Trentino gets 59 million euros from the IPCEI Fund for hydrogen technologies
August 2022

Two highly innovative entities from Trentino have recently been granted an IPCEI (Important Projects of Common European Interest) funding of 59.5 million euros to develop hydrogen-related technologies. They are the Bruno Kessler Foundation and the company Green Energy Storage (based in Progetto Manifattura), which will work together to develop innovative energy storage systems that will employ non-toxic, sustainable and low-cost electrolytes.

This is an important milestone for all Trentino, which is particularly sensitive to environmental issues and committed, through companies and research centers in the area, in finding technological alternatives to meet energy needs in a sustainable way.

The IPCEI project

The IPCEI project that won funding is called EuBatIn - European Battery Innovation. It was authorized by the European Commission in January 2021, funded by the MISE in March 2022, and started this year, with expected to be completed by 2028. In addition to the research and development phase of the new technologies, it also includes the construction of new laboratories where tests will be carried out and which will also serve industrial partners.

FBK and GES were not the only Italian companies to receive public support. In fact, the first IPCEI on hydrogen, which involves a total of 14 EU member states for a total of 5.4 billion euros in funding, sees the participation of six national companies (plus two research organizations and their partners). In our country, which has been awarded 1 billion euros, a supply chain of components dedicated to the development of electrolyzers, fuel cells, technology for the storage, transmission and distribution of hydrogen, up to the elements to be used in the transport sector will be created. In addition to the validation of technologies in pilot or demonstration, IPCEI Technology will also address the challenge of scale-up of production processes, including the establishment of Gigafactories for the production of electrolyzers.

FBK and the Sustainable Energy Center

The Bruno Kessler Foundation, which has been awarded €6.5 million in funding (out of the total 59,5), will develop a series of technology components related to flow batteries and fourth- and fifth-generation batteries, as well as an innovative 50 kW/200kWh prototype for both stationary applications for storing energy from renewables and for use in mobility. Activities will also focus on the study of new cell and storage system designs that aim to reduce cost and footprint, increase safety, and improve environmental sustainability. 

The Bruno Kessler Foundation's Sustainable Energy Center will specifically use these funds to:

  • Upgrade current infrastructure
  • Build new laboratories
  • Support costs related to the project's R&D activities.

The role of the Sustainable Energy Center is also to provide support to companies in research activities to develop new components and systems, researching new materials that are more sustainable and less impactful on supply chains. The relationship with Green Energy Storage is strategic in its nature and focused especially on batteries for stationary applications, such as flow battery technology. 

GES and sustainable batteries

Green Energy Storage has been established since 2019 in Progetto Manifattura in Rovereto, Trentino Sviluppo's green hub, where it produces flow batteries based on organic and biodegradable material, designed to store energy even for very long periods, up to 15 years. With the 53 million grant for the project, GES plans to develop its own hydrogen battery. A green technology revolution, based on raw materials without geopolitical risk, that aims to attack the global energy storage market.

FBK, Solid Power and hydrogen mobility

Trentino's system of applied industry research is involved in several initiatives concerning hydrogen. One of these is CH2P, a project started in 2017 and funded within the EU Horizon 2020 program. It aims to develop innovative technology for hydrogen fueling stations for public transport. Among the 7 partners in the consortium, which cover the entire technology development chain, are also two local entities: the Bruno Kessler Foundation, which is also the project leader, and Solid Power.