We are well aware that the Hydrogen Centre is just the first step and that others have to follow. The development of a refuelling station network along the Brenner axis, from Munich to Modena (the so-called “green corridor”) and in the cities and valleys of South Tyrol is the priority for the coming years in order to prepare South Tyrol for the market entry of fuel cell cars from major manufacturers in the next years.
This can only be achieved with strong partners, which is why the Institute for Innovative Technologies IIT is not only participating in European projects but has also found good local partners. The Centre itself was established in close cooperation with the operator of the Brenner Motorway, which has provided the land and constructed the buildings and the refuelling area. The IIT leases the buildings and land via a sub-concession agreement.
The hydrogen production plant itself has for the most part been funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The administration of this funding in South Tyrol is the responsibility of the European Department of the Autonomous Province of Bozen/South Tyrol.
The institutional activities of the IIT, such as its commitment to informing local trade and industry, the local population, and the research and education sectors is supported by the Autonomous Province of Bozen/South Tyrol through its Department of Innovation.
Vehicle manufacturers such as Hyundai, BMW, Daimler, Toyota and Honda will all be launching their ranges of fuel cell vehicles onto the market between 2014 and 2018. IIT maintains close contacts with these manufacturers and has instigated the pan-European HyFIVE project with them. The project is supported in South Tyrol by the Department of Innovation.
The Daimler fuel cell buses, part of the CHIC project and in daily service in Bozen, are owned by the STA company and are run in conjunction with the bus operator SASA.
The IIT officially represents South Tyrol on several European bodies and interest groupings such as the Hydrogen Bus Alliance (HBA) and Hydrogen Fuel Cells and Electromobility in European Regions (HyER).