Last month we had the honour of hosting a two-hour session with Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President of the European Commission, at the World Hydrogen Summit in Rotterdam, in the presence of executives from the Rotterdam municipality, including Vice Mayor Simons, Petra de Groene, and provincial leadership. In addition to showcasing the Platform Zero mission, we arranged a program to exhibit Rotterdam’s significance as the leading hydrogen cluster in Europe, and highlight the crucial role of scaling climate tech in tackling climate change. This session was part of a larger initiative to bring industry, scaleups, universities, and leading politicians together during the World Hydrogen Summit.
During his time as Vice President, Frans Timmermans has been a strong advocate for tackling climate change and played a crucial role in the European Green Deal, an ambitious initiative aimed at making Europe the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and achieving a 55% net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 compared to 1990 levels. Europe wants to achieve this by focusing on clean, reliable, and affordable energy, transitioning to a circular economy, sustainable transport, sustainable farming, preserving biodiversity, and energy efficient housing.
During the session three presentations were given that represent a typical venture growth path as highlighted in the image. The first presentation, by “Convergence”, a collaboration between TU Delft, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Erasmus MC, emphasised the importance of knowledge, research, and development for the innovation ecosystem. These knowledge institutes form the first phase of the venture growth path: the ideation phase. The second phase encompasses testing the ideas and products. To stimulate innovative hydrogen technologies, world class testing facilities are of great importance. The launch of the H2Makers platform portrayed this necessity. Finally, Platform Zero represented the third and fourth phase of the venture growth path i.e., business model scaling. With this presentation Platform Zero reiterated the focus needed on creating business models (startups) and scaling these business models (scaleups). Furthermore, Platform Zero emphasised the crucial role funding plays in closing the scaling gap especially in the field of hydrogen.
All parties underlined the crucial role Rotterdam will play in the hydrogen ecosystem. H2Makers gave prominence to Future Proof Shipping as the first inland container vessel fully on green hydrogen. Whereas Platform Zero showcased Hardt Hyperloop, Zepp.solutions, and Wattlab as remarkable scale-ups the region has to offer. The session ended with a visit to the Battolyser Systems office, the next-gen electrolyser. Battolyser Systems perfectly accentuates retaining the right to play in the electrolyser market. Together the three, Convergence, H2Makers, and Platform Zero, act as the facilitators for the development of innovations in the hydrogen ecosystem in Rotterdam. During the session Frans Timmermans expressed how important the Rotterdam ecosystem will be for the acceptance of hydrogen in Europe: “I have an interest in showing that it is possible here, so that we can scale up and stimulate it in other countries”
Timmermans also pointed out how cooperation between all parties is a prerequisite for hydrogen to succeed. Developing the hydrogen value chain, from production, transportation, storage to application, is also a global challenge. Therefore we believe that international cooperation is the core of the solution for the development of hydrogen. The industry roundtable and the international partnership enforces this statement at Platform Zero. Therefore we are excited about the invitation of Frans Timmermans to come with the delegation to Brussels where we can share our latest industry findings.For more information on these topics, please visit: www.platformzero.co
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