Academic Hydrogen Research Forum Finland established – University of Vaasa wants to promote Finnish hydrogen competence

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University of Vaasa and other central universities and research institutions in Finland have agreed on a new partnership by establishing Hydrogen Research Forum Finland. The forum promotes Finnish hydrogen competence through action plans, visions of the future and communication, representing academic operators alongside other hydrogen operators.

– Hydrogen Research Forum Finland is a natural society for us, because our EU-funded project CHEK precisely concentrates on the elevated use of hydrogen in marine transport, says Professor Seppo Niemi from the University of Vaasa.

The transition towards a hydrogen economy is necessary to radically cut down carbon emissions and it will have a key role in the energy systems, industry and transport of the developed carbon-neutral society.

The key missions of Hydrogen Research Forum Finland are:

  • Promoting a national hydrogen action plan and visions of the future for research and education
  • Providing a communication forum for research actions
  • Strengthening education of the hydrogen economy through communication, joint planning and events
  • Providing a channel for independent and research-based information to support decision-making
  • Increasing the academic visibility of Finnish research on hydrogen and the hydrogen transition, both nationally and internationally

Hydrogen Research Forum Finland’s partnership includes University of Vaasa, Aalto University, LUT University, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Åbo Akademi University, the universities of Jyväskylä, Turku, and Tampere as well as the University of Oulu, which will initially coordinate the forum’s operations.

Academic forum brings research-based open and independent discussion

The hydrogen transition has given rise to a vast number of alliances operating from different perspectives, such as Hydrogen Cluster Finland, formed by corporate operators. The need for research-based open and independent discussion has been recognised in the hydrogen transition and related research, which the academic operators are addressing through Hydrogen Research Forum Finland.

Where necessary, Hydrogen Research Forum Finland also serves as an operator representing academic research alongside the national private or public sector hydrogen alliances.

– Hydrogen Research Forum Finland is a forum for those in hydrogen research and for those interested in hydrogen research, enabling more holistic views to be formed. This is also important for the establishment of a comprehensive national hydrogen action plan that would make Finland an internationally competitive operator in the hydrogen transition. The forum also brings academic operators together as partners in discussion to support national decision-making, explains Timo Fabritius, Professor at the University of Oulu and Coordinator at Hydrogen Research Forum Finland.

In the hydrogen economy, it is to be expected that there will be fierce international competition between different technologies, and there are thousands of hydrogen projects in the pipeline both in Europe and globally. Finland has all the tools to succeed in the international hydrogen market.

Focal points for the entire hydrogen value chain in hydrogen production, logistics and utilisation

“The partners of Hydrogen Research Forum Finland cover the entire hydrogen value chain, providing a strong and easily accessible knowledge base promoting Finland’s position in the international hydrogen collaboration” says Antti Arasto, VTT's Vice President for Industrial energy and hydrogen.

– Our role is to participate in the development of large hydrogen-driven engines and their fuel systems and offer related education. We also plan to build a fuel system for hydrogen into our VEBIC research laboratory, tells Professor Seppo Niemi.

The first step in the forum’s work is to devise a proposal on a national hydrogen action plan. The action plan will account for the development of the required research infrastructure, national and international cooperation as well as the impact of the hydrogen transition on society as a whole. An international conference around the theme of hydrogen is being planned for 2023 to summarise the intensifying national dialogue.

On the basis of their ongoing research, the partners of Hydrogen Research Forum Finland are enhancing their activities in hydrogen production, transmission and utilisation.

Further information

University of Vaasa, Professor Seppo Niemi: seniemi@uwasa.fi, tel: +358 (0)50 430 8519
LUT University, Petteri Laaksonen, Research Director: petteri.laaksonen@lut.fi, tel. +358 (0)40 508 8498

University of Oulu, Professor Timo Fabritius, Coordinator of the  Hydrogen Research Forum Finland: timo.fabritius@oulu.fi, tel. +358 (0)40 554 6683

VTT, Antti Arasto, Vice President for Industrial energy and hydrogen: Antti.Arasto@vtt.fi, tel: +358 (0)400 159 052

Photo: CHEK project

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