Heriot-Watt University: Innovation award for one of the world’s great experts in decarbonisation

Mercedes Maroto-Valer, a world leading expert in energy systems and decarbonisation, has been awarded best research project of the year at the Disruptors & Innovators (D+I) awards in Madrid.

The event, which took place at the Royal Tapestry Factory in Madrid, brought together more than 300 professionals and leaders of this industry, with the sponsorship of SAP, Amazon Web Services, Entelgy, Sothis, EVO, Globant and Qualcomm. Thus, it was the largest event of its kind held since the outbreak of the pandemic in our lives, consolidating the role of D+I as the backbone actor of the innovative ecosystem in our country.

The Awards recognised the highest achievements in digitization and related areas during 2021.

Mercedes Maroto-Valer is a researcher and innovator of the highest calibre. Her work at Heriot-Watt University, where she directs the UK Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation in (IDRIC), has led her to be considered an advocate in the fight against climate change.

Collecting the award, Mercedes said ‘I am very grateful for the D + I Award that recognises the impact of the research carried out by my team. We are working together university-industry-government to co-create solutions to decarbonise sectors that are particularly challenging, like industry and aviation. After the intense days during COP26, now more than ever we need to be disruptive and innovative to stop the climate crisis. I want to thank my team and collaborators for making this award possible, and specially for being disruptors and innovators for a sustainable future.’

An expert in energy systems, Mercedes is also director of the Research Centre for Carbon Solutions (RCCS) and has more than 500 pioneering scientific contributions. Her team is at the forefront of innovative and disruptive solutions in carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies and solar fuels; as well as the development of new materials as disruptive as clay-like sponges that capture carbon dioxide or the development of aviation fuels from agricultural and forestry residues and carbon dioxide.

As an innovator, she is developing the best solutions to avoid the climate crisis. As a citizen, she demands active policies and immediate actions by governments. Because, she warns: “If in 2030 we do not have the research and innovation developed, we will no longer have time and the effects of climate change will be irreversible.”

The executive president and director of El Español, Pedro J. Ramírez, inaugurated the Spanish Economic Forum of the Map of the Digitization held throughout the day, and emphasized on his opening speech the need of administrations and companies to “continue innovating” to “continue growing”. He also announced that Wake Up, Spain! will have a second edition next year 2022 and that, as for the first edition, will also be inaugurated by the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez.

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