The issue of ecological transition requires the development of an energy system with new forms of sustainable generation and a set of enabling technologies, in addition to the waste reduction.

The Challenges

The Challenges FBK focuses on two of the main challenges facing ecological transition:

  • Developing solutions that will qualify hydrogen as an energy vector allowing for a profound and sustainable decarbonization: from production to storage, distribution and end uses, including sustainable mobility and industry;
  • Making energy from renewable electricity sources in distribution and transmission networks more flexible, through the use, among other things, of energy storage, such as flow or new generation batteries, or advanced management systems.

Technology and application fields

  • Green hydrogen by water electrolysis (low temperature) and vapor electrolysis (high temperature). The technology is composed of a series of technological elements consisting of stacks (sets of cells), Balance of Plant (elements for managing fuel, air, water, electricity) and the balance between the different components
  • Use of hydrogen in the heavy mobility sector: it involves the integration of storage tanks, fuel cells, batteries to manage peaks in electricity demand, an electric motor with related controls, solutions for vehicle safety
  • REDOX flow batteries: an emerging technology that allows the storage of electrical energy for stationary applications, with high efficiency processes.


In the context of NRRP

NEST Foundation
The participation in the NEST Extended Partnership (Network 4 Energy Sustainable Transition) of FBK’s Sustainable Energy Center represents a strategic positioning within the national community of Universities and Research Centers in the domain of energy technologies of the future.
In particular, the Sustainable Energy Center participates in the Spokes focusing on Hydrogen and Advanced Materials, namely “Clean hydrogen and final uses” (Spoke 4) and “Energy-sustainable materials advanced” (Spoke 9), with a synergistic work plan between the two specific activities.
Participation in these two spokes help position the Sustainable Energy Center in a greater dimension of research and to strengthen the output of scientific excellence of the two areas.
For the hydrogen area, this becomes a priority element at a time when the area has become stronger in recent years in relation to self-financing and participation in industrial projects.
For the materials area, with a greater research vocation, NEST represents the best opportunity to better position its expertise in a national network of collaborations and, in addition to developing new technological proposals, broaden the impact of the activities themselves.

MUSA Ecosystem
The MUSA ecosystem priority line falls under the area “Climate, Energy, Sustainable Mobility” of the National Research Plan (NRP).

MUSA aims to transform the metropolitan area of Milan into an ecosystem of innovation for urban regeneration, intervening in different areas, from social to technological, to become a national and European model.
FBK participates as an affiliate in Spoke 4 dedicated to the financial sustainability and economic impact of innovation ecosystems, in the thematic area of ​​evaluating the impact of public policies.

EU projects:

  • CH2P/SWITCH (EU): Development of technology for the flexible production of hydrogen and electricity from solid oxide fuel cells using methane-rich blends
  • STARDUST (EU): collaboration in a lighthouse project for the city of Trento, funded by a H2020 Smart Cities call. It involves the development of new energy, mobility and digitalization solutions for urban systems.
  • HYUSPRE (EU): a project investigating the possibility of a new use of the current natural gas basins as national energy reserves for future use with hydrogen.

Other projects:

  • GREENERSYS (LG. 6 PAT): development of a new flow battery-related technology that provides for the storage of electricity for stationary applications to support the integration of renewable energy sources
  • SAPIENCE (EIT Climate KIC): through the implementation of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies in the fields to monitor agricultural practices, the project creates a system capable of encouraging and rewarding virtuous behaviors for an efficient and sustainable use of water in irrigation.