Prominent maritime ports, academia & innovation hubs unite to accelerate hydrogen innovation
Prominent maritime ports, universities, and innovation hubs from Australia, Brazil, Chile, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands have joined forces in a groundbreaking initiative aimed at expediting innovation for green hydrogen.
Spearheaded by the Port of Rotterdam, Newcastle, O Complexo do Pecém, and the Port of Sines, this collaborative effort signifies a pivotal step towards sustainable energy solutions in the maritime sector.
Named the Platform Zero Global Partnership for Hydrogen Innovation, the initiative is a collaborative global partnership aimed at supporting hydrogen innovation.
Representatives of 14 organizations, innovation hubs, and universities constituting the partnership signed a Memorandum of Understanding on May 9, in Rotterdam, under the supervision of the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, Ms. Liesje Schreinemacher, to accelerate the renewable energy transition with Platform Zero, Port of Rotterdam, and the City of Rotterdam.
The participating ports, renowned for their pivotal roles in international maritime trade, have recognized the urgency to mitigate the environmental impact of the shipping industry. As the world’s largest hydrogen production hub, the Port of Rotterdam has taken the lead in fostering a global alliance to accelerate the development and adoption of green hydrogen technologies.
“We are delighted to be collaborating with such a strong cohort of leaders in this space and to be a leading voice for our sector and region as the only Australian Port represented among these global energy industry enablers,” Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody said.
“This partnership is another milestone of our diversification strategy. It puts Port of Newcastle at the table alongside like-minded global leaders in the sector, enabling us to work together to develop and scale innovative hydrogen technologies and overcome key bottlenecks to enable the hydrogen and clean energy transition and trade pathways.
“As we work to bring our Clean Energy Precinct to reality, the benefits of this virtual global innovation hub will be exponential, allowing our port and region to learn from international ports, researchers and clean energy producers, whilst contributing to the development of the Innovation Road Map that will enable a global hydrogen economy,” he added.
Port of Newcastle’s Chief Commercial Officer Simon Byrnes said that partnerships like these will be key to the future enablement of a scalable clean energy trade pathway at Port of Newcastle.
“Within the Platform Zero partnership, universities will contribute through developing the relevant new technologies and solutions, where Ports, like Port of Newcastle, and innovation hubs, will develop infrastructure to support storage, transportation and scaling of innovative hydrogen technologies that enable the clean energy transition,” he added.
The partnership is expected to remove the current hurdles in creation of a hydrogen society such as high production cost, high utilization of drinking water which is scarce along with its transportation which remains a challenge. Therefore, there is a greater need for collaboration in this field.
These alliances aim to achieve two key objectives: sharing research and new technologies while also scaling new business models, particularly startups and scaleups, in the field of hydrogen. For instance, a startup that has developed a technology to produce hydrogen from brackish water, rather than clean drinking water, holds equal relevance for both the Australian and Rotterdam industries. This collaboration further assists the startup in expanding its business globally.
Simultaneously, a Dutch university has conducted research on potential global supply chains for hydrogen. This research holds significant relevance for ecosystems in Chile, Australia, and Portugal, contributing to the overall advancement of hydrogen initiatives in these regions.
“Australia is a critical partner in the development of a green hydrogen economy. By sharing knowledge and best practices on innovation ecosystems for hydrogen, these ten organisations from around the world will share, scale and support hydrogen innovation and each contribute to the global acceleration of this economy,’” Platform Zero founder Mare Straetmans said.
“By sharing insights and best practices, we can tackle climate change faster; this is why we are building a global innovation & knowledge sharing network for hydrogen.”
With further membership expected in the future, the 10 companies to date who have signed the partnership agreement alongside Port of Newcastle are Port of Rotterdam, HunterNet Newcastle, Newcastle Institute for Energy and Reseources (NIER), Erasmus University Rotterdam, Imperial College of London, Complexo do Pecem, Gemeente Rotterdam and Wicked Acceleration Labs.