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eni award - ideas for a brighter future

2014 International year of sustainable energy for all

The 2014 awards are:

  • New Frontiers of Hydrocarbons (Upstream - Downstream)
  • Renewable Energy Prize
  • Protection of the Environment Prize
  • Debut in Research Prize

Winners 2014

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In 2008 the first edition of the award was launched with the aim of elevating it over time to an authentic Nobel Prize for energy and the environment.

Winners

  • Arthur J. Nozik Science e Tecnology Arthur J. Nozik Department of Energy in Golden (CO)
  • Stefan W. Glunz Science e Tecnology Stefan W. Glunz F.I. for Solar Energy Systems di Freiburg
  • J. Craig Venter Research and Enviroment J. Craig Venter Institute for Genomic Research
  • Silvia Cereda Debut in research Silvia Cereda University of Milan-Bicocca
  • Luca Chiarello Debut in research Luca Chiarello University of Milan
In total, 219 applications were received: of which 167 from around the world, for Science and Technology and Research and Environment prizes and 52 for the Debut in Research Prizes.

Recognition at Innovation

  • G. Rispoli, G. Bellussi, N. Panariti

    Eni R&M Division - Improved procedure for the hydro-conversion of heavy oils with...

  • P. Ruffo, D. Grigo, R. Galimberti

    Eni E&P Division - SIMBA + Petroleum System Modelling.

  • R. Inglese, L. Chiazzi, A. Canalini, F. Montanari

    Polimeri Europa - Development of a process for the production of co-polymer styrenes...

Media

In 2008 the first edition of the award was launched with the aim of elevating it over time to an authentic Nobel Prize for energy and the environment. In total, 219 applications were received: of which 167 from around the world, for Science and Technology...

The 2009 edition confirmed Eni’s total commitment to energy sustainability and environmental protection.

Winners

  • Alan Marshall New Frontiers for Hydrocarbons Alan Marshall National High Magnetic Field Laboratory
  • Tony Settari New Frontiers for Hydrocarbons Tony Settari University of Calgary
  • Martin Green Renewables and N.C. Energy Martin Green New South Wales University di Sidney
  • Gérard Ferey Enviromental Protection Gérard Ferey Université de Versailles
  • Alberto Cuoci Debut in Research Alberto Cuoci Polytechnic of Milan
  • Loredana De Rogatis Debut in Research Loredana De Rogatis University of Udine
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, during the award ceremony, expressed his great appreciation for the initiative to the chairman, Roberto Poli, the promoters and curators.

Recognition at Innovation

  • C. Andreoletti

    Eni Div. E& - DVA: platform for seismic velocity analysis and in-depth imaging

  • G. Bellussi, R. Millini, C. Rizzo, D. Colombo

    Div. R&M; - Cracking process and enhanced catalysts for said process.

  • R. Pò, A. M. Cardaci, M. Caldararo, G. Schimperna

    Strategy and Development Management - Low-gap conjugated polymers and preparation process...

Media

Al Teatro alla Scala di Milano, il backstage dell'evento eni award 2009

The 2010 edition sees two Italian among the winners of the award for Debut in Research with studies of wind and light.

Winners

  • Avelino Corma New Frontiers for Hydrocarbons Avelino Corma Research Professor and Director of ITQ (Valencia)
  • Mark Knackstedt New Frontiers for Hydrocarbons Mark Knackstedt Australian National University (Canberra)
  • Angela Belcher Renewables and N.C. Energy Angela Belcher MIT (Boston)
  • François Morel Enviromental Protection François Morel Princeton University
  • Lorenzo Fagiano Debut in Research Lorenzo Fagiano Turin Polytechnic
  • Matteo Mauro Debut in Research Matteo Mauro University of Milan
This year 792 applications were considered, 82% more than in 2009, 374% over the previous year.

Recognition at Innovation

  • F. Zausa; L. Besenzoni; C. Molaschi; A. Calderoni

    ENBD - Eni Near Balance Drilling

  • F. Masi, F. Menconi, M. Polesello, G. Conti, P. Mariani, E. Borrione

    New vanadium free low environmental impact Ziegler-Natta catalysts...

  • M. G. Dalmazzone; G. De Lorenzo, G. Giunta

    System and a method for continuous monitoring of the impacts on...

Media

Intervista all'AD eni, Paolo Scaroni

The 2011 edition was dedicated to sustainable innovation with a tie for the New Frontiers for Hydrocarbons award and two winners for the Debut in Research prize.

Winners

  • Gabor A. Somorjai New Frontiers for Hydrocarbons Gabor A. Somorjai University of California, Berkley
  • Martin Landrø New Frontiers for Hydrocarbons Martin Landrø Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
  • Gregory Stephanopoulos Renewables and N.C. Energy Gregory Stephanopoulos Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Jean-Marie Tarascon Enviromental Protection Jean-Marie Tarascon University of Picardie Jules Verne
  • Simone Gamba Debut in Research Simone Gamba Polytechnic of Milan
  • Fabrizio Frontalini Debut nella research Fabrizio Frontalini University of Urbino
The winners participated in a talk show to discuss their research. The event was attended by the rector of the University of Turin and the rector of the Polytechnic of Turin, along with with university students.

Recognition at Innovation

  • A. Bosetti, D. Bianchi, G. Franzosi,
    M. Ricci

    Eni Corporate - Bio-oil from municipal solid waste.

  • E. M. Rebesco, P. Scorletti, F. Alberici, G. Pisaniello, M. Mongardini, G. Rispoli

    Eni, Divisione R&M - BluDiesel Tech "formula Milano" -α-olefine copolymers production

  • V. Chelini, M. T. Galli

    Eni, Divisione E& - TLA-C. Thin Layers Analysis and Characterization

Media

The award ceremony for the 2011 Eni Award at event held on 8 June 2011 at the Salone delle Feste in Palazzo Quirinale, in the presence of the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano, Eni chairman Giuseppe Recchi and chief executive Paolo Scaroni.

The 2012 edition saw an increase in the total economic value of the New Frontiers For Hydrocarbons Prize, with the award of two prizes: downstream and upstream

Winners

  • Fabio Rocca e Alessandro Ferretti New Frontiers for Hydrocarbons Fabio Rocca Professor Emeritus of Telecommunications
    Alessandro Ferretti Politecnico of Milan
  • Enrique Iglesia New Frontiers for Hydrocarbons Enrique Iglesia University of California at Berkeley
  • Harry A. Atwater e Albert Polman Renewables and N.C. Energy Harry A. Atwater California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
    Albert Polman FOM Institute AMOLF in Amsterdam
  • Barbara Sherwood Lollar Enviromental Protection Barbara Sherwood Lollar S.I. Laboratory Canada Research Chair
  • Silvia Comba Debut in Research Silvia Comba Polytechnic of Turin
  • Jijeesh Ravi Nair Debut in Research Jijeesh Ravi Nair Polytechnic of Turin
This year in the "Debut in Research" category, two PhD theses will be awarded with €25,000 and a medal specially minted by the Italian State Mint.

Recognition at Innovation

  • R. Vignola, R. Bagatin, A. D’Auris, M. P. Papini, R. Tuffi, R. Sisto.

    Process for contaminated water treatment.

  • A. Carati, M. Gagliardi, M. Ferrari, S. Zanardi, M. Marella, M. Tomaselli.

    Nikaitchuq: Technology intensive drilling, completion and production solutions.

  • N. Carballo, G. Ferrario, T. Frame, M. Kuck, J. Longo, G. Rizza, S. Pilone, E. Squintani.

    Mixed oxide comprehensive of NiMoW, constituted by a degree phase control of...

Media

Rocca and Ferretti have created an innovative method for measuring millimeter movements of the soil using satellite radar (Permanent Scatterers Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar). This technique was successfully used to quantify the minimum vertical displacements of soil...

The 2013 edition saw an increase in the total economic value for the New Frontiers of Hydrocarbons Prize, with the award of two prizes: downstream and upstream

Winners

  • Rajamani Krishna New Frontiers of Hydrocarbons Rajamani Krishna University of Amsterdam
  • Philip Jessop New Frontiers of Hydrocarbons Philip Jessop Queen's University of Ontario
  • Roberto Danovaro Protection of the Environment Roberto Danovaro Universita Politecnica delle Marche
  • James C. Liao Renewable Energy James C. Liao University of California
  • Frances H. Arnold Renewable Energy Frances H. Arnold California Institute of Technology
  • Matteo Cargnello Debut in Research Matteo Cargnello Universita di Trieste
  • Damiano Genovese Debut in Research Damiano Genovese Universita di Bologna
This year in the "Debut in Research" category, two PhD theses will be awarded with €25,000 and a medal specially minted by the Italian State Mint.

Recognition at Innovation

  • R. Vignola, R. Bagatin, A. D’Auris, M. P. Papini, R. Tuffi, R. Sisto.

    Process for contaminated water treatment.

  • A. Carati, M. Gagliardi, M. Ferrari, S. Zanardi, M. Marella, M. Tomaselli.

    Nikaitchuq: Technology intensive drilling, completion and production solutions.

  • N. Carballo, G. Ferrario, T. Frame, M. Kuck, J. Longo, G. Rizza, S. Pilone, E. Squintani.

    Mixed oxide comprehensive of NiMoW, constituted by a degree phase control of...

Media

Rocca and Ferretti have created an innovative method for measuring millimeter movements of the soil using satellite radar (Permanent Scatterers Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar). This technique was successfully used to quantify the minimum vertical displacements of soil...

The winners of the 2014 edition are 1 woman and 5 men from among the world’s most illustrious researchers and professors in the field of science.

Winners

  • Tapan Mukerji New Frontiers of Hydrocarbons-Upstream Tapan Mukerji Collaborators: Gary Mavko, Jack Dvorkin, Dario Grana
    Stanford University
  • Amir H. Hoveyda New Frontiers of Hydrocarbons-Downstream Amir H. Hoveyda Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA
  • Jay D. Keasling Renewable Energy Prize Jay D. Keasling University of California
  • Clément Sanchez Protection of the Environment Prize Clément Sanchez Collège de France
  • Nicola Bortolamei Debut in Research Prize Nicola Bortolamei Università degli Studi di Padova
  • Martina Siena Debut in Research Prize Martina Siena Università degli Studi di Trieste
This year in the "Debut in Research" category, two PhD theses will be awarded with €25,000 and a medal specially minted by the Italian State Mint.

Recognition at Innovation

  • R. Vignola, R. Bagatin, A. D’Auris, M. P. Papini, R. Tuffi, R. Sisto.

    Process for contaminated water treatment.

  • A. Carati, M. Gagliardi, M. Ferrari, S. Zanardi, M. Marella, M. Tomaselli.

    Nikaitchuq: Technology intensive drilling, completion and production solutions.

  • N. Carballo, G. Ferrario, T. Frame, M. Kuck, J. Longo, G. Rizza, S. Pilone, E. Squintani.

    Mixed oxide comprehensive of NiMoW, constituted by a degree phase control of...

Media

Rocca and Ferretti have created an innovative method for measuring millimeter movements of the soil using satellite radar (Permanent Scatterers Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar). This technique was successfully used to quantify the minimum vertical displacements of soil...

