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Inaugural Bangabandhu Chair Professor at AIT Joyashree Roy: Winner of 2021 Breakthrough Paradigm Award

The Breakthrough Institute has recently announced AIT’s Bangabandhu Chair Professor Joyashree Roy as the recipient of the 2021 Paradigm Award.

 

The Breakthrough Institute is a global research center based in California that identifies and promotes technological solutions to environmental and human development challenges founded in 2007. The institute’s primary roles are research, communications and network building focusing on higher levels of public funding on technology innovation to "make clean energy cheap", which they argue will lead to higher environmental quality, economic growth, and quality of life.

Each year the Breakthrough institute announces the Paradigm Award to recognize accomplishment and leadership in the effort to make the future secure, free, prosperous, and fulfilling for all the world’s inhabitants on an ecologically vibrant planet. This year the institute has recognized Prof. Joyashree Roy for her work on efficiency rebound in emerging economies which has influenced their thinking and research not only into the areas of energy efficiency but also the nature of economic growth and energy transitions as emergent phenomena. [source]

 

Trained in India, Professor Joyashree Roy is an economist with advanced training in environmental economics. She began working on energy demand modelling for the Indian energy intensive industries and started publishing with empirical evidence how Indian industries over time have adopted energy efficient technologies driven by both market forces and regulatory mechanisms. She continued to expand her work for many developing countries initially as Ford Foundation fellow and later as a visiting researcher at LBNL, Berkeley, USA. Her seminal empirical work in early 2000 on rebound effect in rural communities in India with unmet demand for energy was first published in a special issue volume of Energy Policy.

 

 

Currently as Bangabandhu Chair Professor at Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, she is focusing on challenges and opportunities for transition of Bangladesh towards sustainable energy sector. As founder advisor of two major multi-year research projects at Jadavpur University, India she is well connected with researchers from across the continents. As Professor of Economics at Jadavpur University she has long experience in designing and conducting field surveys, and developing econometric analyses of empirical investigations in adoption of energy and water technologies, technology diffusion, understanding of components of transition management for commercializing community level technology even in resource poor regions, and policy analysis in developing country context. 

 

 

She is a member of the Nobel-prize winning Panel of IPCC and has been a coordinating lead author through three cycles, and the lead author of many global, regional and national and subnational reports.  She designed and led the social placement during commercialization of ECAR technology in West Bengal in India since 2010 which was recognized by a globally recognized team award ‘5th Prince Sultan Bin Aziz award’ and Indo US Science Technology Fund (IUSSTF) award. Her work on welfare loss estimation due to exposure to arsenic contamination in drinking water through health production function approach was funded by South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE) published in Science of the Total Environment in 2008 and brought her in close contact with engineers, private industries to work towards a replicable solution. She has been successfully working with multidisciplinary teams despite her basic training in economics and advanced training in environmental economics. In small target oriented multidisciplinary research team also, she has been successfully collaborating by bringing in her niche areas of expertise. In sustainability transition studies in mobility sector she has been collaborating with other South Asian, European and South East Asian country researchers and experts.

 

 

Her research publications in the fields of Economics of Pollution,  Climate Change, Modeling energy demand, Economy-wide modeling exercises for deriving policy implications, Water quality demand modeling, Water pricing, Sustainable development, Natural resource accounting, Valuing environmental services, Developmental and environmental issues relevant for informal sectors, Coastal Ecosystem service evaluation, Bangladesh economy and energy policy are noteworthy.

 

Her work has already been recognized with the Breakthrough Institute Senior Fellowship. In her response to the announcement, Prof. Roy said, "What I value the most is the recognition for my line of thinking and philosophical position reflected in my research outputs where I try to bring out voices of Global South onto a global platform supported by my analytical rigor, sometimes it challenges the mainstream monolithic and monoculture thinking,". [source]

 

 

Past recipients of the Paradigm Award include Mark Lynas, Emma Marris, Jesse Ausubel, Ruth DeFries, David MacKay, Calestous Juma, Rachel Laudan, Stewart Brand, and Steve Rayner.

 

 

The award will be presented to Prof. Roy at the annual ‘Breakthrough Dialogue’ which will be hosted in Sausalito, California during 4th-6th August 2021. The Breakthrough Institute has been organizing ‘Breakthrough Dialogue’ since 2010 which served as a global platform for conversation between scholars, technologists, business leaders, philanthropists, and policy-makers. This year the event will be organized with the theme ‘Ecomodern Justice’ where Prof. Roy will deliver a keynote and will receive the award.