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Germany’s BMVI awarding Fraunhofer €80M for fuel cell production efforts

Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is awarding €80 million to the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s National Action Plan for Fuel Cell Production. Financing is provided by the future fund of the “Concerted Action Mobility” and is intended to promote the transformation of the automotive industry—in particular the supplier industry.

The alliance with the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is a new dimension for advancing fuel cell production. With the nationwide establishment of a research network specifically for fuel cells, we want to reduce significantly the costs of hydrogen vehicles on the one hand and to position the German supplier industry well for the future with a fuel cell made in Germany on the other. I am firmly convinced that we will make Germany a hydrogen country.

—Andreas Scheuer, Federal Minister for Transport and Digital Infrastructure

Hydrogen is a decisive factor for the energy turnaround aimed at by society as a whole. Hydrogen technologies play a key role in transforming industry towards sustainable value creation. For a targeted technological and economic implementation, however, the development of new production technologies for high market volumes is necessary—especially with a view to fuel cells as one of the essential core elements of a hydrogen economy.

—Prof. Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer Society

The National Action Plan for Fuel Cell Production is developing technological solutions that enable substantial cost reductions and upscaling of fuel cell production. The foundation is formed by 20 Fraunhofer Institutes, which will form regional technology hubs at 25 locations with their research skills and infrastructures as well as local networks. These are divided into the following five clusters:

  • NORTH Lower Saxony & Bremen: Circular production technologies; function-integrated components with thin-film sensors.

  • WEST North Rhine-Westphalia: Membrane unit (MEA): roll-to-roll system technology, bipolar plates (BPP): production strategies for metals and composites.

  • EAST Saxony & Saxony-Anhalt, Berlin, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: BPP integration system with high rates, scalable technology modules, quality monitoring.

  • SOUTH Bavaria: Electrical integration, cognitive sensor systems, technical cleanliness.

  • SOUTH Baden-Württemberg: MEA Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing Methodology.

Each cluster is specifically strengthened in pursuing its specific research topics. The results of the research on the individual production steps are available to the entire network.


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