Announcement Breakthrough Energy Announces New Fellows Program to Harness Early-Stage Climate Tech Innovations

The inaugural Fellows cohort will receive multifaceted support needed to help bring their climate innovations from the lab to widespread adoption.

Today, Breakthrough Energy announced the first cohort of its new Fellows Program, as part of the organization’s goal to support the development and adoption of climate technologies the world needs to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

BE Fellows is the latest program announced by Breakthrough Energy, the network founded by Bill Gates, and will provide innovators from across the globe with funding, mentorship, education, and access to the Breakthrough Energy network with the aim of accelerating these new technologies’ path from early development to widespread deployment.

Recognizing that the world can’t reach net-zero emissions by 2050 with existing technologies alone, BE Fellows fills a critical gap in the innovation ecosystem by providing essential resources to traditionally under-resourced innovators in the nascent stages of commercializing clean technologies. The Fellows program works with scientists, engineers, business experts, and teams behind groundbreaking climate innovations to provide the early funding and network of support these Fellows need to meaningfully advance their climate solutions.

One way we can avoid a climate disaster is by supporting the next generation of innovators to work even faster and smarter than ever. These new leaders will help accelerate the process of innovation so we’re inventing with intention, building new businesses and products faster, and bringing costs down sooner so the whole world can afford the climate-smart technologies we need.

Bill Gates Founder, Breakthrough Energy

The Breakthrough Energy Fellows program focuses its support on innovations across Breakthrough Energy’s Five Grand Challenges. The inaugural 2021 Fellows cohort consists of innovators working in steel, cement, hydrogen, fertilizer, and electrofuels. These technologies will be critical to decarbonizing high-emitting industries, including aviation, shipping, long-haul trucking, agriculture, and manufacturing steel, cement, and chemical production. The projects were selected through a competitive application process and must demonstrate and model an ability to reduce 500 million tons of carbon dioxide per year at scale.

“Climate innovators are critical players in the fight to solve the climate crisis. These brilliant minds are working every day to introduce novel technologies and disruptive approaches to a variety of industries, which will have the power to transform and reimagine our sustainable future,” said Ashley Grosh, Vice President, Breakthrough Energy Fellows. “To succeed, these leaders need a uniquely tailored set of resources, and that’s why we created the Breakthrough Energy Fellows Program. We are incredibly excited to launch this inaugural cohort and continue to find and support the world’s brightest innovators taking on our most pressing technological challenges.”

The first cohort of Fellows includes both “Innovator Fellows,” who have developed early-stage technical innovations, and “Business Fellows,” who offer diverse industry experiences that can help these technologies get to market faster. All Fellows will benefit from a unique curriculum designed by Breakthrough Energy covering a wide range of topics.

The BE Fellows Program will be opening nominations for the 2022 cohort later this year. If you would like to get involved, please submit your interest here. Details on the 2021 class are below and on our website.

2021 BE Fellows


Laureen Meroueh
Boca Raton, FL
Sector: Hydrogen

Gary Ong
Celadyne, Chicago, IL
Sector: Hydrogen

Gregory Houchins
Chement, Chicago, IL
Sector: Cement

Gurinder Nagra
Furno Materials, Palo Alto, CA
Sector: Cement

Franck Natali
Liquium, Wellington, New Zealand
Sector: Fertilizer

Dinakar Sagapuram
MetPeel, College Station, TX
Sector: Steel


Kathleen Baireuther
Business expert/advisor, Austin, TX

Robert Murphy
Business expert/advisor, Victoria, British Columbia

Michael Pambianchi
Business expert/advisor, Madison, New Jersey

Harshita Venkatesh
Business expert/advisor, Berkeley, California


Scott Blanchet
EvolOH, Chelmsford, MA
Sector: Hydrogen

Jimmy Rojas
EvolOH, Stanford, CA
Sector: Hydrogen

Bav Roy
Verne, San Francisco, CA
Sector: Hydrogen

Ted McKlveen
Verne, San Francisco, CA
Sector: Hydrogen

David Jaramillo
Verne, San Francisco, CA
Sector: Hydrogen

Sarah Lamaison
Dioxycle, Bordeaux, France
Sector: Electrofuels

David Wakerley
Dioxycle, Bordeaux, France
Sector: Electrofuels



The Breakthrough Energy Fellows Program is supported by Breakthrough Energy, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the Bezos Earth Fund. In-kind support is provided by organizations such as Siemens Energy and BHP.


Oct 19, 2021 Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Bill Gates Launch £400m Partnership to Boost Green Investment