On May 9, 2023, in the presence of Ms. Liesje Schreinemacher, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, 14 organizations from Australia, Brazil, Chile, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands signed a partnership to jointly accelerate hydrogen innovation.
The world needs smart solutions to meet current climate challenges and hydrogen is a crucial technology to enable widespread application of renewable energy like wind and solar energy. Still the application of hydrogen has many challenges, like for example offshore wind had 20 years ago. It is still very expensive to produce, it uses a lot of clean drinking water, which is scarce in more and more regions and transportation is still a challenge. Despite the challenges, global collaboration is limited; a missed opportunity, according to founder of the initiative Mare Straetmans. “By sharing insights and best practices, we can tackle climate change faster; this is why we are building a global innovation & knowledge sharing network for hydrogen”.
Leading universities, innovation hubs and ports from around the world, together with Platform Zero, the Port of Rotterdam and City of Rotterdam, initiated this global initiative to build a network of innovation leaders that share the same ambition: to make impact for the hydrogen economy.
They join forces to share research and new technologies on the one hand, and to scale new business models (startups and scaleups) in hydrogen on the other hand. A startup that developed a technology to produce hydrogen from brackish water, instead of clean drinking water, be just as relevant for the industry in Australia as it is for the industry in Rotterdam. On top of this, it is helping the startup to scale its business around the globe. At the same time a university in the Netherlands researched potential global supply chains for hydrogen, which is relevant as well for the ecosystems in Chile, Australia, and Portugal.
Earlier this week multiple corporates, like bp, HyCC, Battolyser Systems and Siemens Energy from the hydrogen sector, joined the Industry Round Table, initiated by Platform Zero. This round table was organized to bring together representatives of this industry to define the main bottlenecks in the hydrogen field. The result is an innovation roadmap, which forms input for the network of universities, innovation hubs and ports. This helps the network focus on innovation that the industry needs.
Besides focusing on sharing information and startups, the initiator of this global network hopes that it brings even more impact. Mare Straetmans, founder Platform Zero: “obviously it would be great if this network accelerates international cooperation. We hope that organizations joining this network, meet each other, share knowledge and from that start to engage in research and startup projects together. This would really “unlock” the potential of this global network to the fullest extent”.
IMAGE (above): Picture from the World Hydrogen Summit (held on May 9-11, 2023) taken after the 14 organizations signed the agreement to jointly accelerate hydrogen innovation. Taken on May 9, 2023. Credit: Sustainable Energy Council (SEC)/World Hydrogen Summit 2023(WHS 2023).