On 11 and 12 October, two representatives of the ANEMEL project attended a meeting in Brussels to connect with other experts working in green hydrogen projects, all funded by the European Innovation Council (EIC). This event marked the first-ever meeting of an EIC portfolio, a new strategy promoted by the European Commission to cross-catalyse collaboration and promote interactions between researchers in different fields.
Alongside ANEMEL, 8 other projects funded within the same EIC call presented their plans in Brussels. These included H2STEEL, PhotoSynH2, ELOBIO, DualFlow, MacGhyver, EPOCH, OPHERA, and GH2. Whereas the goal of ANEMEL is to develop new technologies to produce green hydrogen from seawater and wastewater using renewable energy and non-critical raw materials, the other projects presented different approaches to obtain hydrogen and accelerate the decarbonisation of our economy. The examples included electrocatalysis, photocatalysis, microfluidics, and even genetically engineered bacteria – all creative solutions to tackle the challenge. Soon, hydrogen could replace fossil fuels in a myriad of sectors, including transport, industrial processes, and the chemical industry – providing cleaner alternatives to manufacture fertilisers and steel.
EIC representatives explained this “experimental” meetings should soon spark collaborations across different projects. Besides research partnerships, the European Commission expects join ventures in dissemination and exploitation, which could contribute to scale up hydrogen production and infrastructure in the EU, as an important part of the common strategy for energy system integration. Overall, hydrogen could provide an additional tool towards an affordable, secure and sustainable energy landscape in Europe.
“It was a fantastic opportunity to meet other colleagues and discover the diverse ways they have envisioned to make green hydrogen,” explains Pau Farràs, the coordinator of ANEMEL, based at the University of Galway, Ireland. “I’m convinced the collaborations and connections established during this meeting in Brussels will catalyse new partnerships between the projects, even beyond the duration of the EIC funding. I look forward to keeping in touch and starting our coordinated portfolio activities soon.”