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Ernest Solvay Prize 2024 Awarded to Prof. Omar Yaghi

The Science for the Future Ernest Solvay Prize by Syensqo (previously known as the Solvay Prize) has been awarded to our founder Prof. Omar Yaghi, the James and Neeltje Tretter Chair Professor of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, in recognition of his pioneering work in reticular chemistry, the science of building chemical structures from molecular building blocks.

“I am honored to receive this prize, and I see it as recognition of the incredible teamwork and dedication of everyone who collaborated on our journey in creating new materials for the future” says Prof. Yaghi and continues: “I am passionate about exploring the limits of science to serve pressing challenges in energy, the environment, and beyond. Being recognized for it is an honor.”

Dr. Samer Taha, CEO of Atoco, comments: On behalf of the whole Atoco team (shareholders, board members and staff), I congratulate our founder, Prof. Omar Yaghi, for this prestigious and highly deserved prize for his pioneering work in reticular chemistry. We are proud and privileged at Atoco to be leading the commercialization activities of the latest reticular materials invented by Prof. Yaghi in the fields of atmospheric water harvesting and carbon capture. This prize reinforces the disruptive nature of Atoco’s technology and the transformational potential it has toward mitigating climate change.”


The “Solvay Prize” builds on the legacy of the 1911 Solvay Conference, by providing innovative solutions that help prepare for the future. Since 2013, the prize has recognized major scientific discoveries that have the potential to shape the chemistry of tomorrow and promote human progress.


Previous prize laureates include Pr. B. Feringa, Pr. C. Bertozzi and Dr. K. Karikó, who have all gone on to receive Nobel Prizes after being awarded the Solvay Prize. The laureate of this sixth edition was selected by an independent jury of renowned scientists, which also include two Nobel Prize laureates: Steven Chu, recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics, former US secretary of energy and professor at Stanford University, and Ben Feringa, recipient of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, professor at the University of Groningen, recipient of the 2015 Solvay Prize.


Dr. Ilham Kadri, CEO of Syensqo, awarding the Ernest Solvay Prize, says: “I’m proud to award Omar Yaghi this prize in the very promising field of reticular chemistry, with applications across various scientific and industrial domains – it could even make clean water accessible to everyone. Omar Yaghi is a true explorer, and his work is likely to have a tremendous impact in advancing humanity. Awarding the Science for the Future prize to a scientist like him is a perfect illustration of our purpose: of being explorers that address critical needs by pushing the limits of what can be realized.”


The Ernest Solvay Prize adds to the already very long list of more than 55 prestigious global awards and recognitions, including the VinFuture Prize in 2022; the Gregori Aminoff Prize in 2019 and the Albert Einstein World Award in 2017. See more here


The award ceremony will be held at the Palais des Académies in Brussels on March 19, 2024.

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