and others on decarbonization pathways.

José A. Honorato Salazar

Research Scientist


Amador is a research scientist at the Experimental Centre, Puebla of the National Research Institute of Forestry, Agriculture and Livestock (INIFAP). He is a forest engineer with a major in forest industries technology from Chapingo Autonomous University, and received a PhD in wood science from the University of Wales, Bangor, UK. His work at INIFAP focuses on wood science, wood products and uses for the lesser-known woods of Mexico. His current work includes research on energy crops and the use of feedstocks for bioenergy, biofuel and bioproducts. Amador has also been a team leader and collaborator on research projects with national and international institutions, including research invitations from the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute in Japan and the University of Surrey in the UK.

John Olav Tande

Chief Scientist & Research Manager


Chief Scientist and Research Manager at SINTEF Energy Research (Norway), and a pioneer in floating offshore wind energy. He is the director of the newly launched NorthWind research centre, an 8 year, 31.5 million EUR research centre working on innovations to make wind power cheaper, more efficient, and more sustainable. From 2009 to 2017, he was the Director of NOWITECH (Norwegian Research Centre for Offshore Wind Technology). Both centres have been funded by the Research Council of Norway (RCN) and national/international industry.

Jaafar Mounir Benabbou

General Manager & CO-Founder of Solar e-Cycles Morocco


Born in Paris, he earned a bachelor’s degree in science and mathematics at Hassan 2 High School in Safi, Morocco, and attended preparatory classes for engineering at Lycée Marceau, Chartes, France. He graduated from ESCA EM business school with a master’s degree in marketing and corporate finance. At the start of his career, he held several advisory financial positions with major real estate and investment banking organizations CBRE and OREMA Capital. Since then, he has elected to be an entrepreneur to positively impact society and the environment for future generations.

Dr Michaela Kendall

Chief Executive of Birmingham-based Adelan

United Kingdom

Is the co-inventor of microtubular solid oxide fuel cells and is chief executive of Birmingham-based Adelan, one of the world’s first fuel cell businesses. Adelan has attracted substantial inward investment to the UK to develop hydrogen technologies and is a pioneer of the hydrogen economy. Dr Kendall has advised Europe, China and the US on hydrogen strategy for the last 25 years, and has worked on hydrogen technologies for 30 years. Having previously held faculty positions in America, Asia, and Europe as a leading environmental scientist, Michaela holds academic posts at several UK universities, including three Visiting Professorships.