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Queen Recognises CEO of Europe's Main Climate Innovation Initiative with OBE

The Chief Executive Officer of the EU's main climate innovation initiative has been awarded an OBE for services to scientific research and innovation by Queen Elizabeth II.

London, United Kingdom, January 10, 2014 --( Mary Ritter, Chief Executive Officer of the EU’s main climate innovation initiative Climate-KIC, has been awarded an OBE for services to scientific research and innovation by Queen Elizabeth II.

“I am highly honoured and absolutely thrilled,” said Mary Ritter. “While the OBE is a personal award, it is also a recognition of all those who have worked with me throughout my scientific research career and made it all possible.”

The British monarch appoints new members of the Order of the British Empire, on the advice of the UK government. Professor Ritter was appointed Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

In the three years that Mary Ritter has been at the helm, Climate-KIC has grown from a membership of 15 institutions with a €6 million budget, to a community of over 200 partners across Europe from business, academia and the public sector, with a budget of more than €70 million for 2014.

Leading Climate-KIC
“The citation is for ‘Services to Scientific Research and Innovation’ and in the context of innovation, although I have been a serial entrepreneur within the academic context, I am particularly proud of my most recent, and biggest, challenge – leading Climate-KIC.”

Before joining Climate-KIC, Professor Ritter’s research focused on how the immune system develops in the fetus and how it declines in elderly people. She also developed new research products, established new postgraduate programmes at Imperial College London, launched the College’s first Graduate School and played a key role in the establishment of the joint Imperial-NTU Lee Kong Chian medical school in Singapore. As Pro-Rector, she oversaw Postgraduate Affairs at Imperial from 2004 to 2007 and International Affairs from 2005 to 2011.

“It is a great honour to be recognised for my contribution, alongside that of the whole Climate-KIC team, to one of the major challenges facing mankind.”

Innovation partnership
Climate-KIC is the EU’s main climate innovation initiative. It is Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership focused on mitigating and adapting to climate change. Climate-KIC consists of companies, academic institutions and the public sector.

The organisation has its headquarters in London, UK, and leverages its centres across Europe to support start-up companies, to bring together partners on innovation projects and to educate students to bring about a connected, creative transformation of knowledge and ideas into products and services that help mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Climate-KIC currently has centres in France, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK and is represented in the regions of Valencia, Central Hungary, Emilia Romagna, Lower Silesia, Hessen and the West Midlands.

Climate-KIC is one of the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) created in 2010 by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), the EU body tasked with creating sustainable European growth while dealing with the global challenges of our time.
Contact Information
Angela Howarth, Head of Communications
+44 (0) 20 7492 1972

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