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Tapan Mukerji

Serves as an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering and in the Department of Geophysics at Stanford University.

New Frontiers of Hydrocarbons Prize - Upstream

Collaborators: Gary Mavko, Jack Dvorkin, Dario Grana

The research conducted by Professor Mukerji aims to examine more closely the most important petrophysical parameters (rock type, mineralogy, porosity, fluid type) that determine the movement of earth particles during seismic acquisition. The approach has led to a new way of looking at seismic data and the models developed by Tapan Mukerji are currently the industry standard for the interpretation of seismic measurements. Moreover, being clearly characterised by applications and training activities, his contribution is not limited to theoretical considerations.

The movement of knowledge.

A brand new analysis of seismic data, a precious source of information about the subsoil and an opportunity to discover cutting-edge solutions in the field of hydrocarbon exploration.

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Amir H. Hoveyda

Holds the Patricia and Joseph T. ‘49 Millennium Professor of Chemistry at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA.

New Frontiers of Hydrocarbons Prize-Downstream

The research conducted by Professor Hoveyda concerns the discovery, design and development of new catalysers for asymmetric catalysis and the production of natural products based on polymers with markedly interesting performance. His most recent findings are of a new class of enantioselective catalysts, based on low-cost components.

Catalysing analysis.

A fundamental step forward in the move towards the conversion of unsaturated hydrocarbons in a wide range of precious molecules, as well as a decisive contribution to the fields of pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals.

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Jay D. Keasling

Professor of Chemical engineering and Bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

Renewable Energy Prize

Professor Keasling’s research programme consists in the design of microorganisms for the production of hydrocarbons with properties similar to fuels currently derived from oil. Such fuels are synthesised form sugars derived from vegetable matter so their combustion does not add CO2 to the atmosphere and have the added advantage of being renewable. Professor Keasling has also recently demonstrated that a microorganism can be designed to synthesise and secrete enzymes able to depolymerise the cellulose and hemicellulose in sugar to produce biofuels.

Welcome alternatives for the future.

Biofuels with properties entirely similar to oil-based fuels: and in Brazil the three hundred buses fuelled by one of the products obtained using the process developed by Jay Keasling have already clocked up five million kilometres.

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Clément Sanchez

Professor of Chemistry of Hybrid Materials at the Collège de France.

Protection of the Environment Prize

Professor Sanchez is considered a pioneer in multifunctional hybrid materials, including solid properties related to energy, energy saving, the environment and health, all of which are synthesised in non-solid conditions. The research has already resulted in over 40 patents.

Energy for a good cause.

Innovative technologies conceived for the world of energy, where sustainability, respect for the environment and the creation of new prospects in medicine are at the heart of the project.

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Nicola Bortolamei

Graduated in Industrial Chemistry from the Università degli Studi di Padova.

Debut in Research Prize

Dr Bortolamei has made original contributions in the field of Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization (ATRP), one of the most successful techniques for the production of polymers with a determined molecular weight and specific architecture. He was the first to develop bond copper-oxide bonding catalysers, and has also studied their electrochemical activation mechanisms. Despite the various complexities of the solution, Dr Bortolamei has demonstrated that the only active species is CuI :L, with stoichiometry 1:1.

A beginning that breaks new ground.

An important debut, with the study of electrochemical methods that point to a new path towards the realisation of a radical polymerisation process.

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Martina Siena

Has received her B.S. and M.S. cum laude in Physics, respectively from the Università degli Studi di Parma and the Università degli Studi di Trieste.

Debut in Research Prize

The work of Dr Siena concerns the characterisation of the permeability of natural and reconstructed porous media in geological systems. She has developed an innovative method for the interpretation of statistically-based observed characteristics in porous and fractured media, with particular emphasis on permeability.

A study rich in applications.

An innovative analysis that makes it possible to evaluate the diversity of geological systems and to quantify different levels of permeability, with useful applications in the hydrocarbon dynamics of deposits and basins.

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Tapan Mukerji

Serves as an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering and in the Department of Geophysics at Stanford University.

New Frontiers of Hydrocarbons Prize - Upstream

Collaborators: Gary Mavko, Jack Dvorkin, Dario Grana

The research conducted by Professor Mukerji aims to examine more closely the most important petrophysical parameters (rock type, mineralogy, porosity, fluid type) that determine the movement of earth particles during seismic acquisition. The approach has led to a new way of looking at seismic data and the models developed by Tapan Mukerji are currently the industry standard for the interpretation of seismic measurements. Moreover, being clearly characterised by applications and training activities, his contribution is not limited to theoretical considerations.

The movement of knowledge.

A brand new analysis of seismic data, a precious source of information about the subsoil and an opportunity to discover cutting-edge solutions in the field of hydrocarbon exploration.

  • <

Amir H. Hoveyda

Holds the Patricia and Joseph T. ‘49 Millennium Professor of Chemistry at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA.

New Frontiers of Hydrocarbons Prize-Downstream

The research conducted by Professor Hoveyda concerns the discovery, design and development of new catalysers for asymmetric catalysis and the production of natural products based on polymers with markedly interesting performance. His most recent findings are of a new class of enantioselective catalysts, based on low-cost components.

Catalysing analysis.

A fundamental step forward in the move towards the conversion of unsaturated hydrocarbons in a wide range of precious molecules, as well as a decisive contribution to the fields of pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals.

