On 14 December 2015, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) awarded leading chemistry researchers from around the world with grants to support research in the field of green chemistry under a joint PhosAgro/UNESCO/IUPAC Green Chemistry for Life Grant Programme. The event took place during the 4th UN Secretary-General’s Scientific Advisory Board Meeting and the Congress of UNESCO Chairs in Saint Petersburg.
The grant award ceremony was attended by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, Secretary-General of the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO Grigory Ordzhonikidze, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Frolov, St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko, Rector of the St. Petersburg National Mineral Resources University Vladimir Litvinenko, President of IUPAC and Director of the Institute for Chemistry and Sustainable Development of the D. Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia Natalya Tarasova, Member of the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO Andrey Guryev, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences Flavia Schlegel, and IUPAC Treasurer Professor John Corish of the Trinity College Dublin School of Chemistry.
The Green Chemistry for Life programme was launched on 29 March 2013 at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France. The goal of the partnership was to support talented young scientists engaged in green chemistry projects aimed at protecting the environment, creating energy-efficient processes, and integrating environmentally-friendly technologies with innovative new ideas.
In 2015, the international scientific jury reviewed 119 applications for grants, and awarded the six best applicants: Dr. Daniele Leonori from Italy, Dr. Alexander Bissember from Australia, Dr. Natalia Quici from Argentina, Dr. Svilen Simeonov from Bulgaria, Dr. Mehdi Mohammadi from Iran, and Dr. Allan Prior from South Africa.
“In today’s world, science and basic research need as much support as they can get”, said Dr. Alexander Bissember, one of the grant recipients, from Australia. “The fact that this programme was developed specifically to support researchers from around the world at the start of their careers makes it especially useful and important. I hope that other companies follow PhosAgro’s example and start to support research aimed at developing ‘green’ chemical processes.”
“The time for green chemistry is now” said Andrey Guryev, PhosAgro CEO, “we have the opportunity to influence the future of our planet with the help of important new scientific research. I hope that every one of the laureates will be successful at developing their projects in a way that opens up new opportunities for economic growth combined with protection of the environment for future generations. Finding real-world applications for these projects, I believe, will also support global food security.” He added ”This programme is an important sign of solidarity between the mineral fertilizers industry and the scientific community, which is supported by PhosAgro’s continued active cooperation with UNESCO and IUPAC on the international Green Chemistry for Life project.”
“This program is ‘a marriage made in heaven’”, said the IUPAC Treasurer, Professor John Corish. “The three collaborating institutions are very well matched. PhosAgro very generously provides the funding. UNESCO has tremendous contacts around the world in the basic sciences and IUPAC, in which I serve, provides the essential scientific expertise.”
UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences Flavia Schlegel said: “PhosAgro, well-known for its environmental and social awareness, is the first Russian industrial company in the history of UNESCO to have proposed and sponsored an initiative to promote green chemistry. It is doing so through the PhosAgro/UNESCO/IUPAC Partnership in Green Chemistry for Life, for which it has generously provided US$ 1,400,000 for a 5-year programme of grants to be awarded for promising research projects proposed by young scientists. The programme, led by an International Scientific Jury, seeks to identify the best young researchers and help them to bring their excellent scientific ideas to fruition. The strategy of the PhosAgro/UNESCO/IUPAC Partnership in support of young scientists will without doubt bring substantial returns, which are particularly called for in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.”
For related releases and access to PhosAgro 2015 newspaper specially prepared for the event, see www.iupac.org/news/news-detail/article/green-chemistry-for-life-grants-awarded.html
©2016 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston