Net-Zero Industries Mission

Our goal is to catalyse the development and demonstration of cost competitive solutions for the efficient decarbonisation of hard-to-abate energy intensive industries worldwide by 2030.

Heavy industries like steel, cement, and chemicals, require extremely high temperatures and use massive amounts of energy. These sectors also encounter high investment costs for process equipment with long payback periods and a lifetime of more than 20 years. Unlocking emissions reductions at the end of their next refurbishment cycles could prevent nearly 60Gt CO2 and help put industrial sectors on a pathway to net zero emissions by 2050.


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  • Austria Flag Austria


Research, development and demonstration are critical to validate innovative industrial processes and technologies that enable radical emissions reductions at lowest costs.


Priority innovation topics include:

process optimisation & efficiency improvement,

fuel & feedstock switch,

electrification of end use activities,

carbon capture utilisation & storage,

digitalisation and flexibilisation,

sector coupling and circular economy.


The work of the Mission is organised into three pillars, each playing a pivotal role in the Mission goals for 2030.

Underpinning R&D

Underpinning R&D to fast-track new and radical breakthrough technologies to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 supporting the next generational investments beyond 2030 to decarbonise industry. Supporting the mitigation and resolution of new technical risks discovered in pioneering demonstration projects.

Innovation priorities:

  • Process optimisation and energy efficiency e.g. additive manufacturing; sensors; measurement and control technology.
  • Fuel and feedstock switch, including use of clean hydrogen in plasma reduction or direct ore reduction.
  • Electrification of end use activities e.g. iron ore electrolysis; electrification of kilns; sintering and ovens.
  • Carbon capture utilisation & storage (CCUS) including energy-efficient separation; O₂-generation and (in-plant) use of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Digitalisation & flexibilisation e,g. process control and automation; temperature upgrade of excess heat.
  • Circular economy and sector coupling including industrial symbiosis; demand-side response; chemical recycling.

Enabling conditions

Overcoming technical and non-technological barriers to create the enabling conditions for demonstration projects designed and conducted as part of this mission with the aim of replication around the world.

Innovation priorities:

  • Develop and strengthen the policy framework through sharing of good practices on R&I policy, regulatory frameworks or market incentives.
  • Elaborate definitions, methodologies and reporting guidelines to assess net-zero industrial production.
  • Develop roadmaps for infrastructure transition (including clean hydrogen, green electricity and CO2 transport and storage) enabling decarbonisation of industry.

Technology demonstrations

Realising a portfolio of at least 50 large-scale demonstration projects in energy intensive industry and mobilising private finance, including public-private partnerships.

Innovation priorities:

  • Scaling up first-of-a-kind demonstrations plants from pilot scale to commercial or semi-commercial scale.
  • Mitigating the investment risks associated with demonstrating them at scale.
  • International co-operation to facilitate better use of resources while preserving Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).

The Sprints

2024 Net Zero Industries Award

The 2024 NZI Award is the first global competition for outstanding work on industrial decarbonisation. It recognizes the extraordinary efforts made by individuals and organizations in three distinct categories: Projects and Solutions, Young Talents and Female Innovators.

Net-Zero Industries Mission Page