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Inaugural New Zealand Hydrogen Symposium

Honouring the German-New Zealand Green Hydrogen Centre

From 1 to 3 February, the inaugural New Zealand Hydrogen Symposium (NZHS 1) took place in Dunedin at the University of Otago. The interdisciplinary forum brought together representatives from science, industry and politics to exchange ideas based on current research and to deepen existing research collaborations. By being given an official Maori name, the new German-New Zealand Green Hydrogen Centre receives a special honour.

How can we produce, store and use hydrogen in an environmentally friendly way? These are urgent questions in the mobility transition, and scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon are focusing on finding answers to them - also on an international level. With the successful establishment of the Green Hydrogen Alliance, Hereon has been working closely with colleagues from the University of Otago in New Zealand for a long time. Press Release Green Hydrogen Alliance

Gruppenfoto Nzhs

From left to right: Prof Anna Garden (University of Otago), Prof David Murdoch (Vice-Chancellor of the University of Otago), Dr Paul Jerabek (Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon), Dr Klaus Taube (Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon), Dr Michael Feiner (German Deputy Ambassador to NZ), Terry Nicholas (Ngāi Tahu), Edward Ellison (Ngāi Tahu), Prof Sally Brooker (University of Otago). Photo: Sharron Bennett

In the newly established German-New Zealand Green Hydrogen Centre, researchers are working together on safe and cost-effective materials for storing hydrogen. The hydrogen symposium, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the New Zealand Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), now facilitated the exchange between science, industry and politics. The event was organised by Dr Paul Jerabek, scientist at the Hereon Institute of Hydrogen Technology together with Prof Anna Garden and Prof Sally Brooker of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Otago.

"I am extremely pleased that the intensive networking between New Zealand researchers - especially at the University of Otago - and Hereon in the field of hydrogen technology is helping to strengthen the research alliance and has made it possible to establish this symposium,” Jerabek says.

“We are thrilled that this new symposium series is being supported by ‘team NZ’, which includes, amongst others, the New Zealand Hydrogen Council, MacDiarmid Institute, Otago Energy Research Centre, German-New Zealand Green Hydrogen Centre, all New Zealand universities and two Crown Research Institutes,” Professor Brooker says.

An Alliance for Hydrogen

As a special honour, the Māori representatives (members of New Zealand's indigenous population) attending the event gave the new German-New Zealand Green Hydrogen Centre an official Māori name and its own logo. The name is "He Honoka Hauwai", which means "An Alliance for Hydrogen". The logo symbolically shows the mountains of Otago, the Elbe River and hydrogen produced from water.

"Jointly organised by Prof. Sally Brooker from the University of Dunedin and Prof. Paul Jerabek's group at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon, the hydrogen symposium was a post-pandemic highlight that also illustrated the excellent state of German-New Zealand scientific relations. The awarding of a Māori name for the joint German-New Zealand Centre for Green Hydrogen, which is in the process of being established, is a special honour and underlines the high expectations people have of this cooperation," says Dr Michael Feiner, Permanent Representative of the Ambassador to New Zealand.

He Honoka Hauwai Logo

Logo des neuen Deutsch-Neuseeländischen Zentrums für grünen Wasserstoff

During the symposium, representatives of science, politics and industry spoke about the most pressing issues in hydrogen research. Among the speakers were scientists from Germany, the USA, Australia and Chile, including Dr Klaus Taube, scientist at the Hereon Institute of Hydrogen Technology.

"It was fantastic to see that the concern for the future of our planet is leading to intensive, global research efforts against climate change. Only in close cooperation will we be successful, and the German-New Zealand Green Hydrogen Centre "He Honoko Hauwai" will contribute to this with joint cutting-edge research," said Taube.

In his video message, Frithjof Maennel, Head of the BMBF's International Cooperation in Education and Research Division, emphasised the importance of the long-standing cooperation in the field of hydrogen research and the friendship between Germany and New Zealand.

Due to the positive response and the lively participation, the organising committee decided to host another hydrogen symposium next year. It will take place from 31.01.-02.02.2024, this time in the New Zealand capital Wellington.

Further information


Dr Paul Jerabek


Phone: +49 (0) 4152 87- 2681

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Institute of Hydrogen Technology
Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon

Martina Grünwald

Press Officer

Phone: +49 (0) 4152 87-1784

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Communication and Media
Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon