Mission Innovation (MI) is a global initiative launched by 20 heads of state in Paris in November 2015. MI’s goal is to accelerate public and private energy innovation to address global energy challenges, make clean energy affordable to consumers, and create jobs and commercial opportunities in the energy sector. Together, the 20 founding partner countries represent 75 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from electricity and over 80 percent of the world’s clean energy research and development (R&D) investment. Over the past year, MI added three new members: the European Union, Finland, and the Netherlands.
This expert workshop is part of MI’s Clean Energy Materials Innovation Challenge, which is one of seven Innovation Challenges — technology areas where MI countries believe increased international attention would significantly accelerate the global transition to low-carbon economies.
The ultimate goal of this Innovation Challenge is to accelerate the exploration, discovery, and use of new, high-performance, low-cost clean energy materials by an order of magnitude. Participants in the Materials Challenge aim to do this by automating and/or improving each step of the innovation chain of new materials, with the goal of leveraging these to enable an integrated, end-to-end materials innovation approach or “platform.”
The Materials Challenge will benefit a wide range of energy sectors and applications. Materials discovery is a key element of the innovation cycle of energy conversion, transmission, and storage technologies—as well as energy use. Specific application areas for new materials include advanced batteries, solar cells and other functional materials, low energy semiconductors, thermal storage, coatings for various applications, and catalysts for the conversion and capture of CO2. Identifying and pursuing prime R&D opportunities will facilitate development of innovative materials and their rapid integration into clean energy applications—thus accelerating the transition to a sustainable future.
The first workshop was held in Mexico City, Sept 11-14, 2017, drawing 133 attendees, with 55 subject matter experts and 16 Mission Innovation government representatives. On January 25 in Mexico City, the Innovation Challenge released a landmark report, entitled “Materials Acceleration Platform: Accelerating Advanced Energy Materials Discovery by Integrating High-Throughput Methods with Artificial Intelligence.” The workshop and report focused on functional materials and nano-composites. During the workshop, country representatives identified the need for a follow-up workshop to assess the needs of computational development of structural materials including 3D printed materials, and an industry centric workshop to align the vision for a computational materials discovery platform with the market driven needs of industry.
MI’s Clean Energy Materials Innovation Challenge represents a collaborative effort of 17 countries and the European Commission: