ECUBES PRESS RELEASE: Dubai, 12 December 2023
“The energy transition is doomed to fail to reach it objectives in time unless we engage with young people and get them to actively participate in transforming the whole ecosystem into a low-carbon economy in which renewable energy and hydrogen will play a key role.”
This was the message Aleksander Gerbec, CEO of Slovenian hydrogen technology and clean energy infrastructure company ECUBES brought to COP28 in Dubai where, together with his team from Slovenia and UAE partners StudiYo Lab (https://www.studiyolab.com) and thanks to the support of the UAE’s Ministry of Education(https://www.moe.gov.ae/en) the International Renewable Energy Agency IRENA (https://www.irena.org), and the Slovene Enterprise Fund (https://www.podjetniskisklad.si/en/ ),he presented the “H2STUDENT by ECUBES” programme, a successful educational initiative that has already played a significant role in the development of the entire value chain of the hydrogen ecosystem in the North Adriatic Hydrogen Valley, as an initial spark of creation in the first transnational hydrogen valley.
H2STUDENT by ECUBES, which was presented by the programme director, Dr. Matjaž Knez, of the University of Maribor, is an open and free educational competition programme that builds the competences of young people regarding hydrogen. It was developed as part of the infrastructure project “Zero emission mobility corridor – North Adriatic”, led by an industry alliance of ECUBES & partners, and implemented by professors from the University of Maribor, Slovenia.
The aim of the H2STUDENT by ECUBES programme is: (1) to arouse interest in sustainable mobility and importance of clean hydrogen in an interesting way through interactive lectures, content and games, (2) to raise technological awareness and inspire young people to choose studies and professions related to new clean hydrogen technologies. (3) to teach students that the entire hydrogen value chain must be built simultaneously, from hydrogen supply to the demand side. It contributes to the achievement of a decarbonized society and promotes INNOVATION, TECHNOLOGY and PARTNERSHIP with immediate ACTION for a clean energy future.
Gerbec explained how the formation of the first transnational hydrogen valley initiative in Europe, the North Adriatic Hydrogen Valley (www.nahv.eu) was successfully facilitated by the early deployment of the educational programme H2STUDENT by ECUBES which has already transformed the future of over 5000 students. The programme fully engages young people with an innovative approach to education in which young people can embrace the potential of hydrogen and become informed evangelists of the hydrogen economy and well-prepared actors in its rapid realisation. He believes extending this approach to all, including developing nations, is fundamental to the energy transition.
Closing the event Gerbec welcomed the important announcements made by COP28, like President Sultan Al-Jaber’s, regarding accelerating the adoption of climate finance, by committing $30 Billion in catalytic capital to launch a landmark climate-focused investment vehicle, or by UAE leaders’ declaration on a global climate finance framework and others. He suggested education needs to feature in such plans and turned to the audience to ask for their opinion.
The audience in this COP28 session unanimously agreed that global funding for education programmes like the H2STUDENT by ECUBES initiative should be increased to accelerate the decarbonisation agenda. We therefore respectfully call upon all global leaders and governments to heed this call and to urgently increase their investments in educational programmes.
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