During the high-level One Planet Summit in Paris on December 12, the European Commission launched a competition on artificial photosynthesis. The €5 million award will go to the best prototype that produces sustainable fuel by combining sunlight, water and carbon from the air.
EU Research, Science and Innovation Commissioner Carlos Moedas noted that Europe is the world leader in innovative clean energy solutions that help tackle climate change. “This new prize and other EIC Horizon Prizes will move these efforts up a gear by challenging bright minds to think outside the box and come up with novel technologies that improve our daily lives and help protect the planet,” Moedas said.
Artificial photosynthesis, considered one of the most promising breakthrough technologies for producing clean energy, mimics the process of natural photosynthesis. Once fully developed, this technology will provide sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels for a range of applications in industry, housing and transport. Overall, the EU will invest €2.2 billion during the next three years in developing sustainable clean energy technologies under Horizon 2020. These investments will focus on four interrelated areas: renewables, energy efficient buildings, electro-mobility and storage solutions, including €200 million to support the development and production in Europe of the next generation of electric batteries. The prize is the second of six European Innovation Council (EIC) Horizon Prizes and is run under Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme.