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New MI Steering Committee Chair, Drew Leyburne, shares his vision for 2022




The year ahead is an important one for MI, and I am excited to take on the role of Chair on the MI Steering Committee. I see 2022 as a year of implementation and continued momentum for MI, and I will work with and encourage MI members to deliver on the ambitious goals set out in 2021. 

According to the IEA, almost half of the emissions reductions we need by 2050 will come from technologies not yet commercially available today. These technologies will not be developed and deployed overnight, and we must accelerate our efforts this decade. When it comes to energy RD&D, 2050 starts today! 

MI is well positioned to rise to this challenge with its new Missions – our new cornerstone initiatives that were launched in 2021 – all focused on achieving tipping points in the cost, performance and scale of clean energy solutions. MI’s new Innovation Platform will also strengthen the clean energy innovation ecosystem and maximize our impact.  

In partnership with MI collaborating organizations, we will move the needle on clean energy innovation and deliver on the vision of MI 2.0. As we prepare for the US-hosted Seventh MI Ministerial (MI-7) in September 2022, I will prioritize: 

  • Positioning MI as a leading initiative in the implementation of the Breakthrough Agenda. After its launch at COP26, we already know that the annual CEM/MI Ministerial meetings will play an important role in the “Global Checkpoint Process” for the Breakthrough Agenda. MI’s Missions will also support the implementation of sector-specific Glasgow Breakthroughs. The continued progress on the Missions (including the launch of Action Plans in 2022) and the planning of MI-7 will keep in mind the new role that MI can play in support of the Breakthrough Agenda. This is what I believe is the future of MI – a nimble initiative that can lead in the implementation of the commitments of the G7, G20, and COP – the levers and engines of ambition for clean energy innovation to achieve net-zero emissions.  
  • Strengthening our connections with our collaborating organizations, including the Clean Energy Ministerial. Given the complementary mandates of MI and CEM – focused on innovation and deployment respectively – efforts to build synergies between our initiatives should be coherent and motivated by our desire to accelerate our collective impact. Additionally, the Breakthrough Agenda will breathe new energy into the mandates of MI and CEM and provide us with an important opportunity to showcase our work and make MI-7 the global gathering for clean energy innovation decision makers in 2022. At the same time, our work to build complementarities with other collaborating organizations (including the IEA, IRENA, WEF, and others) should continue to progress and deliver results.  
  • Supporting a stable, well-resourced governance structure for MI, including broader involvement of MI members in MI’s leadership. The MI Secretariat has been integral to the implementation of MI’s vision and will need the resources to continue to play this role moving forward. This will require contributions from MI members. Consequently, I will focus my own engagement with MI members who have been less active contributors to MI 2.0 thus far. In doing so, I will also work to broaden the involvement of MI members in the leadership of our initiative and encourage new voices to step forward. To achieve our collective goals, all MI members should find the places where they are best suited to contribute.  

I look forward to working closely with the Steering Committee, including Vice Chairs Rosalinde Van Der Vlies of the European Commission (DG Research and Innovation) and Andrew Light of the United States (Department of Energy). I would also like to thank Patrick Child for his leadership of the Steering Committee, and Head of Secretariat Jennie Dodson and the whole MI Secretariat team for their continued work to put the vision of MI into action. Their work over the past year has been integral to MI’s successful transition to its new phase.  

I’m grateful for the opportunity and the trust placed in me by MI members. I will do all that I can to continue our momentum and maximize our impact in 2022.