The power of hydrogen: FCH JU Awards winners

Brussels, 15 November 2018

Hydrogen fuel cell technology is ready and set to power Europe’s sustainable development, it was revealed on 15 November at a high-profile Awards Ceremony in Brussels, as the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) rewarded its top projects for innovation excellence.

The 2018 Awards Ceremony is the first of the FCH JU, a public-private partnership which since 2008 has boosted industry and SME collaboration, driving research, development, deployment and market introduction of fuel cells and hydrogen technologies.

Bart Biebuyck, FCH JU Executive Director said: “It’s an exciting time to be at the helm of such a dynamic group of innovators. The technology has come on leaps and bounds. Europe is now ready and set to mainstream hydrogen and has a strong leadership position. We need to maintain that by accelerating research, scaling up and, at the same time, developing our supply chain in Europe.

“Tonight’s winners demonstrate the added value of EU’s investment in cutting-edge, innovating, hydrogen technology!” said Signe Ratso, Deputy Director General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission, who presented the Innovation Award.

Mirela Atanasiu, Head of the FCH-JU Operations and Communications Unit concluded: “The winners represent the best of hydrogen cell fuel potential. In truth, all the success stories and top three nominees deserve this award. The level of achievement is outstanding.”

This year marks FCH JU’s 10th anniversary and the partnership’s successful journey as a catalyser of projects that have enabled Europe to take a leading role in fuel cell and hydrogen technology. The Awards ceremony was followed by the FCH JU Stakeholder Forum on 16th November in Brussels.


3-D printing fuel cells to boost manufacturing

Awarded the FCH JU Innovation Prize, hydrogen fuel cell-powered 3-D printing is set to fast-track product development, boosting quality, speed and customization across industries. The Cell3ditor project successfully applied the technology to develop ‘tabletop factories’. Albert Tarancón, of Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC) said: “We proved that 3-D printing fuel cells can boost manufacturing of value-added products for the energy sector and enhance Europe’s competitiveness in the additives’ manufacturing revolution”.

Power to the people: hydrogen energy to households and small businesses

Hans Korteweg, Managing Director of COGEN Europe, received the FCH JU Success Story Award for strong results in two ground-breaking projects: ene.field and PACE. “Power to the people describes the very essence of our projects which demonstrate the value of hydrogen energy to households and businesses. Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration transforms European energy consumers into active ‘prosumers’, creating a decentralised energy system with a reduced carbon footprint, improved local air quality and lower energy bills,” said Korteweg.

The project H2FUTURE, a European flagship project for the generation of green hydrogen from electricity from renewable energy sources was honoured with a Special Mention for communications excellence in raising the visibility of fuel cells and hydrogen technology for low-carbon manufacturing.

The FCH JU Awards celebrate the most successful and innovative projects in fuel cell and hydrogen technology. All the projects demonstrate the benefits of collaboration between research, industry and policy makers in European partnership to deliver innovation and accelerate the transition to a greener world. The winners were chosen by public vote, which mobilised the European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen community around the 26 nominees – 13 for each category (success stories and innovation).

FCH JU Awards Winners

Innovation Prize: Cell3ditor project (partners IREC, 3DCERAM, PROM and DTU, leading the innovation)

The ambitious goal of the Cell3editor project is to develop ‘tabletop factories’, in the form of 3D printers which can make monolithic solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stacks with embedded functionality. This is a great opportunity to achieve product flexibility, simple design for manufacturing and slash the time-to-market, waste material and manufacturing steps (shaping and thermal treatments). In addition, lowering initial investment by an order of magnitude will open the SOFC market to new players that will boost the supply chain and generate new high-skill jobs. Cell3editor is progressing well: based on the results so far there have been three patents submitted.

Success Story Prize: Power to the People (projects ene.field and PACE)

Two FCH JU-funded projects, ene.field, and its successor - project PACE, aim to establish Europe among global leaders in fuel cell micro-cogeneration. Already, 3500 households and businesses across Europe are using fuel cell micro-cogeneration for their heating, hot water and electricity supply. Each unit is enabling active energy ‘prosumers’ (producers-consumers) that can sell excess electricity back to the grid, creating a decentralised energy system with a reduced carbon footprint, and lower energy bills. Industry is also forging business partnerships with utilities to expand the market for fuel cell micro-cogeneration, and there’s a growing community of interested installers and building professionals.

For more information about the Awards nominees, see the FCH JU Success stories

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Read the full Press Release here.