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Jay D. Keasling

Professor of Chemical engineering and Bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

Renewable Energy Prize

Professor Keasling’s research programme consists in the design of microorganisms for the production of hydrocarbons with properties similar to fuels currently derived from oil. Such fuels are synthesised form sugars derived from vegetable matter so their combustion does not add CO2 to the atmosphere and have the added advantage of being renewable. Professor Keasling has also recently demonstrated that a microorganism can be designed to synthesise and secrete enzymes able to depolymerise the cellulose and hemicellulose in sugar to produce biofuels.

Welcome alternatives for the future.

Biofuels with properties entirely similar to oil-based fuels: and in Brazil the three hundred buses fuelled by one of the products obtained using the process developed by Jay Keasling have already clocked up five million kilometres.

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Clément Sanchez

Professor of Chemistry of Hybrid Materials at the Collège de France.

Protection of the Environment Prize

Professor Sanchez is considered a pioneer in multifunctional hybrid materials, including solid properties related to energy, energy saving, the environment and health, all of which are synthesised in non-solid conditions. The research has already resulted in over 40 patents.

Energy for a good cause.

Innovative technologies conceived for the world of energy, where sustainability, respect for the environment and the creation of new prospects in medicine are at the heart of the project.

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Nicola Bortolamei

Graduated in Industrial Chemistry from the Università degli Studi di Padova.

Debut in Research Prize

Dr Bortolamei has made original contributions in the field of Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization (ATRP), one of the most successful techniques for the production of polymers with a determined molecular weight and specific architecture. He was the first to develop bond copper-oxide bonding catalysers, and has also studied their electrochemical activation mechanisms. Despite the various complexities of the solution, Dr Bortolamei has demonstrated that the only active species is CuI :L, with stoichiometry 1:1.

A beginning that breaks new ground.

An important debut, with the study of electrochemical methods that point to a new path towards the realisation of a radical polymerisation process.

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Martina Siena

Has received her B.S. and M.S. cum laude in Physics, respectively from the Università degli Studi di Parma and the Università degli Studi di Trieste.

Debut in Research Prize

The work of Dr Siena concerns the characterisation of the permeability of natural and reconstructed porous media in geological systems. She has developed an innovative method for the interpretation of statistically-based observed characteristics in porous and fractured media, with particular emphasis on permeability.

A study rich in applications.

An innovative analysis that makes it possible to evaluate the diversity of geological systems and to quantify different levels of permeability, with useful applications in the hydrocarbon dynamics of deposits and basins.

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Rajamani Krishna

Professor at the University of Amsterdam and the Van’t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences.

New Frontiers of Hydrocarbons Prize

Professor Krishna's research improves the processes of gas-purification and separation through the understanding of fundamental physical and chemical phenomena at molecular and microscopic level.

Separating and purifying gases

Professor Krishna has developed an innovative approach to evaluate the properties of crystalline-porous materials in the separation and purification of gases, with important implications for technologies in the downstream sector.

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Philip Jessop

Professor of Inorganic Chemistry and Canada Research Chair in Green Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry at Queen’s University, Ontario.

New Frontiers of Hydrocarbons Prize

Professor Jessop discovered a way to engineer on-demand intelligent solvents’ properties, using chemical compounds as switch. In this way it is possible to separate oil and water, thus remediating hydrocarbons-contaminated water, without using organic solvents and allowing relevant environmental achievements.

Separating water and petroleum.

Purifying water that has been contaminated by hydrocarbons in a more straightforward way, using technologies that employ “intelligent” solvents that are more eco-compatible than traditional solvents.

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Roberto Danovaro

Professor of Marine Biology and Ecology at the Università Politecnica delle Marche and Director of the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences.

Enviromental Protection Prize

Professor Danovaro’s research investigates the crucial role played by viruses in maintaining the balance of the marine ecosystem and controlling the capacity to absorb CO2. His team’s ground-breaking studies on the changes taking place in the environment today suggest that marine viruses can reduce carbon dioxide accumulation in marine ecosystems and have the potential to reduce the impact of climate change through complex feedback mechanisms.

Viruses are not always dangerous non

Viruses play a decisive role in regulating marine eco-systems and controlling concentrations of CO2 in the sea. They can therefore become an important factor in the mechanisms that control the climate and in the identification of the measures to adapt to the changes that are underway.

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James C. Liao

Director of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California.

Renewable Energy Prize

Dr Liao has selected microorganisms for converting wood cellulose biomass, waste proteins and carbon dioxide into useful chemical compounds and fuels using modified forms of E. coli bacteria, achieving high conversion and energy efficiency.

Training bacteria for renewables.

Using "trained" bacteria to produce more easily superior alcohols and then biofuels from a wide range of raw materials and CO2, with both energy and environmental benefits..

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Frances H. Arnold

Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology and one of the leading experts in the world in this area.

Renewable Energy Prize

Professor Arnold has been awarded, together with her research team, for the creation of breakthrough methods aimed to biocatalysts engineering for high selectivity production of fuels and chemicals from biomasses.

Biofuels from the sun.

Frances Arnold has developed biochemical processes that transform biomasses and the sun into highly efficient and low environmental impact fuels and chemical products.

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Matteo Cargnello

A graduate in chemistry from the University of Trieste and a PhD in Nanotechnology under the supervision of Prof. Paolo Fornasiero.

Debut in Research Prize

Dr. Cargnello’s research focuses on the synthesis of precise nanostructures, providing active and stable catalysts for the sustainable production of hydrogen by photo-catalysis, for fuel cells electricity generation and methane emission control.

Nano structures like Lego bricks.

Using nanostructures as Lego bricks, Cargniello has built highly innovative materials capable of producing hydrogen cleanly or reducing undesirable emissions of methane from oil extraction plant.

