On 14 December 2015, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) has 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, the 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, the Rector of the St. Petersburg National Mineral Resources University Vladimir Litvinenko, the 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 at the University of Dublin.
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 form Australia, Dr. Natalia Quici form Argentina, Dr. Svilen Simeonov form Bulgaria, Dr. Mehdi Mohammadi form 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 1,400,000 US$ 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 the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.”
– PhosAgro 2015 Special Issue (8-page newspaper; pdf 2MB) prepared for the 4th UN Secretary General’s Scientific Advisory Board meeting, 14-15 December 2015, in Saint Petersburg.
– 1st call for special grants for research projects on phosphogypsum (deadline 10 May 2016)
– Green Chemistry for Life Grant Programme, 3rd call (deadline 28 Feb 2016)
– program details @ unesco.org
Awards Presentation in the Main hall of National Mineral Resources University (Mining University). From left to right: Grigory Ordzhonikidze, Secretary-General of the Russian Commission for UNESCO; Vladimir Litvinenko, Rector of the St. Petersburg National Mineral Resources University: Mohammadi Mehdi, grantee from Iran; Svilen Simeonov, grantee from Bulgaria; Pietro Tundo, chair of the IUPAC SubCommittee on Green Chemistry; Daniele Leonori, grantee from Italy; Natalia Quici, grantee from Argentina; Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General; Andrei Guryev PhosAgro CEO; Alexander Bissember, grantee from Australia; Allan Prior, grantee from South Africa; John Corish, IUPAC Treasurer; Nicole Moreau, member of the ICSU Executive Committee and IUPAC past President, and Natalia Tarasova, Director of the Institute for Chemistry and Sustainable Development of the D. Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia and IUPAC President.