Regional businesses, politics and science discuss conceptual approaches and their potential to be implemented in the HyExpert region.

75 representatives of regional companies and institutions assembled in the Helmstedt Start-up and Business Centre for the inaugural event of the South-eastern Lower Saxony hydrogen region. Together, they want to drive forward the future topic of hydrogen.  By combining their local ideas, they create valuable synergies to bring a regional strategy into being. The goal is to make a major contribution to strengthening the regional economy.

Today, initial thoughts were shared on the contents of the projects as well as on the “HyLand – Hydrogen regions in Germany” funding programme and the North German hydrogen strategy in the context of the HyExpert projects. Then participants actively worked on the topics of umbrella brand development, regional hydrogen value chains as well as refuelling infrastructure for hydrogen vehicles. The HyExpert funding project: “South-eastern Lower Saxony hydrogen region” began in December 2022. The participants are the district of Helmstadt, as the lead local authority, Wirtschaftsregion Helmstedt GmbH, Allianz für die Region GmbH, the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Film IST and IAV GmbH. These partners want to jointly develop a holistic concept by the end of the year.

Following the welcoming address of Gerhard Radeck, District Administrator of the Helmstedt district and Fabian Degen, responsible for the technology transfer of the Helmstedt economic region, Minister of the Economy Olaf Lies underlined in a video address, how important regional networking is for this issue: “We have an incredible number of good companies, initiatives and partners in the hydrogen economy field. Each may do well independently, but success is only generated when we connect them with each other, when we demonstrate regional solutions”, said Lies, adding that he was looking forward to all kinds of ideas which could optimally, birth many new projects.

After the welcome, there was plenty of input: Alexander Gehling, Programme Manager, Hydrogen and Fuel Cells at NOW GmbH, spoke about the HyLand – Hydrogen regions in Germany programme and the results from the first phase of regional funding.

Thomas Ahlswede-Brech, Programme Manager, Economy and Mobility at Allianz für die Region, Christoph Imdahl, Group Leader, Sustainable Factory Systems and Life Cycle Management at Fraunhofer IST and Dr. Ingmar Hartung, Team Leader Infrastructure & Electrolysis at IAV GmbH explained what the project is about, the objectives the partners have set themselves as well as the current status. Lars Bobzien from the Lower Saxony Ministry of Economics, Transport, Building and Digitalisation, outlined the relationship between the North German hydrogen strategy and the HyExpert region of South-eastern Lower Saxony.

The participants then contributed their ideas and approaches to the three thematic areas of umbrella brand development, regional hydrogen value chains as well as refuelling infrastructure for hydrogen vehicles. They discussed for example, the benefits of an umbrella brand and office, the generation potential they see for regional value chains, as well as the challenges posed by switching to hydrogen-powered vehicles. Ideas were then categorised and evaluated. The results are the basis for three additional workshops where the participants will explore these topics in more detail over the coming weeks and develop them into concrete regional solutions.


Photo: The partners are involved with other regional stakeholders for the South-eastern Lower Saxony hydrogen region (l-r): Prof. Dr. Lothar Hagebölling, TU Braunschweig, District Administrator Gehard Radeck, District of Helmstedt, District Administrator Christiana Steinbrügge, District of Wolfenbüttel, Fabian Degen, Wirtschaftsregion Helmstedt GmbH, Thomas Klein, Wirtschaftsregion Helmstedt GmbH, Dr. Ingmar Hartung, IAV GmbH, State representative Dr. Ulrike Witt, Braunschweig Office for Regional Development, Christoph Imdahl, Fraunhofer-Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST, Thomas Ahlswede-Brech, Allianz für die Region GmbH, Alexander Gehling, NOW GmbH (Photo: Allianz für die Region GmbH/Susanne Hübner)


Source of original press release: Allianz für die Region GmbH
Photo source: Allianz für die Region GmbH/Susanne Hübner