Trust, not just the essential ingredient in any relationship but an essential pre-requisite for a successful collaboration was the main theme of the 3rd International Conference Hydrogen Ecosystem North Adriatic, which took place on May 23, 2023 in Villa Vipolže, Slovenia. Building it, maintaining it and acting on it!
Trust was demonstrated by the leaders of the three political institutions when they signed a letter of intent, paving the way to the development if the North Adriatic Hydrogen Valley, the first transnational initiative of its kind.
Trust was the cornerstone of the Joint Working Group, appointed by the political institutions to develop the initiative, as it built the consensus, broadened to include all stakeholders in the quadruple helix (Government, Research, Industry and Society) and laid the foundations for a lasting collaboration with a truly transnational governance.
Trust was the glue that held together the partnership, led by Holding Slovenske Elektrarne (HSE), as the partners worked together to prepare the winning project which the Clean Hydrogen Partnership rewarded not just with a positive evaluation and a grant of €25M but the status of Flagship Project.
“Innovations, Technologies and Partnership in Action for a Clean Energy Future”, sums up the content of the conference, which brought together industry leaders, universities and research institutes plus government representatives and stakeholders from the communities they serve to review progress to date and lay out the roadmap for the future evolution of the North Adriatic Hydrogen Ecosystem.
In this industry-led initiative it was significant that the scene was set by the representatives of industry institutions in the three territories who laid out their vision of a future low-carbon economy characterised by visionary companies developing ground-breaking technologies to transform the daily lives of their customers bringing well-being and satisfaction for all while at the same time providing new job opportunities and a massive boost to the economic development of the territories. They indicated industries willingness to invest in this bright future and called upon the political establishment to support them.
This political commitment was not long in arriving as the next to take the stage were the representatives of the political establishment, who once again re-confirmed their commitment to developing the North Adriatic Hydrogen Valley into a fully functioning ecosystem and an exemplar of the hydrogen economy. They not only reaffirmed their commitment to the principles outlined in the previous letter of intent but also indicated their increased determination to together lead the macro-region to become an exemplar of the hydrogen economy for the rest of Europe and the world. They revealed some of the financial support already being provided and committed themselves to continuing to listen to industry and to working together to meet the challenges of the energy transition and turn necessity into opportunity.
We heard about the transnational cooperation and cross-regional dimension of the North Adriatic Hydrogen Valley and how its nascent cases can draw on best practices from across Europe to become one of the regional hydrogen ecosystems that drive Repower EU.
We heard about the successful launch of H2STUDENT, the incredible education programme that has already brough 5000 young people into the hydrogen community and will soon be embarking on a tour of the Middle East and North Africa culminating in the United Arab Emirates as part of COP28.
We heard about Research, Innovation and Investments and how a nexus of innovation pathways led by visionaries is defining the ecosystem.
We took a deep dive into some of the ground-breaking research taking place and got up close and personal with some of the sectors which the Hydrogen economy is already transforming, including Clean Transport, Hard to abate sectors like steel and cement and some of the future clean technology applications as well as the evolution of the logistics and transmission of hydrogen.
Closing the conference Stephen Taylor, the North Adriatic Hydrogen Valley Joint Working Group’s Strategic Coordinator joined Bart Biebuyck, Former Executive Director, Clean Hydrogen Partnership Joint Undertaking, EU Commission, and Aleksander Gerbec, Director of Ecubes who reminded the audience that this all started as a dream which grew into a discussion and became a movement that is now unstoppable, all because of trust.
Now we must build on that trust and move forward with immediate action, and industry in the region is already poised to begin the largescale investments that the energy transition will require.
Together we will now make that dream a reality!
To read the full article visit: https://ecubes.si/3rd-international-conference-hydrogen-ecosystem-north-adriatic-2023/