Turning the Wheels of Innovation
New Energy World IG
Since 2009 we have helped to promote the benefits of hydrogen fuel cell technology to business and political leaders across Europe.
Sooner or later – probably sooner – we will no longer be able to rely solely on fossil fuels to power our civilisation. New technologies will be needed, and one of the most exciting is hydrogen fuel cells, which is an efficient way to create electricity using the most abundant element in the universe with minimal waste.
The World Economic Forum has declared hydrogen fuel cells one of the most important emerging technologies of 2015.
Hydrogen fuel cell technology is not particularly new – NASA has been using it since the 1970s – but the challenge now is to bring it into everyday life. It could potentially be used in everything from cars and heating to smartphones.
NEW-IG is a long-term coalition of companies with an interest in developing this technology and applying it commercially. It includes international giants such as Daimler, Shell, Siemens and Air Liquide, together with startups and dynamic SMEs like Intelligent Energy. We have been working with NEW-IG since 2009 to promote the technology in the marketplace.
Through our work, which includes responsibility for running NEW-IG’s once in Brussels, we have doubled the number of members to more than 80 companies across 18 EU member states. Our role runs across the entire spectrum of internal and external communications support, as well as strategic and political advice. For example, through our work with
For example, through our work with the European Commission and other key decision-makers we have helped NEW-IG advocate for the necessary regulatory and financial support to achieve their objectives. This requires not just an understanding of procedures, but also the ability to think creatively in order to align positions, manage amendments, propose compromises and find mutually suitable ways forward.
"FTI Consulting has helped NEW-IG cement fuel cells and hydrogen into the European agenda. Their strong and dynamic team forms a real engine behind the association, managing dayto- day operations like clockwork and providing expert advice for impactful communication internally and externally. They have been supporting NEW-IG since 2009, helping grow the association into a leader in its field and a recognised partner for EU decision-makers.”
Pierre-Etienne Franc, Chairman of NEW-IG and Vice-President, Advanced Business and Technologies, Air Liquide
Our overriding aim has been to communicate the significant economic benefits that this new technology could bring by creating jobs and stimulating innovation and growth. To achieve this, we created and promoted ‘Drive and Ride’ events, which give key influencers a chance to experience for themselves an electric car powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. These events are a great way to connect with people on a human level, showing them this technology is not just charts on a page: it is real, and it is here now. We were proud that the 2013 Drive and Ride event was recognised by the influential Holmes Report as one of the year’s most effective transport campaigns.
We were delighted to also secured the endorsement of key leaders, including then European Commission President José-Manuel Barroso. Commenting on the 2020 Investment Package (including further funding for fuel cells and hydrogen) he said: “The EU must remain a leader in strategic global technology sectors that provide high quality jobs. This innovation investment package combines public and private funding to do just that. This is a perfect demonstration of the leverage effect of the EU budget for growth and jobs.”
Outcome: Our work with NEW-IG has helped it to secure continued European funding for developing hydrogen fuel cells technology from 2014 until 2020.
NEW-IG will receive 40% more funds than in the previous period, totalling €1.3bn, and we were able to advise it throughout the entire process, from the initial impact assessment through to detailed negotiations and a public launch with industry CEOs and EU leaders.