Heraeus Precious Metals Accelerator ends with successful Demo Day

Hanau, 25th July 2023

On 21 July, the first Heraeus Precious Metals Accelerator program ended with the Demo Day. At the closing event, the start-ups and the responsible teams from Heraeus met in person. During the event, the start-ups presented the results of the previous project phase, which was carried out together with the Heraeus teams, and gave an outlook on further cooperation. In addition, the event provided a platform for an intensive exchange between all participants.

Acelerator Veranstaltung

A total of nine start-ups were selected in the first stage and presented their ideas in March. The Heraeus jury selected three start-ups for the project phase: Ammonigy, Naco and sHYp. Over the past twelve weeks, they have worked and researched on their projects together with experts from Heraeus Precious Metals.

This year's Heraeus Precious Metals Accelerator focused on hydrogen technologies as a key element of decarbonization. In order to combat climate change in a sustainable manner, reliable, affordable and climate-friendly energy sources are of utmost importance. In this context, hydrogen is becoming increasingly relevant as it can be used for energy systems, transport systems and electricity grids, while also serving as a driver for economic growth and energy security. From production to purification and transport to end-use and application, precious metals play a key role in the hydrogen value chain.

Heraeus Precious Metals, as one of the leading suppliers of precious metal products and services, already plays an active role in the hydrogen economy: as a manufacturer of precious metal-based electrocatalysts for PEM electrolysis or fuel cells, and as a producer of chemical catalysts for hydrogen purification or ammonia cracking. The company wants to make an active contribution to the ramp-up of the hydrogen economy by developing innovative solutions together with its partners and contributing its extensive know-how in the field of precious metals.

Accelerator Präsentation

"The first Heraeus Precious Metals Accelerator was a great success," affirms Stefan Oehmen, Global Head of Business Development at Heraeus Precious Metals. "With Ammonigy, Naco and sHYp, three start-ups with brilliant and innovative ideas in the field of hydrogen technology have participated in our program. Over the past three months, we have been able to engage in intensive exchanges and jointly advance the companies' ideas. We are very excited about the results and look forward to further collaboration with these start-ups."

Heraeus Precious Metals is planning the next Accelerator Program with a new focus for 2024.

Accelerate your business: the Heraeus Precious Metals Accelerator

In 2019, the Heraeus Accelerator was launched. It gives start-ups the opportunity to further develop and market their ideas and products with Heraeus. For this purpose, the start-ups have access to research laboratories, test equipment and Heraeus' extensive customer and partner network. The aim is to support budding companies in the fields of materials science, technology and digitalization in their growth phase and at the same time to establish long-term collaborations.

The start-ups at a glance

  • Ammonigy: The Stuttgart-based start-up recognized the potential of ammonia as an important alternative to fossil fuels at an early stage. Together with WHS Group, which plans and operates wind power plants for electricity generation, Ammonigy is researching various possible uses of ammonia. The focus is on mobile and stationary ammonia crackers that can be used to produce hydrogen at the point of use. The hydrogen serves as a pilot fuel in a CO2-free ammonia-hydrogen mixture in large combustion engines or industrial burners that currently run on fossil fuels.
  • Naco: In 2020, Naco was founded in Riga, Latvia, with the mission to develop nano coatings for the green hydrogen industry. In the catalytic process for the production of hydrogen, precious metals play an important role and are needed on a large scale. The nano coatings reduce the need for rare noble metals for hydrogen production, thereby enabling low-cost production on an industrial scale. In addition, the coatings provide good corrosion protection.
  • sHYP: sHYp, based in Baltimore, USA, is advancing the production of green hydrogen from seawater. Existing electrolyzers work with highly purified fresh water obtained through treatment. sHYP, on the other hand, uses seawater to produce hydrogen. In conventional technologies, the use of seawater as a by-product of desalination produces brine, a toxic salt solution that poses a threat to the environment. The by-products produced by sHYP are environmentally friendly.