On 26-27 November 2021, a conference of the European Research Area (ERA) – “New ERA – Towards a Responsible Knowledge Driven Society of the 3rd Millennium” was held in Brdo pri Kranju within the framework of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU. The Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, organiser of the conference and project partner of H₂GreenTECH, also invited the Graz University of Technology to participate. They presented the H₂GreenTECH demonstration model.
The presentation table at the conference focused on a pilot project on green hydrogen led by Germany as part of the trio of EU presidencies. At the same table, we also presented the results of the H2GreenTECH project. Two young researchers from the Institute of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Technology (CEET), which is part of the Graz University of Technology, presented a demonstration model of a green hydrogen fuel cell. It was developed as part of the H2GreenTECH project. The presented model is one of three that are also being developed by the National Institute of Chemistry and the Carinthian University of Applied Sciences (CUAS).
Demonstration models in the form of smaller mobile units will enable practical demonstrations in the Interreg programme area. Companies and other stakeholders will be able to test their fuel cell prototypes and methods. With a practical demonstration of the possibility of using hydrogen as a fuel instead of fossil fuels, they will be used for educational purposes and in laboratory exercises by students. In addition to the demonstration model, the CUAS project partner is also preparing an educational concept and content in the field of hydrogen technologies that interested universities in Slovenia and Austria can include in their curricula.
The European Research Area (ERA) aims to create a single market for research, innovation and technology in the EU. Established in 2000, ERA contributes to strengthening research and innovation in the EU by promoting the free circulation of researchers and knowledge and the coordination of national research policies and programs. In 2018, at the initiative of the Council of the EU, the reform of ERA was launched with the aim of increasing Europe’s overall resilience and competitiveness and implementing the green and digital transformation.
The conference “New ERA”, held in the framework of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU, aimed to engage with key stakeholders across sectors and understand their needs and main challenges in implementing the reformulated ERA proposals. The outcomes of the conference can be found at this link. On 26 November 2021, the European Commission adopted a decision on the governance of the ERA and the Pact for Research and Innovation in Europe with specific ERA priorities, including the policy program ERA for the period 2022-2024.
Petra Props, National institute of Chemistry
Dr. Peter Kumer, Ministry of Education, Science and Sport