Judges who have won Nobel Prizes. Winners who will go on to win Nobel Prizes. Scientific discoveries that make a big impact on the energy industry and recognition by the President of the Italian Republic. Since it began in 2008, the Eni Award has become much more than a company prize. It is now a globally significant event for applied research and technological innovation in energy.
The award ceremony of the 2022 Eni Award
The 2022 Eni Award ceremony was held on Monday 3 October. As per tradition, the event was held at the Quirinale Palace and was attended by the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella. The involvement of Italy’s highest institutional office confirms the value of this increasingly important award for Eni and the scientific community.
The award ceremony of the 2022 Eni Award at the Quirinale Palace (only italian version).
The winners of the 2022 edition
The winners of the fourteenth edition of the 2022 Eni Award have been awarded during an official ceremony held at the Quirinal Palace in the presence of the President of the Republic of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, on Monday 3 October.
The Energy Frontiers Award, one of the three main prizes, which honours the best research and innovation in the field of renewable energy sources and energy storage, has been awarded to Jens Nørskov and Ib Chorkendorff, from the Technical University of Denmark. The Advanced Environmental Solutions Award, dedicated to research on air, water and land protection and industrial site remediation, was awarded to Geoffrey Coates, from Cornell University (New York, USA). Finally, the Energy Transition Award, which celebrates the best innovations for decarbonizing the energy system, went to Naomi Halas and Peter Nordlander of Rice University (Houston, USA).
For the Young Talents from Africa section, which was established in 2017 on the 10th anniversary of the Eni Award and dedicated to young talents from the African continent, the prize was awarded to
Yousif Adam from the American University in Cairo (Egypt), Ibrahim Mohamed Ibrahim Moustafa Ibrahim from the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (Egypt), Andsera Adugna Mekonen from Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia) and Andris Metumo Simeon from the University of Cape Town (South Africa).
For the Young Researcher of the Year Award, which honours two researchers who have completed their PhDs at Italian universities, the prizes were awarded to Isabella Fiorello and Giulia Fredi.
For the Eni Innovation Award section, which selects the most revolutionary projects developed by Eni researchers and technical experts, prizes were awarded to:
- P. Biagini, R. Po' (Eni), F. Bisconti, A. Giuri, A. Rizzo and S. Colella (CNR-Nanotec, Lecce) for patenting peroskite-based semi-transparent photovoltaic cells and the process to produce them.
- G. Gatti, C. Perretta (Eni Versalis) for developing an innovative type of eSBR elastomer containing used, recycled and micronised tyres (ELT, End-of-Life Tires) to be used in the production cycle of new tyres.
- A. Chiodini, S. Loda, F. Rubertelli (Eni) were selected for developing an automatic device (e-lorec®) for recovering dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPL) from contaminated soil.
Furthermore, during the Ceremony, the “Eni Joule for Entrepreneurship” special mention was awarded to the teams:
- AraBat: early stage startup based in Foggia which, from oranges and batteries, aims to solve the problem of the supply of precious metals. It is developing a sustainable process for recycling spent lithium-ions batteries and marketing of recovered metals through an innovative system based on citrus-waste.
- Sinergy Flow: early stage startup based in Milan wich is developing a sustainable redox flow battery for energy storage on a multi-day basis. The flow cell battery uses sulfur-rich waste from the petrochemical industry, with a low installation cost and high performance.
- Ricehouse: growth stage startup based in Milan which began its journey in 2016 with the goal of creating a positive impact on society by promoting a responsible change in the architecture sector. In particular, the startup transforms byproducts of rice processing into natural materials for green building. Today it has become a benefit company and has about 15 employees.
Eni Award categories
- Energy Frontiers award: technological innovation in the field of renewable energy and related energy management and storage technologies, in the context of decarbonizing energy systems.
- Advanced Environmental Solutions award: technological innovation to foster the development of a sustainable and resilient nature within a continuously changing climate scenario, through the enhancement of nature-based solutions, and the preservation and restoration of natural capital, in order to accelerate the transition towards circular economy, bio-economy and environmentally sustainable business models, accordingly with the “One Health - Planetary Health” perspective.
- Energy Transition award: technological innovation aimed at reducing carbon footprint during the transition towards an environmentally neutral energy production system through improving energy efficiency in transport and industrial processes and promoting the use of sustainable (including from an economic viewpoint) technologies; for capturing, using and storing carbon dioxide (CCUS), together with increased energy efficiency, as a bridge to decarbonization of the energy system.
- Young Researcher of the Year award: two awards for graduates with PhD theses from Italian universities on these themes: development of a sustainable and resilient nature within a continuously changing climate scenario, through the enhancement of nature-based solutions, and the preservation and restoration of natural capital, in order to accelerate the transition towards circular economy, bio-economy and environmentally sustainable business models, accordingly with the “One Health - Planetary Health” perspective; renewable energies and energy storage; new technologies for H2 production (blue, green and turquoise hydrogen); capturing, using and storing carbon (CCUS), and energy efficiency as a bridge to decarbonization of the energy system.
- Research Debut - Young Talents from Africa award: four awards to go to graduates from African countries for a degree or master’s thesis carried out in an African university on these themes: development of a sustainable and resilient nature within a continuously changing climate scenario, through the enhancement of nature-based solutions, and the preservation and restoration of natural capital, in order to accelerate the transition towards circular economy, bio-economy and environmentally sustainable business models, accordingly with the “One Health - Planetary Health” perspective; renewable energies and energy storage; new technologies for H2 production (blue, green and turquoise hydrogen); capturing, using and storing carbon (CCUS), and energy efficiency as a bridge to decarbonization of the energy system. This category was created in 2017 on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the award.
- Eni Innovation awards (for Eni employees): three awards for ideas with the greatest potential for impact in terms of the innovation they could generate and for the best technological innovations resulting from Eni research.
The Awards’ Scientific Committee that assesses applications and awards the corresponding prizes is made up of scientists belonging to the greatest research institutes in the world. At present among its ranks Prof. Jean-Marie Lehn, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1987, and previously Robert Richardson, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1996, and the late Sir Harold Kroto, winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1996.
We also continue to promote the development of an ecosystem of sustainable innovation aligned with Eni’s mission through the Eni Joule for Entrepreneurship award, a prize we have established through Joule (Italian) our business school, which complements the Eni Award in fostering the implementation, enhancement and transfer of technologies in the field of energy transition. The award aims to promote innovative and sustainable entrepreneurship in the field of decarbonization of processes and products, circular economy, and the fight against climate change, in order to contribute to Italy's social and economic development. The announcement and regulations will be drafted in the second half of 2022 and will be officially published by February 2023.
The 2023 Eni Awards - Official announcements
Again in 2023, Eni Awards will provide: three main prizes for Energy Frontiers, Advanced Environmental Solutions and Energy Transition; awards for the Young Researcher of the Year and for Research Debut - Young Talents from Africa; Recognition of Innovation at Eni for our researchers. Transmission of applications closed on 25 November 2022.
The Award through its leading figures
This infographic is a collection of the faces of leading figures in the Eni Award, video interviews with award winners and detailed descriptions of the research conducted, which can be filtered by year and theme. The evolution of an award focused on excellence.
The 2021 edition of the Eni Award was not held due to coronavirus pandemic.
Read also about Eni's scientific research and technological innovation
Selected contents on this issue.