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Damiano Genovese

Researcher at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA in the United States, and, since 2011, at the Nanoscience Photochemical Group at the University of Bologna.

Debut in Research Prize

Dr. Genovese analyzed the supra-molecular approach for the creation of fluorescent nano-structures to be applied in various sectors of great economic and social relevance, such as medical diagnosis, molecular biology and solar energy conversion.

From a molecule to a set of molecules.

If a molecule has interesting properties, what more and different could a set of molecules offer? What astonishing potential applications for man and the environment might we be able to achieve? This is the question that the studies of Damiano Genovese have tried to answer.

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Fabio Rocca

Currently Professor Emeritus of Telecommunications.

Alessandro Ferretti

He has a doctorate in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic of Milan.

New Frontiers for Hydrocarbons Prize

Rocca and Ferretti have created an innovative method for measuring millimeter movements of the soil using satellite radar (Permanent Scatterers Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar). This technique was successfully used to quantify the minimum vertical displacements of soil in order to monitor the movement of internal reservoir fluids during the extraction of oil or water injection. Currently, PSInSAR applications are limited to terrestrial and off-shore phenomena, with the monitoring of the movement of oil platforms. However, the use of synthetic aperture sonar currently being developed at the Polytechnic of Milan will extend applications to underwater environments.

Ever safer oil.

This methodology may be able to improve the exploitation of the reserves, identifying the most promising areas for possible optimisation, providing more oil for the same work, always in full compliance with safety and environmental standards.

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Enrique Iglesia

Currently holds the Theodore Vermeulen Chair, at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of California at Berkeley.

Premio Nuove Frontiere degli Idrocarburi

He the author of fundamental work on the formation of the single bond between two atoms of carbon (CC), with particular reference to the molecules in which this bond is absent, such as carbon monoxide, methanol and methyl ether. This innovative approach helps address the challenge of synthesizing hydrocarbons, oxygenates and fuels using traditional resources such as natural gas, coal and biomass. In addition his research into acid catalysis has resolved persisting disputes and led to catalytic architectures that can replace toxic and corrosive liquids, frequently used as acid catalysts.

Early exploitation of material while respecting the enviroment.

The positive impacts are obvious: a more effective catalyst is able to efficiently transform raw materials, reducing waste and using less energy. Consequently, a better use of resources, less energy consumption and a lower environmental impact across the entire process.

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Harry A. Atwater

Holds the Chair of Applied Physics and Materials Science at the California Institute of Technology.

Albert Polman

Research group leader and director of the FOM Institute AMOLF in Amsterdam.

Renewables and non-convetional Energy Prize

They are the authors of a study that has provided a new class of ultra-thin photovoltaic solar cells. This result was achieved with a new approach called “plasmonic photovoltaics” where the design and construction of the cells is integrated with nanostructures. This result makes it possible to significantly reduce the cost of the materials used and offers renewed prospects for the development of technologies to capture solar energy. They have made ultra-thin solar cells in silicon on glass, GaAs thin film solar cells, among the most efficient in the world, and highly innovative models based micro-cables and silicon nanoparticles.

More energy for solar power.

This research enables us to optimise the production of solar energy by reducing costs, thereby helping to spread the use of renewable sources that has so far been economically inaccessible.

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Barbara Sherwood Lollar

Professor of Geology, Director of the Stable Isotope Laboratory and Canada Research Chair in Earth and Environmental Isotopes.

Enviromental Protection Prize

She renewed the use of a technique of isotopic analysis (CSIA Compound Specific Isotope Analysis) in the identification of pollutants of groundwater by hydrocarbons, solvents and fuel additives present in urban and rural sites. It makes it possible to highlight whether the reduction of the contaminant is due to other processes, such as dilution or dispersion, providing a clear evidence that the biodegradation underway is objectively destroying the contaminant. She has developed the scientific principles developed and pioneered innovative techniques for the application of stable isotope geochemistry for the research and protection of groundwater resources and the environment.

Waiting for a crystaline tomorrow.

The application of stable isotope geochemistry for the research and protection of groundwater resources and the environment contrinutes to cleaning up the environment and the world’s water resources.

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Silvia Comba

She has completed both a PhD in Environmental Engineering at the Polytechnic of Turin, and a European Research Doctorate.

Debut in Research

She has worked on one of the most promising new technologies for the remediation of aquifers, namely the use of nano-sized iron particles. These particles are capable of degrading the pollutant with which they come into contact in substances compatible with the environment, at a vastly superior rate compared with traditional technologies, reducing the time necessary for remediation from decades to a few months. Moreover, always thanks to their size, the nano and micro-particles of iron can be introduced to aquifers by injection using smaller probes, which permit treatment without interrupting the use of buildings and infrastructure overlying the contaminated area.

The future has an iron-clad healt

Iron is the solution to the problem of the pollution of aquifers. Thanks to this research we can now reduce both pollution and the time for remediation.

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JIJEESH RAVI NAIR

He currently holds the position of post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Applied Science and Technology (DISAT) of the Polytechnic of Turin.

Debut in Research Prize

He has developed a methodology for the preparation of electrolytic membranes for lithium batteries, capable of supplying electrical power in an efficient manner without contaminating the environment. He is involved in several projects mainly focused on the synthesis and characterisation of polymer electrolyte membranes for energy storage and production devices. He is also considering the potential use of polymeric materials for a wide range of energy efficient systems, such as solar cells with synthetic pigments (DSSC), flexible capacitors, actuators, and even possible applications in the field of superconductivity.

More autonomy for the enviroment.

Research goes on even on the front electricity storage from renewable sources, through the improvement of lithium batteries, and always with the aim of reducing possible environmental impact.

