Aachen, Germany, 25.05.2023, PresseBox - The international Hydrogen Business and Technology Forum initiated by the Institute for Plastics Processing (IKV) in Industry and Trade at RWTH Aachen University got off to a flying start. On 16 May 2023, around 50 participants from more than 20 companies jointly laid the foundation for the continuous exchange of technology and information between experts from the plastics industry and the hydrogen economy.
The first meeting of the Forum was characterized by an intensive exchange and open and transparent discussions. The breaks were used very actively to make new contacts. The companies' speed pitches at the beginning of the event made it easy to pinpoint the right contact person at once.
"This was a great event! Business cards were literally flying in during the breaks, everyone did a great deal of networking," enthuses Dr.-Ing. Kai Fischer, scientific director at the IKV and initiator of the study. "From both sides I perceived a great need to understand the systems in the different areas and with the forum we have now created the basis for a continuous exchange."
The opener of the meeting was a brief summary of the results of the jointly developed market and technology study, which is the basis for the work in the network forum. In three phases, markets, technologies and scenarios for hydrogen scale-up were examined between September 2021 and November 2022.
Member companies of the Forum then had their say in four exciting keynote lectures. As users of hydrogen technologies, TOPSOE and TOYOTA MOTOR EUROPE addressed requirements, challenges and "pain points" of components in fuel cells and electrolysis. The presentations from the plastics industry (MOCOM and Freudenberg) dealt with the testing of plastics to ensure compliance with hydrogen-specific requirements such as ion leaching.
In the concluding workshops, the future orientation of the forum was discussed and developed in small groups. Among other things, additional workshops at member companies on specific topics were mutually agreed upon. Once again, it became clear that two industries are really moving towards each other here, and that they are enthusiastically embracing the Forum's open innovation approach. Both industries showed a willingness to talk very openly about challenges and to look for joint solutions.
With the "Hydrogen Business and Technology Forum" network, the IKV is continuing its activities on the use of plastics-specific solutions in hydrogen technologies. The forum now brings together the best minds from the hydrogen and plastics industries to jointly discuss the latest trends and innovations in plastics technology and the hydrogen economy. Plastics specialists as well as system manufacturers and end users in the hydrogen economy are given the opportunity to prepare for the scale-up of hydrogen technologies at an early stage and to jointly define and develop requirements and potentials for the optimal use of plastics in the hydrogen economy.
The IKV takes on the role of network organizer and mediator, responsible for the distribution of knowledge among the actors. As part of the RWTH's hydrogen ecosystem with the H2 Future Cluster and the Center for Sustainable Hydrogen Systems, the IKV is in a unique position to transfer hydrogen as well as plastics knowledge to the forum. In addition to workshops held twice a year, the Forum offers continuous market and technology monitoring, through which Forum participants regularly receive well-founded information on the latest trends and developments. The Hydrogen Business and Technology Forum is still open for new members.