Welcome to the FDFC2013!
EIFER, in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT), was pleased to host the 5th International Conference on “Fundamentals & Development of Fuel Cells”, in our hometown of Karlsruhe, Germany.
As an overview of the results and the outcomes of this 3-day meeting, we interviewed the people behind the organisation of FDFC2013.
1. What were the objectives of FDFC2013?
Ludmila Gautier, Deputy Director, EIFER:
The aim of the Conference was to build on the initial concept behind the very first FDFC event, held eleven years ago in Forbach. The idea of a “France-Deutschland Fuel Cell” meeting was conceived by Philippe Stevens and Renaut Mosdale and we wanted to build on their original vision to enable further exchange between French and German fuel cell and hydrogen experts, whilst also engaging with a larger, international community.
The conference more than satisfied that goal. We had over 250 scientific contributions and more than 300 attendees came from France, Germany and across the world.
As in previous years, the presentation of fundamental research was central to the conference. We also benefited from the significant participation of doctoral students. There were more than 80 PhD candidates registered at the event.
Another objective of FDFC2013 was to expand the scope of the conference to include the practical integration of both fuel cells and hydrogen into energy systems in addition to fundamental research on materials, modeling and system development
Prof. M. Morgensen of the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), raised an important question in his lecture. He asked whether the fuel cells and hydrogen community should focus their efforts on demonstration programmes promoting the potential of integrated technologies as future energy solutions or perhaps, should rather invest more time on fundamental research aimed to solve technical bottlenecks and create progress..
It is because industry and technology have reached this possible moment of confluence that we must build bridges between fundamental research and industrial needs. A primary goal for FDFC2013 was to find and create opportunities for effective networking to help ensure that fuel cells and electrolysis become the enabling technologies of the energy transition.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Scientific Committee for creating such an excellent program. Thanks, too, are due to the Fraunhofer ICT and EIFER Organizational Teams for their support and for their commitment to the success of the Conference.
2. EIFER and the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology jointly organized the conference. How did this cooperation benefit the event?
Stefan Tröster, Head of General Management, Fraunhofer ICT:
Both organizations are based in Karlsruhe and have previously cooperated on technical projects. We bring different, but complementary, competences to the collaboration. Both organizations have good contacts in fuel cells and hydrogen technology and these networks enabled us to strengthen and broaden our outreach. Additionally, EIFER and the Fraunhofer ICT combined forces in a press release, as well as arranging joint laboratory tours, visiting two EIFER labs and two Fraunhofer ICT labs. We were uniquely placed to balance the participation of both France and Germany in hosting the conference.
3. The Conference was a very international, multi-disciplinary event. Can you break down the composition of participants?
Joelle Franceschi, Deputy Chair - Organisation Team FDFC2013, EIFER
FDFC2013 achieved it’s first objective – to reinforce Franco-German scientific exchange. Sixty-nine percent of the participants came from France and Germany. This year, international participation also increased, with 31% of attendees from other European countries, the USA, Asia and other parts of the world.
A majority of participants were from Academia (85%). However, major industrial organizations were also represented by contributions from Daimler, Saint Gobain, and Siemens, to name a few.
Attendees from political and public research funding programs were also in evidence. Mr. Häringer, Baden-Württemberg’s Representative to the European Union offered some interesting perspectives on the future of EU research programs.
4. FDFC2013 included exhibition space. What can you tell us about that?
Nadia Steiner, Chair - Organisation Team FDFC2013, EIFER:
In parallel to lectures and poster presentations, we offered an opportunity for exhibitors to meet with customers and stakeholders, to develop new relationships and explore new business opportunities. Exhibitors ranged from established and emerging manufacturers, developers, and suppliers to representatives of NOW - the German National Organization for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology. You can find a full list of exhibitors here. http://fdfc2013.eifer.uni-karlsruhe.de/index.php/exhibitions
Two fuel cell cars from Daimler were also presented. One car was on display in the exhibition hall another was in front of the conference hall, having been brought directly from testing at Fraunhofer ISE in Freiburg.
5. There were more than 250 scientific papers presented at the Conference. Will these papers be published?
Nadia Steiner, Chair - Organisation Team FDFC2013, EIFER:
A special issue of "Fuel Cells - From Fundamentals to Systems" will be dedicated to the FDFC2013 conference. Forty outstanding papers were identified for submission to this respected academic journal, which focuses on all aspects of fuel cells, ranging from their molecular basis to their applications in systems such as power plants, road vehicles and portable power sources. The 2011 Citation Impact Factor for the publication was 3.149.
