Multimillion euro grant for fuel cell research at the H2Ohm Institute

As one of ten German universities, the Technische Hochschule Nürnberg Georg Simon Ohm (the Ohm) has received a grant of around 5 million euros (plus a 22% programme allowance for indirect project costs) to establish a collaborative research project from the German Research Foundation (DFG) over the next five years. The DuraFuelCell collaborative project will connect actors from industry and academia to investigate hydrogen fuel cell technologies in stationary and heavy-duty transportation applications at a basic level in order to advance the commercialisation of these technologies.

For the first time, the DFG is specifically funding ten larger-scale research networks at universities of applied sciences (UAS) in Germany; the grants are referred to as Research Impulses (RIs). The funding instrument is designed to enable the DFG to reinforce especially promising research ideas and specifically support UASs in developing their research strengths and raising their scientific profiles.

In the Research Impulse titled, “DuraFuelCell: Multi-scale investigation for the development of durable and efficient hydrogen fuel cell systems for mobile and stationary applications” professors from seven Faculties at the Ohm are investigating hydrogen fuel cell technologies in stationary and in heavy-duty transportation applications following an interdisciplinary and networked research approach. Prof. Maik Eichelbaum, the coordinator of the Research Impulse, considers the grant high recognition of the quality of fuel cell research at the Ohm and an opportunity to strengthen the knowledge-oriented and interdisciplinary research in the field of hydrogen. The collaborative network researches two of the biggest challenges currently facing the commercialisation of hydrogen technology: efficiency and lifetime of fuel cell systems. The knowledge-oriented research is conducted in collaboration with eight companies, three municipal services, and the Technical Universities of Hamburg, Munich, and Darmstadt.

The Research Impulse also expands the Institute for Applied Hydrogen Research, Electro- and Thermochemical Energy Systems (H2Ohm) and the Campus Future Driveline to a hub for fuel cell research in transportation and stationary applications with a unique collaborative network. The DFG funded the collaborative network through a grant of around 5 million euros (plus a 22% project allowance) and through the grant is supporting the qualitative and quantitative improvement of hydrogen and fuel cell research at the Ohm in terms of personnel, scientific infrastructure, and the structural framework for research in the fields.

The official press release from the Ohm about the Research Impulse is available in German under the following link:

Research units


Research unit name

Research unit lead


Understanding fuel cell degradation on a molecular scale    

(“Untersuchung der Degradation von Brennstoffzellen auf molekularer Ebene”)

Prof. Maik Eichelbaum


Understanding dynamics of fuel cell degradation processes

(“Untersuchung der Dynamik von Degradationsprozessen in Brennstoffzellen”)

Prof. André Leonide


Development of degradation-resistant fuel cell materials       

(“Entwicklung degradationsbeständiger Brennstoffzellenmaterialien”)

Prof. Uta Helbig


Understanding degradation and development of mitigation strategies on fuel cell stack level

(“Untersuchung der Degradation und Entwicklung lebensdauerverlängernder Maßnahmen auf Brennstoffzellenstack-Ebene”)

Prof. Frank Opferkuch


Impact of balance of plant (gas supply system) on degradation and efficiency in fuel cell systems for heavy-duty transportation applications

(“Einfluss der Peripherie (Gasversorgung) auf die Degradation und den Wirkungsgrad von Brennstoffzellensystemen für Anwendungen im Schwerlastverkehr”)

Prof. Georgios Bikas

Prof. Armin Dietz


Understanding degradation and efficiency in fuel cell systems for stationary applications                                           

(“Untersuchung der Degradation und des Wirkungsgrades von Brennstoffzellensystemen für stationäre Anwendungen”)

Prof. Ulrich Ulmer 

Prof. Arno Dentel

Prof. Volker Stockinger


Data-based trend and scenario research                                      

(“Datenbasierte Trend- und Szenarioforschung”)

Prof. Ralph Blum


Innovative photonic sensors for fuel cell condition monitoring

(“Innovative photonische Sensoren zur Zustandsüberwachung von Brennstoffzellen”)

Prof. Rainer Engelbrecht


Simulation and modelling of aging processes                                         

(“Simulation und Modellierung von Alterungsprozessen in Brennstoffzellen”)

Prof. Jan Lohbreier