As Mission Innovation (MI) moves forward with plans for an even more ambitious second phase, there is a growing recognition for the need to continue building our international platform for collaboration. Afterall, an ambitious vision on decarbonising societies requires ambitious individuals, working nationally, and collaborating internationally.
As part of its Action Plan, MI aims to stimulate greater awareness amongst members and the wider clean energy community of the transformational potential of energy innovation. Recognising the catalytic and strategic role of individual innovators in accelerating the clean energy transition and the need to scale up support across the next wave of clean energy technology leaders, MI members jointly launched the Champions Programme in 2018.
Since that time, the MI Champions Programme, supported by the European Commission, has recognized 40 innovators from academia, companies and public R&D organizations across 21 different MI member countries through the “MI Champion” award. The first cohort of the Champions Programme saw 19 innovators receiving the award at the fourth MI Ministerial meeting in Vancouver (May 2019). In June 2020, EC Commissioner Mariya Gabriel chaired an online award ceremony with the second cohort of 21 Champions.
The “MI Champion” award globally acknowledges the cutting-edge work of these innovators to develop cleaner and more affordable technologies, contributing to global efforts in clean energy innovation. By supporting cross-border exchanges of ideas and talent, and building a community of visionaries committed to clean energy research and development, this program activates and engages a new generation of researchers, inventors and leaders. Additionally, the work of these innovators can have a real multiplier effect on the innovation ecosystem, with the MI endorsement further enhancing the significant potential to accelerate the clean energy transition.
“As a Mission Innovation Champion, I would like to focus on not only the maturation of individual technologies but also the open discussions to integrate all-scale clean energy technologies toward the innovation of our future society”, said the Japanese Champion, Yoshiki Takagiwa.
“I believe that we all have a duty to guide our economies towards sustainable and rapid change, and I personally feel really responsible for achieving the EC Green Deal goals. The MI Champion title gives great visibility that I intend to use when speaking to top-level executives, investors and politicians,” echoed EC Champion, Marisa Hernandez.
MI Champions are representative of a much broader network of thousands of individual innovators around the world, working to bring new clean energy solutions to society. The global policy-making community, gathered under the MI banner, can and must play an important role in enabling these innovators to support accelerating the transition.