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Fabrizio Frontalini

Post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Earth, Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Urbino.

Debut in Research Prize

With his PhD thesis Frontalini studied a species of marine protozoa (benthic foraminifera), extremely demanding from the environmental point of view: they choose their habitat, change their shell to adapt to changing conditions and die when these strategies are insufficient for survival. Pollutants such as industrial waste, cause abnormalities in the shells of these organisms, which can then be used as rapid and inexpensive bio-indicators of the health of marine environments.

Protozoa are man's best friend.

Thanks to the study of marine protozoa, research has provided a rapid and environmentally friendly way of lowering the level of marine pollution.

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Gabor A. Somorjai

Professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, and Faculty Senior Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

New Frontiers of Hydrocarbons Prize

The research undertaken by Professor Somorjai has focused on the exploration and understanding of the catalytic selectivity of metal surfaces of transition at the molecular level. The novelty of his approach is to use model systems, currently nanoparticles mono-dispersed on a 1-10 nm scale, to explore hydrocarbon conversion reactions. An important discovery, achieved as a result of these investigations, revealed that the size and shape of the metal nanoparticles control both the rate of reactivity and selectivity. Somorjai has developed tools for analysing surfaces that have made possible the study, at the molecular level, of the catalysts during reaction conditions at high pressure.

Fuels have a something extra.

This new technology is used to obtain the fuels we use every day, starting from crude oil extracted from reservoirs to produce fuels of a higher yield and better quality.

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Gregory Stephanopoulos

Born in Greece, he is W. H. Dow Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Department of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Renewable and Non-Conventional Energy Prize

He was honoured for his pioneering work designed to change the gene structure of particular bacteria to make them more efficient in the transformation of renewable raw materials (such as waste from our tables) in hydrocarbons. This is an area of research of great interest in order to arrive at an acceptable cost level for the production of biofuels, which have performance levels comparable to those of conventional fuel, without destroying goods (such as maize), aimed for the food industry and enhancing waste which is recycled, limiting costs and disposal issues.

Our waste is worth its weight in gold.

This research will make it possible to obtain fuel through the reuse of organic waste from households, without destroying products required by the food industry, while at the same time increasing the production of biofuels.

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Jean-Marie Tarascon

He is High Merit Professor of Chemistry at the University of Picardie “Jules Verne” in Amiens.

'Protection of the Environment' Prize

Tarascon is the world leader in the field of lithium-ion battery power. His studies of highly advanced batteries make possible the production of safer, lower-cost, low environmental impact, high performance batteries, characteristics that are decisive for a significant expansion of electric vehicles in out transport system, with obvious environmental benefits. The professor, who remains director of the LRCS, continues his research on Li-ion batteries, developing new negative and positive electrodes, more sustainable electrodes for organic lithium ion batteries and eco-efficient synthesis processes for cathode materials.

Batteries for the enviroment.

Tarascon’s research will make possible the development of economic and safe batteries with a low environmental impact while maintaining high performance levels capable of encouraging the spread of electric vehicles in our cities.

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Martin Landrø

He holds the post of Professor of Applied Geophysics at the Department of Petroleum Engineering and Applied Geophysics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

New Frontiers of Hydrocarbons Prize

He has done important research on the development and applications of 4D seismic modelling (time lapse seismic). This technology is based on the interpretation of changes in pressure and fluid distribution during oil extraction, and has proved highly effective in identifying optimal sites for drilling and the characterisation of the changes that oil and gas reservoirs undergo over time. The application of the technology developed by Professor Landro can significantly increase oil recovery, as can be seen from the decisive contribution to the development of several projects in production areas of the North Sea.

More fuel for all.

This seismic analysis makes it possible to manage more precisely the development of mineral deposits, offering the opportunity to significantly increase the amount of oil extracted, and thereby increasing global reserves of fuel.

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Simone Gamba

He received his degree cum laude in Chemical Engineering in 2004 from the Polytechnic in Milan, where he later obtained a Master’s Degree cum laude in Chemical Engineering.

Debut in Research Prize

Simone Gamba, of the "Giulio Natta" Department of Chemistry at the Molan Polytechnic, developed during his doctoral research an interesting interpretation and modelling of the process of hydrocracking of hydrocarbons obtained by the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, a way of producing fuels and lubricants of high quality from synthesis gas. For this reason, the Scientific Committee awarded Simone Gamba "Debut in Research" prize. He currently works on the Acid Gas Programme: thermodynamic methods of purification and characterisation.

Crude becomes good.

The technology used to obtain fuel for our daily needs, through the refining of crude oil extracted from low quality reservoirs of an equally good quality.

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Angela Belcher

Germeshausen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Biological Engineering at MIT in Cambridge, MA.

Renewable and Non-Conventional Energy Prize

Professor Belcher's research is focused on understanding and controlling the process by which nature shapes material, in order to design innovative hybrid materials, of an organic-inorganic, electronic and magnetic nature. Her research is interdisciplinary and brings together the fields of inorganic chemistry, materials chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology and electrical engineering. She has done original research that is fundamental for an understanding of the principles that have developed natural systems able to convert and use energy.

Nature is on our side.

These studies on nature will facilitate applications in a variety of fields such as solar cells, batteries, medical diagnosis and individual molecular interactions related to disease.

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Avelino Corma

Research Professor and Director of ITQ (Instituto de Tecnología Química) Polytechnic University of Valencia since 1990.

New Frontiers of Hydrocarbons Prize

His current research concerns the field of structured nano-materials and molecular filtres used as catalysts, as well as problems concerning the synthesis, characterization and reactivity in acid-based catalysis and redox reactions. He has made important discoveries in the synthesis of new catalysts to improve the processes of refining heavier oil fractions. The application of new processes will increase the yield and quality of fuel, particularly diesel, maintaining high levels of conversion charges

Diesel goes turbo.

