Message from the Chair of the Local Organising Committee

 

Dr Cosmas Chiteme, Director: Hydrogen and Energy Chair of the Local Organising Committee: 30th IPHE Steering Committee Meeting and Related Events.

The Ten Year Innovation Plan published by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) in 2008 predicted that the “emerging fuel cell market is expected to grow to a multi-billion dollar international industry”. Research has indicated that the “global fuel cell industry reached $2.2 billion in revenue in 2014 and $3.6 billion in 2016”, with countries such as the Japan, China and United States of America at the forefront and leaders of innovation in this industry. South Africa is well positioned to contribute significantly to the growth of this industry not only because of its platinum group metals (PGMs) endowment, but on the basis of the capabilities that the country has been developing in the last ten years. However, it is also important that the country forms strategic partnerships with other leading countries to fast-track research and development (R&D) that will lead to the commercialisation of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in South Africa.

The International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE) presents an excellent platform for South Africa to form and strengthen collaborations that will drive the local development of the fuel cell market. The nineteen members of this partnership meet twice a year in a series of events comprising of the IPHE Steering Committee Meeting and Related Events to discuss and deliberate on current and new developments and trends in the industry. South Africa has been a member of IPHE since 2010 and successfully hosted the 17th IPHE Steering Committee Meeting and Related Events in May 2012 in Cape Town.

We are excited and proud to announce that South Africa will be hosting the 30th edition of the IPHE Steering Committee Meeting and Related Events in Pretoria, from 4 to 7 December 2018. The Hydrogen South Africa (HySA) flagship Programme, which is funded by Government through the DST, will therefore be in the spotlight as it aims to highlight South Africa’s contributions to the emerging fuel cell industry. In line with its key objectives, the HySA Public Awareness, Education and Demonstration Platform hosted by the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement, will work closely with the DST and other local partners in organising and facilitating the hosting of the 30th IPHE Steering Committee Meeting and Related Events.

We take pride in welcoming the IPHE international delegates to our shores and urge our valued local stakeholders to collaborate with us as we prepare to deliver a memorable and engaging conference, which will benefit everyone involved in promoting hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in the country. The Local organising committee (LOC), in collaboration with the IPHE Steering Committee, has identified three specific and themed meetings – (1) R&D Outreach Event or Education Meeting, (2) Industry Forum and (3) Steering Committee meeting. In addition, there will be site visits to Johannesburg, Potchefstroom and Ventersdorp. In consultation with the IPHE office and Chairperson, the agenda and discussion points for meetings have been carefully considered to fit the South African context and ensure that all stakeholders benefit from international perspectives brought by the IPHE member countries, while sharing their knowledge and experience of the local hydrogen and fuel cell technologies industry. The IPHE delegation will also have a chance of visiting different locations with hydrogen and fuel cell technology research facilities, infrastructure and pilot projects.

On behalf of the LOC and DST, it is my pleasure and privilege to welcome our visitors who will be participating in the 30th IPHE Steering Committee Meeting and Related Events. In particular, I would like to extend a special word of welcome to our local students and academics who will be attending the Education meeting to be held in the Sanlam Auditorium, University of Pretoria on 4 December 2018. We are looking forward to an excellent conference with a group of great scientists, industry partners and policy makers within our country and from different countries around the world, to share new and exciting developments in the fuel cell industry.

Many thanks and best wishes,

Dr Cosmas Chiteme, Director: Hydrogen and Energy
Chair of the Local Organising Committee: 30th IPHE Steering Committee Meeting and Related Events.

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