Colette Cohen OBE, the chief executive of the Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC), has announced she is set to stand down from the organisation she founded in 2017 in July 2023.
Cohen will be replaced as chief executive by Myrtle Dawes, a chartered chemical engineer, with previous experience operating as solution centre director at NZTC since 2019.
NZTC was created as part of the Aberdeen City Regional Deal with £180 million of UK and Scottish government funding and aims to maximise the energy potential of the North Sea. The Centre has co-invested more than £253 million in technologies like autonomous robotics and renewable power systems, and helped screen over 1800 new innovations, progressed 175 field trials and commercialised 33 technologies.
The Centre also supports start-ups, with 45 companies being supported by the NZTC’s TechX Pioneers programme, which has raised over £75 million in equity. In October 2022, NZTC announced £8 million of funding for 20 projects via its 2022 Open Innovation Programme.
NZTC’s chairman, Martin Gilbert said: “In an industry that is traditionally slow to change and considerably risk averse when it comes to adopting new technology, Colette had a monumental task on her hands to shape an offering from the Net Zero Technology Centre that industry would buy-in to and advocate.” Gilbert described Cohen as a “champion for diversity and inclusion” and a “formidable leader”.
Cohen said: “I have relished every minute of my nearly seven years at NZTC and am tremendously proud of the impact the Centre has made… I have built a team focused on delivery and we’ve turned our technology vision into reality, propelling technologies from development to commercialisation and making a demonstrable impact in the offshore energy sector. It’s time for me to step back, enjoy some downtime with my family and focus on my work with other Boards, accelerating the energy transition and building the next generation of female leaders.
“The energy transition and technology are two constantly moving targets and there is still so much untapped opportunity, this requires a strong proven leader and I am delighted to be handing the reins to Myrtle who will take the Centre to its next level of success.”
Myrtle Dawes is set to become chief executive in July 2023. “I am honoured to be appointed CEO at such a pivotal time for both the energy industry and NZTC, and excited to take the Centre forward and achieve even more,” Dawes said.