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Delivering Mission Innovation’s 2020 Goals


Following an inspirational Ministerial, work is underway to deliver Mission Innovation’s 2020 Goals. At MI-3 Ministers identified priorities for action including improving public-private collaboration, improving the regulatory framework to encourage innovation and showcasing successes and impact.

At the 2nd Mission Innovation Ministerial in Beijing, Ministers launched the Mission Innovation Action Plan with four goals to deliver the overall mission of accelerating clean energy innovation by 2020 through:

  1. A substantial boost in public-sector investment in clean energy R&D at the national level of MI members;
  2. Increased private sector engagement and investment in energy innovation, particularly in key Innovation Challenges;
  3. Many new or strengthened voluntary cross-border networks and partnerships on energy innovation, greater engagement from innovators, and accelerated progress in addressing specific Innovation Challenges; and
  4. Greater awareness amongst MI members and the wider clean energy community of the transformational potential of energy innovation, the progress being made, and the remaining critical clean energy innovation gaps and opportunities.

 At MI-3 members showcased significant progress towards these goals including:

  • An annual $1 million programme to support international collaborations around Innovation Challenges from the Republic of Korea.
  • $17 million allocated to Calls for Proposals by the Indian government in support of IC#3, #4 and #5 (see Clean Energy Innovation headlines for more details of the Calls for Proposals).
  • $25 million investment in smart grids from Mexico (in support of IC#1), with up to 40% of the funding available to promote international cooperation with MI member countries.

However, Ministers concluded that more work is needed and endorsed a number of collaborative activities to deliver MI’s Action Plan over the next two and a half years (“Delivering the Action Plan“).

A key theme of the Ministerial was the coupling of public and private sources of funding for maximum effect to significantly shorten time to market for new technologies and solutions. This was the focus of five public-private breakout sessions amongst Ministers and CEOs on Smart Grids, Sustainable Batteries, Heating & Cooling, CCUS and Hydrogen (read the summaries of the discussions here). MI is now exploring the creation of a Business Advisory Group to help implement the ideas discussed, producing risk profiles for technologies linked to the innovation challenges to inform new investments and testing new approaches to building public-private collaborations including an International Incubator in Clean Energy.

The Innovation Challenges have set out a number of ambitious activities to deliver over the next two and a half years, building on success to date. These include a partnership between the Smart Grids Challenge (IC1) and the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge to drive advancements in how electric vehicles interact with electricity networks (we hope we get to see the winning car at MI-4!) and an international collaborative research programme using autonomous experiments to accelerate the discovery of energy materials (IC#6).

Members also emphasised the importance of showcasing results and success stories and improving data collection to better track progress in technologies. The MI Champions program is underway to find and celebrate individuals who are accelerating the clean energy revolution, whilst the Solutions booklet will continue to showcase exciting breakthroughs from around the world.

Each of the activities set out in Delivering the MI Action Plan: 2018-2020 is dependent on the support of MI Members and collaborating organisations. What else do you think Mission Innovation should be doing to achieve its Goals? Let us know by email.