Elena Bou receives the inaugural Nobel Sustainability Trust Award

Inaugural Sustainability Awards by the Nobel Sustainability Trust presented to trailblazers in the fields of energy and economics in climate change: Elena Bou of EIT InnoEnergy, awarded for ‘Outstanding Research and Development in the Field of Energy’; and Prof. Lord Nicholas Stern for ‘Leadership in Implementation of Sustainability Projects’.

Sustainability Award supported by the Nobel Sustainability Trust

The Nobel Sustainability Trust (NST) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are, for the first time, presenting the Sustainability Award supported by the Nobel Sustainability Trust for outstanding research and development work relating to sustainable energy and the economics of climate change. The awards go to Elena Bou of EIT InnoEnergy for her contribution to the promotion of sustainable energy start-ups and to Lord Nicholas Stern, Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences, for his work on economic aspects of climate change.

The prizes for 2023’s two award categories were presented on November 9, 2023, at the Nobel Sustainability Trust Summit at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in Munich. From this year forward, they will be awarded annually to individuals or institutions that have made outstanding contributions to the development and implementation of sustainable solutions for the benefit of humanity.

Sustainable use of the earth’s resources

Peter Nobel, Chairman of the NST, said: “It fills me with joy and pride that we can award the new prizes for the first time this year. After all, the future well-being of humanity and its survival depends on our sustainable use of the Earth’s resources. Supporting this has been, is, and will continue to be a major concern of our family. This will require significant intellectual and financial effort. It is the goal of the NST to support this process.”

TUM President Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann emphasised, “Sustainability and its translation into promising and marketable technologies must be the mandate of all of us. With the TUM Sustainable Futures Strategy 2030, we have set ourselves ambitious goals for a sustainable transformation. Such transformations need visible heroes. That is why I am delighted that we are now honouring two such personalities with the Nobel Sustainability Trust Award, who are visible far and wide as shining role models.”

About the awardees

Category: Outstanding Research and Development in the Field of Energy:

Elena Bou was co-founder of EIT InnoEnergy in 2010 and is its current Innovation Director. She is significantly involved in the creation and promotion of start-ups and scale-ups in the energy sector, including the financing of new companies. Acknowledging the award, Elena Bou said:

“I am honoured to receive this inaugural Nobel Sustainability Trust Award. This prize recognises the determinant roles start-ups, innovation and entrepreneurship play in the energy transition. Reaching net zero demands new ideas and approaches – it is what will truly shift the needle on the progress of sustainable energy solutions. Working at EIT InnoEnergy allows me to put this into action every day, and through my research and teaching at Esade, I hope to encourage and influence the next generation of changemakers.”

EIT InnoEnergy is a company supported by the European Institute of Technology which has supported over 500 companies in the field of sustainable energy since its inception. It focuses on energy storage, sustainable buildings and cities, renewable energy, smart grids, energy efficiency, circular economy, and transport and mobility.

Associate Professor in the Department of Operations, Innovation and Data Sciences at Esade, Elena Bou is active in research and teaching in the field of knowledge and innovation management. She holds a PhD in Management Sciences from Esade and is the author of several publications in the fields of knowledge management, collaborative innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Category: Leadership in Implementation

Professor Lord Nicholas Stern is an expert on the economics of climate change. He has been Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science since its inception in 2008 and has made an outstanding contribution to international climate policy and to promoting the transition to sustainable, inclusive, and resilient economic development over the past twenty years.

Further information

The prize winners are selected by a jury of international experts and professors from TUM, organised by the TUM Institute for Advanced Study (TUM-IAS). The prize money is a maximum of 1.3 million Swedish Crowns per year and is provided by the Nobel Sustainability Trust.