Pilot training on "Hydrogen Economy" conducted by the Institute for Sustainable Transition and Development under the project Accelerating Sustainable Hydrogen Uptake Through Innovation and Education (KICstartH2)
On November 15 and 16, the first training session on Hydrogen Economy in Bulgaria was held at Trakia University, conducted jointly by the Institute for Sustainable Transition and Development at Trakia University and researchers from the Faculty of Economics. The initiative was organized as part of the project “Accelerating Sustainable Hydrogen Uptake Through Innovation and Education” (KICstartH2), within the European Institute for Innovation and Technology HEI Initiative, funded by the European Union.
The aim of the Hydrogen Economy course was to introduce students to the emerging European and global economy based on innovative hydrogen technologies. The training raised questions related to the features of this type of technology, which covers the production, storage, transfer and use of hydrogen in industry, transport, energy, household, and fosters sectoral integration. More than 50 students, doctoral students, faculty and representatives of the non-academic staff of the University successfully completed the training.
The leading speaker was Prof. Dr. Daria Vladikova - Head of the project “Accelerating Sustainable Hydrogen Uptake Through Innovation and Education” (KICstartH2). Prof. Vladikova is the Head of the Hydrogen Technologies and Energy Systems Department at the Institute for Sustainable Transition and Development at Trakia University-Stara Zagora and a professor of electrochemistry at the Institute of Electrochemistry and Energy Systems at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. She introduced the trainees to the basis of hydrogen technologies and current policies in the field.
The lecturers from the Faculty of Economics - assoc. prof. Georgi Alexiev, PhD and chief assist. prof. Dora Doncheva, PhD, presented topics focused on innovation management, business development and business modeling methods in the field of hydrogen technologies.
During the training, a survey was conducted among the participants. The results show that 100% of them have a positive attitude towards the hydrogen economy and consider it to be an important factor in making Europe the first carbon-neutral continent. They find the idea of introducing hydrogen technologies in Bulgaria promising. 10% of the respondents believe that specifically for the Stara Zagora region, the integration should happen smoothly, and the remaining 90% indicated that it is necessary to implement the new technologies urgently.
The trainees were asked to justify their answers, the analysis of which highlighted several important reasons for the introduction of hydrogen technologies and hydrogen economy. The main opinion is that this would lead to a reduction in harmful greenhouse emissions, which would contribute to a decrease in environmental pollution. The interviewees indicated that the introduction of these technologies would offer an alternative to energy supply, while at the same time highlight the problem of safety when using hydrogen at home and in industrial conditions. An undisputed motive was also the possibility of restructuring and/or creating new production enterprises, entirely based on hydrogen technologies, which will lead to new employment opportunities.