Headed by the Agder H2 Cluster, and supported by Business Region Kristiansand, Invest in Agder and Agder County, the delegation comprised 20 people from the technology, energy, and financial side of hydrogen, in addition to researchers and university employees.
Some traveled to Brussels to sell products, some to find partners, and others to expand their international network. All traveled to learn more about an industry that has a much stronger standing in the rest of Europe compared to Norway.
“The majority of our companies have a relative short history within the hydrogen industry. They are building competence, developing technology, and learning the market as they go. For them, it is important to look for international partners, suppliers, and customers – to find their place in the hydrogen value chain,” says Tanja Erichsen, Project Manager of the Agder H2 Cluster.
Taking part in the EU Hydrogen Week seemed like a good idea.
“Participating in a key European event is definitely important for the positioning of the industry in Kristiansand and Agder in European value chains,” says Geir Haugum, CEO of Business Region Kristiansand.
Geir Hammersmark, CEO of Invest in Agder, agrees.
“This has been a great arena for expanding our international business networks and highlighting the strengths of our region. Agder has a lot to offer within the renewable energy space. Combined with a strong technology base, Agder should be attractive to foreign investors. We are here to make more international companies consider establishing business in our region,” says Hammersmark.
The EU Hydrogen Week in Brussels is an annual hydrogen industry event drawing thousands of participants from all over Europe. Innovation Norway coordinated the Norwegian delegation and pavilion showcasing various companies and their technologies. Among the larger Norwegian enterprises attending the expo were Equinor, Yara and NEL.
Agder had the largest delegation at the Norwegian pavilion. The Agder delegation included representatives from Umoe Advanced Composites, Å Energi, Otechos, Oxidane, Greenstat, NORCE, University of Agder, Kvinesdal Municipality, Aragea, Business Region Kristiansand, Invest in Agder, and Agder H2 Cluster.
“At Å Energi, we are in the process of identifying suppliers and partners to implement a hydrogen pilot facility connected to a hydropower plant in Buskerud County. For us, the EU Hydrogen Week was an excellent opportunity to engage in dialogue with suppliers. The Agder H2 Network did a great job facilitating meetings and promoting the hydrogen industry in Agder. Connecting with other members in the network also added value,” says Jan Tønnessen, Strategic Advisor Business Development at Å Energi.
“Presented with the opportunity to be part of the Agder delegation, we decided to attend the EU Hydrogen Week. The organizers made it easy to participate and find value at the expo and conference. We were pleased to travel with and connect with various parts of the hydrogen value chain. During our stay in Brussels, we gained a greater understanding of how the hydrogen market moves forward,” says Even Ovnerud, Founder and Chairman of Oxidane Venture, and Board Member of hydrogen company Aragea.