Deputy Principal recognised with net zero award



Prof. Mercedes Maroto-Valer
Prof. Mercedes Maroto-Valer

Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer has been presented with a Net-Zero Industries Award 2023 for her global contributions to industrial decarbonisation.

Prof. Mercedes Maroto-Valer, Deputy Principal for Global Sustainability at Heriot-Watt University, received the First Global Net-Zero Industries Award – Female Innovators by Mission Innovation Net-Zero Industries (MI NZI) whilst attending COP28 in the UAE. 

An award ceremony was held in the Australian Pavilion in the Blue Zone at COP28 and chaired by Elvira Lutter (MI NZI Director) and Alan Monaghan (Global Mission Coordinator). Leonore Gewessler (Austrian Minister for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology) and Chris Bowen MP (Australian Minister for Climate Change and Energy) presented the Award.

Julie Cerqueira (Chair of Mission Innovation and Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of International Affairs, U.S. Department of Energy) closed off the event, which marks a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to revolutionise energy-intensive industries and drive substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Receiving nearly 70 submissions spanning 16 countries, the inaugural Net-Zero Industries Award highlights the global efforts in decarbonising industry.

The award recognises Prof Maroto-Valer’s dedication to decarbonising energy-intensive industries, breaking silos obstructing innovation and creating an integrated ecosystem of academia, industry, and policymakers. 

The Award also shows Prof. Maroto-Valer as an inspiring example of someone who has achieved a successful career in research and innovation, and in her commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. 

Prof. Maroto-Valer said: “This award is a global testament to an outstanding team and fantastic collaborators. I am honoured to work with them to co-create solutions to bring pace and scale to industrial decarbonisation. Sustainable energy intensive industries are key for equitable net zero prosperity, and I would like to thank The Mission Innovation Net-Zero Industries for their leadership in this critical area and also for establishing this global competition.

"Our most impactful legacy is not just that of our research and innovation, but also the talented innovators we have nurtured. Therefore, I am delighted that this award also recognises our work on inspiring women and promoting their critical role in the energy transition.”

As Director and Champion of IDRIC (UK Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre), Prof. Maroto-Valer leads a multi-disciplinary programme which is accelerating the innovation required to decarbonise energy-intensive industries. 

Her influence extends to international policy circles, where she plays a crucial role in spearheading technological diplomacy for the energy transition which includes membership of the Council of Engineers for the Energy Transition advising to the United Nations Secretary-General.

Chris Bowen MP, Australian Minister for Climate Change and Energy, said: "Huge congratulations to the winners of the 2023 Net-Zero Industries Award, whose work has the potential to reshape industries and set new benchmarks for sustainability. Your efforts are leading the way to deliver significant emissions reductions at the lowest possible cost, and I look forward to seeing your projects, initiatives and research become part of the drive towards a decarbonised global economy."


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