Roman Rosslenbroich
Chief Executive Officer
Co-Founder of Aquila Group

Aquila Capital Hamburg
The transformation award reflects our dedication to social responsibility and promotes academic research.


The inaugural Aquila Capital Transformation Award aims at finding breakthrough concepts and solutions that can be implemented in order to mitigate climate change. Titled "Accelerating Decarbonization in Europe", the award recognises outstanding research that focuses on applicable and unconventional solutions to combat climate change in Europe. In addition to providing financial support for research, the award focuses on cooperating with researchers to jointly assess the applicability of the researched solutions.

The award is open to young scientists worldwide whose work is directly related to sustainability, climate change and energy system transformation with a geographical focus on Europe.

The jury, consisting of Prof. Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, Director Emeritus at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Prof. Eicke R. Weber, former Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, and Prof. Yukari Takamura, Professor at the University of Tokyo at the Institute for Future Initiatives, as well as Johannes Ziegler and Miryam Colombo from Aquila Capital, will select the winners in a multi-stage selection process. 

Aquila Capital’s first “Aquila Capital Transformation Award” was awarded to Dr. Galina Churkina, a guest senior scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The jury chose the research paper “Buildings as a global carbon sink” from a large number of submissions from PhD graduates at renowned universities and research institutions worldwide.

In the view of the jury, Dr. Churkina illustrates the importance and feasibility of replacing cement, steel and other building materials with timber for mid-rise urban buildings in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the construction industry. The research paper  was chosen by  the expert jury consisting of Prof. Eicke R. Weber, former director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, and Prof. Yukari Takamura, professor at the Institute for Future Initiatives, the University of Tokyo, Prof. John Schellnhuber, Director Emeritus at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (who did not take part in the vote), as well as two managers from Aquila Capital. The submissions were evaluated by three criteria: originality, quality and impact.

The award will be announced on an annual basis and aims to provide a contribution to a more sustainable society in the context of energy transformation and decarbonisation in Europe.

Transformation Award


Interview with the winner of the 2020 Aquila Transformation Award

Are you interested in further insights into the winning research paper? Find out more in our interview with Galina Churkina and the investment managers Rolf Zarnekow (Head Investment Management Real Estate) and Jasper Renk (Investment Manager Forestry and Timber).

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