For all those who have been active a little longer in the hydrogen and fuel cell industry, it will be like déjà vu when they arrive at f-cell on October 4th, 2022. They will be walking from the S-Bahn station or airport to the Stuttgart fairgrounds, and not, as in previous years, to the Haus der Wirtschaft. And this very move – from the Stuttgart city center to the airport – has already been made once before, in 2008. At that time, however, still under the direction of Peter Sauber.
Peter Sauber filled the fairgrounds of the Haus der Wirtschaft in Stuttgart with exhibitors one last time. To conclude his long career, the fuel cell pioneer presented, with the customary professionalism, an f-cell as eventful as in the best days, despite pandemic conditions. All of the available exhibition spaces were booked and it would have been even grander if the area were larger, remarked Sauber, showing H2-international the waiting list as proof.
Hybrid event marks f-cell’s 20th anniversary
Trade shows and conferences
In 2001, Peter Sauber Messen und Kongresse event management kicked off the f-cell show in Stuttgart, Germany. Since that first, intimate get-together, featuring a small exposition, f-cell has become a hydrogen and fuel cell magnet. In September 2020, f-cell celebrated its 20th anniversary with a hybrid event featuring online and offline sessions. Many attendees thought the in-person meetings at Stuttgart’s Haus der Wirtschaft a blessing, happy and relieved to exchange ideas and phone numbers face to face once more.
Early this year, Silke Frank, the longtime face of the f-cell trade show, left event organizer Peter Sauber Agentur Messen und Kongresse and went on to found Mission Hydrogen in nearby Winnenden on March 1. She had been with Peter Sauber Agentur since 2003 and worked her way up the ladder to become owner and founder Peter Sauber’s right-hand woman who oversaw day-to-day operations at the company. In that time, she had, for many years, a decisive influence on how the f-cell show held in Stuttgart was run.
On September 10 and 11, 2019, the f-cell took place in Stuttgart for the 19th time, and as one could undoubtedly observe, the event has changed fundamentally over the years. After the focus on the trade fair in the meantime, the symposium is now more in the spotlight again.
Ballard Power Systems is a pioneer in the fuel cell industry. Since 1983, fuel cells have been developed in the company founded by Geoffrey Ballard in Burnaby near Vancouver. Randy MacEwen has been President & CEO of the Canadian fuel cell manufacturer since 2014. On October 23, 2019, the International Hydrogen Symposium brought him to Hamburg where H2-international seized the opportunity for an interview.
Competition among trade show organizers in Germany is now ramping up in the energy storage as well as the electric transportation arena. More and more event providers want to establish hubs of emerging technologies and draw industry-wide interest to their locations. The most recent example of this type of effort is
I’ve been following the hydrogen and fuel cell industry for 20 years. In 1997, you couldn’t even call it a niche market. Back then, many engineers didn’t know the term “fuel cell” existed at all and hydrogen was just another element of the periodic table. Only a handful of companies were tinkering with metal hydride storage or phosphoric acid fuel cells. Within a few years, the technology became the latest development everyone in the automotive and heating industry was pinning their hopes on. But nothing came of the ambitious plans businesses were announcing. Even years later, the situation hadn’t changed.
One of the biggest electric transportation conferences in the world will open its doors from Oct. 9 through 11 in the German state capital of Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart. In 2017, the city’s show grounds will see three events run in parallel – the Electric Vehicle Symposium & Exhibition, or EVS for short, the f-cell and the Battery+Storage. One day before the start of those, Stuttgart will have its Electric Transportation Day, AtEm.
There were many long faces at the start of the World of Energy Solutions on Oct. 10 last year, after attendees arriving in the morning at the International Congress Center Stuttgart, Germany, discovered that considerably fewer exhibitors were present than in past years and even the inauguration event of the symposium had as little as 80 attendees. But as it got more crowded on the second day, the organizers remained confident about 2017