The “Innovation Cluster for Large-Scale Production of Fuel Cell Stacks (Go-Start BZ)” was presented to the public by the Chairman of the VDMA Fuel Cell Working Group, Dr Manfred Stefener, in the Hydrogen & Fuel Cells exhibition area of the Hannover Messe.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to announce the launch of the supported innovation cluster for the large-scale production of fuel cell stacks at the first fuel cell presentation event in 2022. With this project, which is funded by the BMDV’s National Innovation Programme (NIP), we want to quickly remove the last hurdle to the broad market introduction of fuel cells, which are still high costs and low quantities,” said Dr. Manfred Stefener, Chairman of the VDMA AG Fuel Cells and Managing Director of Freudenberg Fuel-Cell-Power Systems GmbH.

Every other week, new national hydrogen strategies are published around the globe, or existing strategies are refined or implemented. In almost all of these strategies, the production of fuel cells and electrolysers plays a central role. Within the framework of its National Hydrogen Strategy, Germany is also pursuing the goal of establishing competitive production of fuel cell systems and the associated components. This is where the innovation cluster comes in: By networking the players, eliminating weak points and establishing a value chain, the upcoming market ramp-up of this technology is to be supported.

In doing so, the innovation cluster builds on existing structures of the VDMA Fuel Cell Working Group, but also on key lighthouse projects such as the HyFaB fuel cell research factory in Ulm and Freiburg. “HyFaB offers an entry platform into PEM fuel cell technology for established companies and newcomers; especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. A central element here is a manufacturer-independent fuel cell stack (generic stack) as a universal tool for joint development projects,” says the designated chairman of the steering committee Prof. Dr. Markus Hölzle from the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW – Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg) in Ulm.

Further information on the innovation cluster and the activities of the VDMA AG Brennstoffzellen (Fuel Cells Working Group) can also be found in the new Fuel Cells Industry Guide Germany 2022 (Brennstoffzellen Branchenführer Deutschland 2022).


The “Innovation Cluster for Large-Scale Production of Fuel Cell Stacks (GO-Start BZ)” project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport with a total of 228,717 euros as part of the National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP). The funding guideline is coordinated by NOW GmbH and implemented by Project Management Jülich (PtJ).