This new technology will be used to optimise fuels in order to increase and improve the yield, particularly of diesel.

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François Morel

Holder, since 1994, of the Albert G. Blanke Jr. Chair of Geosciences at Princeton University.

Protection of the Environment Prize

His research interests include the theoretical and laboratory investigation of the chemistry of coordination compounds, surface chemistry and the photochemistry of trace elements in natural waters, as well as the chemical interactions between microorganisms in water systems. He discovered a new class of enzymes that play a fundamental role in transport and CO2 fixation. The result is particularly relevant for understanding the biochemical mechanisms that govern the absorption of CO2 in the oceans, a key process for global carbon recycling.

The role of carbon.

From studies on the fixation of CO2, we can understand more about the mystery of global carbon recycling upon which life on earth depends.

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Lorenzo Fagiano

Holder of a postdoctoral research fellowship grant in the group Complex Systems Modelling and Control at the Department of Control and Computer Engineering at the Turin Polytechnic.

Debut in Research Prize

His main research interests concern the generation of high-altitude wind energy through controlled airfoils, theoretical problems of nonlinear robust control with constraints, the use of Set Membership approaches for control and the study of control systems in automotive field. His theory is a major and unique contribution that includes theoretical analysis, systems design, simulation and economic analysis.

Wind energy gets going.

Thanks to the studies of this young researcher, there are increasing advantages to be obtained in the field of wind energy generation. The advantages of alternative sources being that they are both limitless and clean.

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Mark Knackstedt

He works at the Department of Applied Mathematics, Australian National University (ANU)

New Frontiers of Hydrocarbons Prize

He directed "Digital Materials", one of the first studies to have explored the three-dimensional study of materials found in nature through a dual approach: sophisticated structural measurements that exploit current tomographic and microscopic techniques, combined with advanced image analysis and numerical modelling tools. This created the conditions for pioneering research by Knackstedt in the location and characteristics of oil fields based on high-resolution and three-dimensional imaging of rock structures. By combining new technology with modelling studies it is possible to predict the properties of hydrocarbon deposits and increase the chances of new discoveries.

Discoveries never end.

The study on modelling makes it possible to intensify the discoveries of new reserves and increase the availability of fuel in the world.

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Matteo Mauro

Currently engaged in post-doctoral research at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität and the Centre for Nanotechnology in Münster (Germany).

Debut in Research Prize

He has conducted research on energy efficient devices with special application possibilities in low energy dispersion light emitting systems based on original electroluminescent components. In the past, he presented a thesis on the synthesis, photo-physical and theoretical characterisation of new metal complexes based on rhenium and iridium, and their application in light emitting devices. And even earlier, a thesis on the synthesis of catalysts based on palladium hydrides for hydrogenation reactions.

And there will be light.

Thanks to the study by Dr Mauro, the future will be even brighter. New materials will contribute to the optimisation of light emission.

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Alan Marshall

ICR Program Director at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.

New Frontiers of Hydrocarbons Prize

The research involved the development of advanced analytical systems for the determination of the detailed components of complex chemical blends (such as oil, but also blood), to identify up to more than 50,000 components. This was possible by the use of high-resolution mass spectroscopy (FT-ICR), developed by Marshall. The author of 469 publications of great scientific value, Alan Marshall also holds several patents based on his research and has received many awards from universities and major institutions such as the American Institute of Chemists and the American Chemical Society.

Mass has no more secrets.

Thanks to research in this field, it will be possible to optimise the exploration, development and refining of fuels with benefits in terms of world reserves.

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Alberto Cuoci

He presented his PhD thesis at the Politecnico in Milan entitled “The Formation of Pollutants in Turbulent Reactive Flows”.

Debut in Research Prize

Concentrated on chemical and turbulence interactions, his research makes a significant contribution to the characterisation of the formation of nitrogen oxides and the design of clean and efficient combustion devices. His doctoral thesis focused, in particular, on the effects of these aspects in the phenomenon of fires. His work in the field of combustion - with particular emphasis on emissions - is of crucial interest, especially considering the current urgent need for a drastic reduction in pollutants.

Pollution goes up in smoke.

This research aims to the drastic reduction of the pollutants present in the air as a result of combustion. Maybe one day we will say goodbye to pollution.

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Gérard Ferey

Professor at the Université de Versailles and a world-renowned expert in porous solids.

Protection of the Environment Prize

The research awarded concerns the development of new materials (wide-pore crystalline solids) for the selective absorption of organic molecules that are components of complex blends (gas, liquids, biologically active molecules). Through cutting-edge research he has developed structures able to absorb and store at room temperature gases such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, methane, hydrogen sulphide, oxides of nitrogen and sulphur with extraordinary results: one of the materials developed is able to absorb up to 400 volumes of CO2 per volume of solid. His work has identified a realistic and efficient way to capture pollutants and toxic gases and to store energy sources and vectors.

The world gets its breath back.

This opens fascinating perspectives for environmental protection through research on the absorption of gases harmful for both the planet and those living on it.

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Loredana De Rogatis

She presented her PhD thesis at the University of Udine, entitled “The Design of Nanostructured Catalysts for H2 production and CO2 hydrogenation”.

Debut in Research Prize

Her research aims to identify a new class of catalysts for hydrogen production from various sources: methane, methanol, ethanol. The work is complemented by a study of the catalytic hydrogenation of CO2. With a view to sustainable energy development, hydrogen could become very important, as it is considered one of the key vectors in terms of energy content, such as fuel cells for transport and as an intermediate in the conversion of renewable resources.

