Italy – The Hydrogen Innovation Center, Italy’s first national center of excellence for hydrogen technologies, has been launched by Snam.
The Center will bring together industrial partners and university research centers to accelerate the sector’s development and thus contribute to meeting national and European climate targets.
The Hydrogen Innovation Center’s initial location will be in Modena, thanks to a partnership between Snam and UNIMORE (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia). Other centers around the nation will follow, including one in conjunction with the Polytechnic University of Milan, and an international hub will be constructed by the end of 2021 in conjunction with a top university in the United States.
The connections with hydrogen research facilities currently in existence at Snam’s Hydrogen Innovation Center will be continued, including the relationship with ENEA for the Hydrogen Valley in Casaccia (Rome). The Hydrogen Innovation Center’s research and testing operations will span the whole hydrogen value chain, from production technologies through transportation and storage infrastructures, as well as end users such as industrial (steel) and transportation applications (fuel cell cars and trucks, ships and trains).
Concentrating on automation
The Modena centre, where four UNIMORE researchers will work with the help of Snam workers at first, will concentrate on automation and mobility. Automation of electrolyser and fuel cell production chains, a prototype hydrogen refueling station built at the university using Italian technology, and new applications to support self-driving vehicles, as well as IoT (internet of things) and AI (artificial intelligence) solutions for the mobility of the future will be the three areas of research. The center will be a meeting place for academic, scientific, and industrial excellence, as well as a place for start-ups and technology suppliers to develop their ideas and identify viable applications.