Medalla de Álava 2024  

This weekend (April 28), IDRIC’s Director Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer received the prestigious “Medalla de Álava” at the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Basque Country in Vitoria-Gasteiz. The medal is the highest recognition granted by the region. 

Commenting on the award, Deputy General of Álava, Ramiro González praised Prof Maroto-Valer on her “contribution to making sustainability and economic development compatible and also on becoming a reference point for the representation of women in science.”  

He further commented on her “outstanding career and contribution to the development of scientific, industrial and economic policy, and her tireless work as a worldwide ambassador of Álava’s culture and values.” 

Álava is a historical territory of the Basque Country in Spain and an area that is at the forefront of industrial decarbonisation, so the award is particularly pertinent to Prof Maroto-Valer’s dual role as Champion and Director of IDRIC as well as Deputy Principal in Global Sustainability at Heriot-Watt University. 

In his speech the Deputy General called on “each and every one of us to contribute to guaranteeing the future of the planet” with Prof Maroto-Valer emphasising that “what we do today affects future generations.” 

Prof Maroto-Valer expressed her delight at receiving the award saying “It is an honour to receive the Medalla de Álava and this recognition increases further my commitment and motivation to face new challenges. This award is also a testament to my team’s achievements, and I am very grateful to them for their outstanding dedication”. She concluded by saying that “the race towards climate neutrality is a team sport where we are all part of the solution, and ultimately, we will be remembered for our actions, not our words.”