Hydrogen takes us by the hand.

This might just be the research that opens the way to a new era of energy. Hydrogen is already around us, and perhaps it will lead us to the future.

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Martin Green

Martin Green is Inaugural Australian Federation Fellow and Scientia Professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

Renewable and Non-Conventional Energy Prize

Focused on identifying factors that conceptually limit the efficiency of solar cells, he can now boast a record efficiency of silicon cells of 25%. His innovative work on the third generation cells aims to increase solar cell performance while reducing manufacturing costs and deal with the challenges posed by the growing demand for clean energy through the large scale use of solar energy.

Energy from the sun.

Martin Green has made fundamental contributions to effective affirmation of the photovoltaic conversion of solar energy through the use of technologies that are applicable on a large scale while offering a valuable contribution to the challenges posed by the growing demand for clean energy.

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Tony Settari

Professor of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Calgary.

New Frontiers of Hydrocarbons Prize

He has almost forty years of experience in collaboration with private entities operating in the oil extraction industry, both as a consultant, and through research and consulting companies he has founded over the years. On the research side, he started a pioneering project focusing on the use of modelling in hydraulic fracturing of reservoirs. He concentrated his efforts on a project investigating the complex processes responsible for the in situ thermal recovery in oil sands. His current research deals mainly with geo-mechanical aspects and oilfield fracture and production based on integrated simulations.

Making the most of reserves.

His research allows us to reduce oil extraction costs and provides a valuable tool for planning the exploitation of mineral deposits in a sustainable way also from the environmental point of view.

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Arthur J. Nozik

He works at the National Renewable Laboratory (NRL) of the Department of Energy in Golden (CO).

Science and Technology Prize

He developed basic research to improve the use of solar energy in photovoltaic processes taking advantage of the peculiar property of nanostructures with quantum dots to control the relaxation of photo-generated carriers. This approach is based on boosting the photocurrents through the multiplication of electron-cavity pairs. The results obtained after an extensive and detailed analysis of the dynamics of the relaxation of photoelectrons and the cavities, and the interfacial transfer processes, opened the door for the potential exploitation of the processes of generation of multiple stimulations to achieve a significant enhancement of solar cell efficiency.

The sun in a cell.

The professor’s research will lead to an improvement and optimization of the cells used in solar energy production.

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J. Craig Venter

He founded the Institute for Genomic Research where the mapping of the human genome was conducted.

Research and Environment Prize

He led research in the development of new methods and techniques to change one bacterial species into another by transplanting the entire genome. This highly innovative research is a crucial advance in the new field of synthetic genomics and a prelude to the emergence of organisms redesigned with new cellular functions. It includes the mechanism that provides the key to activating a synthetic chromosome in a cell. The results obtained have unlimited applications and may lead to new processes able to capture carbon dioxide and regenerate polluted environments The research also opens the way for the design of new metabolic pathways capable of producing innovative biofuels from natural organic matter.

We are not all the same.

In addition to environmental applications that aim to regenerate the environment, the most sought after applications will be in the field of of preventive medicine to predict genetic propensity to certain diseases and develop more effective treatments.

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Luca Chiarello

A 2004 graduate in Industrial Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Milan.

Debut in Research Prize

He is currently conducting research on photo-catalysis by focusing on the perovskite catalysts of pollutants in the combustion of exhaust fumes and the development of new laboratory catalysts and photo-reactors for the production of H2, from both the photo-catalytic splitting of water and the photo-reforming process of alcohols. His research is concentrated on the photo-catalytic reduction of both organic and inorganic air and water pollutants and on the description of In Situ catalysis using synchrotron light radiation.

Air and water without spot.

The aim of this research is to minimise the pollutants present in water and air and to make the environment cleaner.

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Silvia Cereda

A graduate in Materials Science from the University of Milan-Bicocca.

Debut in Research Prize

In December 2007 she successfully presented her PhD thesis in Materials Science. By applying an original methodology she examined the details and prospects for control of the complex chemistry involved in the deposition of amorphous and nano crystalline silica material. She managed to highlight some of the atomic-scale mechanisms that play a primary role in the growth of the film. The results are expected to be useful in the design of multi-scale solar cells.

We are in the hands of the sun.

The research by Dr Cereda brings us a step closer to a future of clean energy sources such as solar.

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Stefan W. Glunz

Head of Department at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg.

Science and Technology Prize

His work has made a significant contribution to the development of advanced photovoltaic structures, through the application of new concepts. In fact, a material based on high-quality silicon has been obtained by controlling the electrical characteristics to reduce the recombination of charge carriers and to increase, through an improvement in optical quality, the capture of high wavelength photons. A metallization technology was also designed and applied to be compatible with the preparation of thin film and fragile wafers.

The power of the sun.

This analysis makes it possible to improve the performance of solar energy by increasing the quality and quantity of energy produced. 

Media

Eni Award 2014 - The award ceremony at the Quirinale Palace in Rome


The winners of the 2014 edition are 1 woman and 5 men from among the world’s most illustrious researchers and professors in the field of science

Press Release

The award ceremony for the Eni Award 2014 edition was held at the Quirinale and attended by the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, the Chairman of Eni, Emma Marcegaglia and the CEO of Eni, Claudio Descalzi. Over the years the award, first introduced in 2007 for research in the fields of energy and environmental technology, has become internationally recognized . The Eni Award is aimed at promoting more efficient and sustainable energy sources, as well as inspiring new generations of researchers. The award is a demonstration of the importance that Eni  gives to scientific research and sustainability.