Plug and Play establishes startup accelerator with focus on hydrogen

Plug & Play Tech Center has unveiled the H2 StartUp Accelerator Program, a brand-new initiative centered solely on hydrogen. With the backing of Fraunhofer ISE and Fraunhofer FOKUS, Fraunhofer Hamburg is launching one of the world’s first hydrogen-centric startup accelerator programs.

The global expansion of the new hydrogen economy is accelerating. Increasing numbers of nations are adopting national hydrogen plans and forming collaborations on hydrogen-related projects. These partnerships are essential to realize the hydrogen revolution’s potential. Building and expanding the value chain necessitates collaboration between policymakers, entrepreneurs, businesses, and investors.

The H2 StartUp Accelerator Program stimulates the discourse and collaboration required to expedite the establishment of a hydrogen ecosystem in Europe and other countries.

“Join us and other change-seeking stakeholders in establishing an innovative hydrogen ecosystem in Europe and beyond… There will be up to two batches per year in which we pair the most innovative enterprises with the top startups in the globe. The program will feature networking, events, mentoring for startups, and possible investment opportunities “Sallar Faridi, the Director of Plug and Play in Hamburg, states: The worldwide innovation platform Plug and Play is an environment for pioneering startups that connects them to world-leading corporations for the co-development of ideas and future technologies.

The Fraunhofer Institutes for Solar Energy Systems ISE and Open Communication Systems FOKUS provide support for the platform in the fields of hydrogen technologies and energy transition, digital transformation, and innovation management. The primary responsibility of the science partners is to thoroughly evaluate the submitted business ideas and to identify and close technology gaps with the pilot project partners.

“The H2 StartUp Accelerator is a crucial component for making breakthrough technology practical and a fantastic chance for startups to enhance their products and business models. As Fraunhofer Institutes, we are pleased to support and promote this forward-thinking effort using our extensive scientific knowledge and experience. A carbon-free economy will have one of its supporting pillars comprised of green hydrogen, which is now one of the most intriguing research fields. Therefore, we are confident that this new initiative will afford startups, businesses, and society with extraordinary chances “says Henrik Czernomoriez, Head of Innovation Management, Fraunhofer FOKUS.

Shell and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) as beginning partners, along with founding members City of Hamburg and Phillips 66/JET, began production on April 8, 2022.

“In the realm of hydrogen, the next ten to twenty years will be quite interesting and offer several chances to young individuals with entrepreneurial, technological, and scientific expertise. In this regard, the H2 StartUp Accelerator will be an effort that brings together innovative and intriguing startups in the hydrogen industry. For the energy transition to be successful, fresh and original solutions are required “says Fabian Ziegler, the German CEO of Shell.

The objective of the program is to bring together hydrogen-related entrepreneurs from around the world with partner corporations and other stakeholders for the purpose of testing and introducing technologies cooperatively. The objective is to establish an open innovation and startup ecosystem connecting northern Germany and Europe to the global hydrogen economy. The platform serves as an interface between research, industry, and other institutions, as well as a hub for the growth of entrepreneurs and their technology.

Neva Espinoza, EPRI’s Vice President of Energy Supply and Low-Carbon Resources, states: “Accelerating the implementation of low-carbon and hydrogen technologies is crucial to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. EPRI anticipates collaborating with the European startup community to address carbon reduction in the economy.”

The platform is supported by seasoned industry partners who collaborate with these companies in a range of sectors in accordance with their own hydrogen goals. In addition to their sector expertise, the following companies offer access to the infrastructure required for testing, piloting, and scaling new technologies in the following areas:

  • Transport
  • H2-fueled combustion
  • Fuel cell application
  • storage
  • CO2 capture
  • compression
  • Production
  • Solid oxide electrolysis
  • Alkaline electrolysis, etc.

“We are ecstatic that Plug and Play, along with internationally recognized organizations like as Fraunhofer, EPRI, and Shell, have chosen Hamburg as the home for the new H2 StartUpAccelerator. With the aim of constructing the infrastructure for a green hydrogen economy by 2030, Hamburg is a global leader in this emerging technology. Hamburg is the ideal location for developing new business models for sustainably produced hydrogen due to its concentration of expertise along the entire value chain and proximity to the most productive renewable energy regions “Senator for Economics and Innovation in Hamburg, Michael Westhagemann, says.

Nedim Husomanovic

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