Scientists and academics see the future of research and innovation in hydrogen. It is stated in the Memorandum of Cooperation between the two universities and the Slovak Academy of Sciences.
18 September 2020, Košice - The cooperation between the two universities in Košice and the Academy will strengthen the Slovak Republic's ability to participate in global growth in the field of hydrogen development and innovation. The Memorandum also assumes that this field will gradually become one of the important elements of the acceleration of the Slovak economy.
Slovak scientists and university teachers were among the first to respond to the global trend of developing hydrogen-based technologies, where Germany is one of the main leaders. The Hydrogen Technology Research Centre will become the platform on which they want to build the country's hydrogen future. This is implied by the Memorandum of Understanding signed today in Košice by the Rector of the Technical University of Košice, Stanislav Kmeť, the President of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Pavol Šajgalík, and the Rector of the Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice, Pavol Sovák.
The centre will deal with research and development in the field of hydrogen technologies throughout the cycle, using theoretical knowledge in the design and construction of functional prototypes of technologies and equipment. It will also create conditions for the application of knowledge in social and industrial practice, as well as training and education in the fields of hydrogen technology.
The establishment of the Hydrogen Technology Research Centre (CVVT) is the first major development step in the use of hydrogen as an efficient energy carrier, the use of which creates conditions for reducing emissions in industrial practice, energy and transport. The framework for research, creation and development of solutions using hydrogen will be created by the National Hydrogen Strategy of the Slovak Republic and its action plan, which mentions specific steps, including support for CVVT activities. "A comprehensive approach to this promising field is to cover activities from basic research to applications in the form of industrial technologies, products and solutions, as these will offer positive impacts on the economy and society," said Juraj Sinay, the National Hydrogen Strategy coordinator.
The establishment of CVVT is also one of the first outcomes resulting from the conclusions of the professional conference "Hydrogen Future of Slovakia", organized by the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic in the summer in order to accelerate the assessment of hydrogen application potential and emergence of innovative partnerships for the purpose of development and application of knowledge and innovation in its use.
Based on the discussion of representatives of industry, science and public administration, it was possible to outline the first steps in the use of research and innovation potential of universities and the SAS in cooperation with innovative Slovak companies.
The Hydrogen Future of Slovakia conference of experts, organized by the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic in July, was dedicated to the establishment of the CVVT, as well as to the presentation of previous research results. The conference took place just a few days after the approval of the "Hydrogen Strategy for a Climate-neutral Europe", a strategy paper by which the European Commission supported development activities in the field of hydrogen technologies. The aim of the meeting of experts in the field of hydrogen technologies was to present the potential of the use of hydrogen and the emergence of innovative partnerships for the development and application of knowledge and innovation in its use.
Based on the discussion of representatives of industry, science and public administration, it was possible to outline the first steps in the use of research and innovation potential of the universities and the SAS in cooperation with innovative Slovak companies. "I consider hydrogen to be the energy carrier of the future. If we grasp it together, it is also a great chance for Slovakia. Hydrogen technologies are at the beginning of their cycle and their only waste product is water. This could bring Slovakia closer to the required targets of the European Commission by 2050 on carbon neutrality," says Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Richard Sulík.
Scientific research and technological progress suggest that the use of hydrogen as an efficient energy carrier offers a favourable outlook of a new cross-cutting market segment in which innovative knowledge is applied and offers answers to challenges in industry, energy and transport in the future.
"Europe has big plans for hydrogen and I am glad that Slovakia is keeping up. For example, nine Slovak entities have signed up for the newly established European Alliance for Pure Hydrogen. I hope that we will also get involved in the first call under the European Green Deal, which also opens the door to hydrogen projects. Specifically, €60 billion is available for the development of a groundbreaking 100 MW electrolyser and a demonstration of its functionality in a real industrial environment. Hydrogen can be attractive to industries that are difficult to decarbonize, such as chemical or steel industry, as well as freight, rail and river transport. I wish the nascent Centre in Košice to make Slovakia a top player in the field of hydrogen," said Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission.
Hydrogen and the Slovak Republic
In addition to the hydrogen technologies themselves throughout the cycle, including green hydrogen production, transport, storage and energy use, the development of related industrial processes, the technical and logistical potential of hydrogen infrastructure development and other, as yet unidentified, areas are also proving important.
The vision of the National Hydrogen Strategy speaks of moving Slovakia to the position of a relevant player in the future sector of hydrogen applications, including technologies with global scope, in which Slovak companies can, by using innovative knowledge close to the technological edge, acquire their own products and services competitive in global markets. With the strategic assistance of the state, the use of knowledge from domestic research and development will increase added value in several key sectors of the Slovak economy and enable the creation of sophisticated jobs and a unique position of the vehicle, technology and services industry for the energy sector and other sectors, also with regard to mitigating the effects of the corona crisis.
This vision was announced at the Hydrogen Future of Slovakia conference by the Minister of Economy, R. Sulík, just a few days after the presentation of the European Commission's strategy paper at the meeting of the European Commission on 8 July 2020, together with the related initiative to integrate various components of the energy mix for the future European Union's energy system.
Slovakia has long benefited from a high share of industrial production in the performance of the economy. In addition to multinational companies, which were a key element in the transformation of Slovak industry, it is strategically important that the new stage of development also focuses on companies with unique products developed domestically. The emerging sector of hydrogen applications will bring efficient use in the sectors of the specialized and energy engineering and energy, metallurgical and chemical industries, as well as in the mobility sector, including lorries, public road transport and rail transport.