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Chemnitz Hydrogen Research Networked Throughout Europe

Chemnitz University of Technology is a member of Europe's largest research network for hydrogen research

Chemnitz University of Technology established membership of the European Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (Hydrogen Europe - HER) in July 2020. More than 160 industrial companies, 83 research institutions and 21 national associations belong to the research network. This makes it the largest of its kind in Europe. The main contact with HER is Prof. Dr. Thomas von Unwerth (Professorship of Advanced Powertrains). With this membership, Chemnitz University of Technology is expanding its visibility in the research field of hydrogen and fuel cells on a European level and thus has the opportunity to become more involved in the European hydrogen strategy in the future and to shape and participate in major European research projects.

Chemnitz University of Technology was admitted on 2 July 2020 during a web conference held in Brussels among the members of the Executive Board. This was preceeded by the successful presentation of the H2 research achievements at Chemnitz University of Technology by Thomas von Unwerth, who was able to win the members' approval for university’s admission. "Membership in HER is a great honor and is based on our strong activities in hydrogen and fuel cell research", explains Thomas von Unwerth. As a founding member of the Saxon Innovation Cluster for Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (HZwo) with von Unwerth as Chairman of the Board, the university has also laid the foundation for a Saxon competence center for these technologies in Chemnitz. Another proof of the university’s innovative and research strength in this field is the handover of a high-performance test rig for fuel cell research in 2019.

In addition, Chemnitz University of Technology has participated in several European hydrogen projects such as MAMA-MEA, FIT-4AMANDA, CAMELOT and TAHYA. "With this, we have confirmed our ambitions to deal with hydrogen and fuel cell research in all its facets on an international level here," says von Unwerth.

Background: European Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association

The association cooperates with the European Commission within the framework of the innovation program "Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking" (FCH JU). The FCH JU is a unique public-private partnership supporting research, technological development and demonstration (RTD) activities in fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies in Europe. The aim is to accelerate the market introduction of these technologies and to exploit their potential as a tool to achieve a low-carbon energy system.The FCH JU is funded under Horizon 2020 and has a total budget of EUR 1.33 billion. It is funded on a coordinated basis between the EU represented by the European Commission, industry and research.

HER serves two main objectives: As a trade association in the classical sense, it is instrumental in promoting best practices, helping businesses to compete and formulating effective public policy. As the joint voice of industry and research, HER is given weight in discussions with policy makers. In addition, the HER is of great value for the rapid dissemination of messages about regulatory decisions and policies of its members. Furthermore, the trade association provides the necessary information and a solid network to support its members.

Multimedia: A video report (english subtitles) of the inauguration of the new fuel cell test facility is available on the university's YouTube channel.

On the Chemnitz University of Technology science podcast TUCscicast, (german article and podcast)  von Unwerth talks about the electromobility of the future and why battery technology is only an intermediate step towards the widespread use of hydrogen fuel cells.

In the video series TUCtalk (english subtitles) von Unwerth explains how a fuel cell works and whether the hydrogen for it is really so climate-friendly.

Further information is available from Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas von Unwerth, Chair of Advanced Powertrains, Phone +49 (0) 371 531-23550, E-Mail

(Author: Matthias Fejes/Translation: Chelsea Burris)

Matthias Fejes

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