2023 Net-Zero Industries Award



Update: Net-Zero Industries Award 2023, the first global competition for industrial decarbonisation, is officially closed for submissions. We are grateful for the positive response and the large number of submissions we received! With almost 70 submissions from 16 countries, it is clear that the decarbonisation of heavy industry has begun!  Currently, the expert jury is carefully reviewing each entry. Stay tuned to learn more about the winners and their inspiring efforts! The expert jury is reviewing each entry and we can’t wait to showcase the incredible contributions being made toward a sustainable future. Stay tuned for updates on the winners and their inspirational efforts!


The Mission Innovation Net-Zero Industries Award 2023 honors the world’s best innovations for industrial decarbonization.

As energy intensive industries are responsible for around 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions, RD&D over the next decade will be critical to develop and validate innovative industrial processes and technologies that enable radical emissions reductions at lowest costs. There is a need to accelerate the development of key technologies to become commercially available no later than 2030, to ensure that they can be taken up in the market in time for the next 25-year refurbishment cycle. Therefore, we have created these awards for “Innovations in Net-Zero Industries”.


The 2023 MI NZI Award recognizes the extraordinary efforts made by individuals and organizations in three distinct categories.

The first category is Outstanding Projects. We are seeking projects that revolutionize industries, disrupt the status quo, and set new benchmarks for decarbonisation in energy intensive industries.

The second category is Female Innovators. Women play a pivotal role in shaping our society and have an immense potential to lead the change towards a net-zero future. We want to honor exemplary women who have broken barriers, shattered glass ceilings, and are driving change in industries. Your contributions are invaluable, and this is your moment to be acknowledged for your remarkable achievements.

Last but certainly not least, we have the Young Talents category. We firmly believe that the power to drive change lies within our young minds, brimming with fresh ideas and unwavering determination. We want to celebrate the young trailblazers, the visionaries of tomorrow, who are already making remarkable strides towards a sustainable world. If you are a young professional or a student, this is your opportunity to be recognized as a driving force in the fight for industrial deep decarbonization.


Submissions in all categories must address the decarbonisation of heavy industry in the iron & steel, cement & lime, chemical & refining or other energy-intensive and hard-to-abate sectors.

In the Outstanding Projects category, we accept submissions from companies, research institutes, universities, and project consortia on implemented projects and projects with secured funding, inspiring pilot projects and research work. This includes all technology readiness levels, from initial lab tests to prototypes to demonstrations and solutions available to consumers.

The Female Innovators category is open to women in all their diversity. We accept submissions from individuals. It is about their performance, not that of their employer or company. The award recognises women working on breakthrough innovations to decarbonise heavy industry and it celebrates those women innovators who are making a difference through their work, whether in research, corporate leadership, public administration, or an international initiative.

In the Young Talents category, we accept submissions of scientific works (e.g. thesis, dissertation, journal article, scientific publication) with thematic relevance for the above-mentioned sectors. Participation is limited to individuals who are not older than 35 years (=the age of 36 must not be reached by 31st of December 2023).


Eligible applications will be evaluated against the following award criteria:

  • Breakthrough innovation – the project/solution or work of the applicant is pioneering a breakthrough and disruptive innovation for the decarbonization of heavy industries.
  • Impact – the submission addresses a real need or challenge and contributes to enabling radical emissions reduction in heavy industries at lowest costs.
  • Scientific excellence and overall quality of content
  • Inspiration– the application/ the applicant is a role model and or frontrunner, who inspires others [only applicable for the category “Female Innovators”]


Submission is open from 21st of July 2023 to 30 September 2023 at 24:00 CET.

Applications must contain all the required information and supporting documents:

  • Online user account and Application — administrative information about the applicant to be filled in directly online in the online submission portal
  • Application Form —technical description of the submission. To be downloaded from this website (see above), completed and re-uploaded to the online submission portal
  • Annexes – Applicants can support their application with additional documents to be uploaded in the submission portal (details on the mandatory and optional attachments for each category are to be found in the application forms)


After the evaluation of all submissions by a qualified jury of experts, we will get in touch with all applicants to notify them about the results.

The winners in each category of the 2023 Net-Zero Industries Award will be announced in a ceremony at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) 30 Nov – 12 Dec 2023, Expo City Dubai. Winners will be notified 3-4 weeks before the beginning of COP28.


Participating projects get the opportunity to be presented in the MI NZI Knowledge Management Platform.


The best project submission of each MI Net-Zero Industries Member State will be awarded: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Finland, Germany, the Republic of Korea, the UK and the US. MI Net-Zero Industries wants to give as many as possible the opportunity to present their outstanding innovations in their country.


For more information, please contact us: Net Zero Industries Mission Secretariat, Catrin Haider T +43 50550-6095 | E-Mail:

You can also follow us on social media with the hashtag #MINZIaward



Find out more about the Net-Zero Industries Mission.



The Co-leads: This Mission is co-led by Austria and Australia

  • Australia: Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water
  • Austria: Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology


Core Mission Members:

  • Canada, Natural Resources Canada
  • China, Ministry of Science and Technology
  • European Commission, DG Research and Innovation
  • Finland, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
  • Germany, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action
  • Republic of Korea, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy
  • United Kingdom, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy


Mission Support Group:

  • The United States, Department of Energy


Key Mission Sponsors and Partners:

  • Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)
  • Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT)
  • Clean Energy Ministerial Industrial Deep Decarbonisation Initiative (IDDI)
  • Heavy Industry Low-carbon Transition Cooperative Research Centre (HILT CRC)
  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) Technology Collaboration Programme on Industrial Energy-related Technologies and Systems (IEA IETS)
  • The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
  • The Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT)
  • Mission Possible Partnership (MPP)
  • United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
  • World Economic Forum (WEF)
  • World Steel Association (worldsteel)
  • Worley


Mission Director:

Elvira Lutter, Program Manager at the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund

Global Mission Coordinator:

Dr. Alan Monaghan, Senior Vice President – Technology and Expert Solutions at Worley



The Net-Zero Industries Mission is focused on unlocking emission reductions through demonstrations and cooperation across energy intensive and hard-to-abate industries such as steel, cement, chemicals and refining.

Net-zero emissions is a global challenge. Innovation will be most effective if countries are able to share some of the high development and investment risks. The Mission is:

  • Increasing, connecting and helping to align both national and multinational RD&D efforts into a challenge driven initiative
  • Driving novel technology cooperation to reduce time to market
  • Joining forces with existing networks, organisations and platforms to raise awareness, alignment, and create knowledge and confidence in the use of innovative solutions.


The Heavy Industry Challenge

Energy intensive industries are responsible for around 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Research and Development, Demonstration and Deployment (RDD&D) over the next decade is critical for industry to develop and validate industrial processes and technologies that enable radical emissions reductions at lowest costs.

Current investment from industry is falling behind the rate of change required to meet global emission targets for 2030, let alone 2050.

Immediate action is required if we are to make a positive change in industry understanding, confidence and investability of decarbonisation technologies in time for 2030.



Together the actions of Mission members and partners will ensure that key technical solutions are developed and demonstrated by 2030, to enable an effective and efficient decarbonisation of energy intensive industries by 2050, across multiple regions of the world.

Together, the members have:

  • Developed a joint roadmap and Mission Action Plan: members agreed on the joint roadmap and worked together to publish an Action Plan that outlines the national and international effort needed over the next decade to achieve the Mission’s goal.


In addition, each member commits to:

  • Work within one or more pillar areas: nominate focus areas to provide insights, resources, and project examples to add to the collective knowledge base of the Mission under an agreed knowledge sharing framework.
  • Large investments in RD&D projects (to fund demonstration projects & others): members will contribute to RD&D activities by providing funding commitments to relevant innovation areas, leveraging co-investment from the private sector.


“The development and accelerated deployment of breakthrough technologies are prerequisites for decarbonizing heavy industry and for achieving climate neutrality. I am delighted that, together with Australia as co-lead, alongside a significant number of Mission Innovation members, we will be working together to make the Net-Zero Industries Mission possible. “

Leonore Gewessler, Austrian Minister for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology


The Net-Zero Industries Mission will accelerate the development and deployment of emissions reduction technologies in industry, crucial to reaching net zero by 2050. We are excited to co-lead this Mission and work together with our international partners. Australia brings to the Mission world-leading expertise from researchers and private sector in renewable energy and industry innovation.

Chris Bowen MP,  Australian Minister for Climate Change and Energy


“To reduce emissions and fight climate change, it is imperative that we develop and deploy clean technology, especially in heavy and hard to abate industries. Through initiatives like the Net-Zero Industries Mission, we can align both national and multinational efforts to scale up emerging technologies, share best practices, and implement low-carbon solutions across our economies. I look forward to working with member countries to make real progress towards achieving our climate goals.”

 Jonathan Wilkinson, Canadian Minister of Natural Resources


“Finland has prepared sectoral climate roadmaps showing the way of various industries towards climate neutrality. Finland is committed to the Net-Zero Industries Mission.”

Mika Lintilä, Minister of Economic Affairs and Employment, Finland