For further information go to http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1615-6854
6. The FDFC2013 Gala Event was held at a special venue, would you tell us about this?
Joelle Franceschi, Deputy Chair - Organisation Team FDFC2013, EIFER:
The Center for Art and Media (ZKM) was chosen for the Gala event. It is one of Karlsruhe’s landmarks, an internationally recognized institution bringing together art and technology. The ZKM offers a unique atmosphere that was well suited to our international, scientific audience.
We offered a tour, specifically tailored for our participants, which included exhibits such as one of the first computers. Our guests were also offered a glimpse at the incredible digital art and dynamics of Asian culture.
A highlight of the evening was a concert organized by the Institute for Music & Acoustics in the “Klangdom”. This is a specially constructed space with forty-three connected speakers that creates a new acoustic dimension allowing a plasticity of sound in space. This was a truly exclusive experience in which about 120 guests took part.
Photo: Mona Rothweiler
7. Two events were organized in parallel to the Conference. Please tell us about them.
Elisabeth Obé, Group Leader, EIFER:
After an introductory presentation at the Fraunhofer Institute, participants visited laboratories that are focused on materials development and components testing for high temperature cells in fuel or (co) - electrolysis mode. Further visits to EIFER’s labs demonstrated the innovative fabrication of powder synthesis and cells manufacture. One lab was equipped with ceramic ovens for long term run of single cells and another with industrial benches to test stacks performances, which can be further translated in terms of cost and lifetime.
To observe working hydrogen infrastructure, conference participants were given the opportunity to visit the KIT Campus Nord hydrogen fuelling station. With a storage capacity of 420 kg H2, the station fuels two Hybrid Fuel Cell Citaro shuttle busses for student transport.
A PEM fuel cell diagnostics workshop was run in parallel to FDFC2013. Jointly organized by EIFER and the Fuel Cell Lab, the workshop addressed two publicly funded EU projects: DIAPASON 2 (French National Agency of Research) and D-CODE projects (FCH-JU funding).
8. Karlsruhe is a special place for an international conference. What makes it such a singular location?
Corinna Lochmann, Head of Communications, EIFER:
Karlsruhe is a young city by European standards - only 300 years old. With a history of innovation and creativity, the city and the broader TechnologieRegion Karlsruhe, is a great place for international meetings. It’s location, on the border of France, fosters a cosmopolitan atmosphere, which welcomes international visitors.
Karlsruhe’s population of 300.000 includes a significant number of scientific researchers and knowledge workers. The city is home to three Fraunhofer Institutes and, of course, to the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), an alliance between Karlsruhe University and the Karlsruhe Research Center (Forschungszentum Karlsruhe). Karlsruhe is also a creative hub and benefits from a new University of Music and the recently founded University of Design (HfG), as well as the traditional Arts Academie, founded in 1854,
Karlsruhe Kongresszentrum, the site of FDFC2013, is close to the main railway station and the zoo, which offered free entry to conference participants. The city’s Schloss (castle) with its surrounding park is only 10 minutes away. Two of Germany’s most famous cities, Baden-Baden and Heidelberg, are very near if conference attendees wanted to extend their stay..
Castle of Karlsruhe (Copyright Bildstelle Karlsruhe, Roland Fränkle)
9. How was the conference reflected in the media?
Stefan Tröster, Head of General Management, Fraunhofer ICT
FDFC2013, together with the work that EIFER and the Fraunhofer ICT conduct on fuel cells and hydrogen technology, were presented at a press conference and in a joint press release.
The conference was reported by the region’s most important daily newspaper, the BNN (print volume: 132,000), radio broadcasters SWR4 Badenradio (562,000 listeners per hour) and Radio Regenbogen (203,000 listeners per hour), was well as SWR Landesschau (TV, approx. 1 million viewers)..
10. What are your final thoughts on FDFC2013 and what’s next?
Yann Bultel, Co-Chair FDFC2013 Conference, Professor, Institute of Technology Grenoble and Nadia Steiner, Chair - Organisation Team FDFC2013, EIFER
Our top priority for FDFC2013 was to offer attendees a stimulating scientific program and supportive environment for exchanging ideas and for starting and strengthening collaborations and partnerships. We were delighted to see that participants enthusiastically attended and participated in the scientific discussions that took place during the 3-day event. The Conference is steadily growing in many ways, our outreach is extending and the profile of our participants is becoming broader. Importantly, and appropriately, at this exciting time, the Conference subject matter is also expanding. We anticipate continued success and growth for future events.
We hope that FDFC2013 was both a valuable and memorable experience and we are looking forward to seeing you at the next Conference - in 2015 - in the beautiful city of Toulouse, France.
The Conference Organisers:
EIFER’s Organisational Team at the Gala Event
From left J: Franceschi, E. Obé, J. Copreaux (Director of EIFER), N.Steiner, A. Reiss, C. Lochmann, L. Gautier, G. Butscher
Stefan Tröster, Yann Bultel
|Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology|