Spread over three days instead of two, the HyVolution trade show lived up to all its promises for its 2024 edition. Brittany once again shone with a pavilion packed with exhibitors and highlights, coordinated by BDI. One of the highlights of the show was the announcement of a tri-regional collaboration between Brittany, Pays de la Loire and Normandy, to form the Bassin Hydrogène Grand Ouest.
At HyVolution 2024, a Brittany pavilion to spotlight regional dynamism
Bigger, stronger. That’s how one might characterize the HyVolution trade show in the wake of its 2024 edition. The hydrogen industry’s expert trade show has moved to a three-day format, from January 30 to February 1, to promote exchanges and business opportunities between pure players, companies in the process of diversifying, prime contractors and local authorities, which play an important role in the sector’s development.
Brittany followed in the wake of this growth thanks to its presence in the aisles of the Parc Expo at Paris Porte de Versailles, notably through its pavilion coordinated by BDI and bringing together some fifteen players from the public, private and training sectors. “The show is still very dynamic and growing. The growing number of exhibitors in our space is proof of this,” says Élodie Boileux, head of the renewable hydrogen mission at BDI.
In addition to the quantity of visitors, it’s above all their quality that attests to a buoyant market for the development of hydrogen solutions, in which Brittany and its players have a role to play, both on the domestic and international markets. “This year, contacts were much more qualified, in the opinion of the companies present on our stand. The aim of the visitors was to do business. This shows that the hydrogen market is becoming increasingly mature, even if the sector is still in its infancy and there are still a number of obstacles to be overcome, notably regulatory. Our Breton players may have development prospects, especially internationally, where markets are more advanced and business models are in place.”
To attract visitors from all horizons, BDI deployed a whole program of highlights aimed at spotlighting Breton companies spread across the four corners of the show, with speeches both in the Brittany area and at the show’s various forums. “These events showcased the strengths of Brittany and its capacity for innovation on the part of companies, research and training organizations, as well as the dynamism of Breton local authorities, which are investing in hydrogen solutions to decarbonize the country.”
Brittany, Normandy and Pays de la Loire, a common base for the development of renewable hydrogen
The announcement of tri-regional cooperation between Brittany, Pays de la Loire and Normandy was the highlight of this rich program. Loïg Chesnais-Girard, President of the Brittany Region, Aline Louisy-Louis, Vice-President of the Normandy Region, and Roland Marion, Pays de la Loire regional councillor responsible for energy transition, all agreed on the objectives for H2 deployment in their respective regions by 2030: “We need to step up our game now, in terms of both production and use. We need to move from a logic of priming local projects to a larger scale that will enable us to win major markets and consolidate a Grand Ouest industry in the years ahead.”
Maritime regions par excellence, Brittany, Pays de la Loire and Normandy are each supporting and developing projects to deploy hydrogen solutions in their industrial basins and within local loops, such as in Le Havre, Brest, Saint-Nazaire and Lorient. At HyVolution 2024, they announced the launch of a Bassin Hydrogène Grand Ouest project. “The regions share a fairly pronounced common base, with in particular a common desire to decarbonize port uses and develop maritime uses that are less dependent on fossil fuels,” says Élodie Boileux. BDI remains at the side of the Brittany Region to support the development of projects linked to these new opportunities.”
A focus on research and training
A special feature of the Brittany pavilion was the setting up of a training and research cluster with a number of players, including ERH2, Cap Hydrogène, ENSIBS and the Université Bretagne Sud, demonstrating the commitment of the Brittany Region to developing research and training opportunities to support the deployment of hydrogen solutions in its region. “The hydrogen industry is still in its infancy. The challenge is to nurture the innovation potential of SMEs by maintaining a dynamic research cluster in Brittany. The industry will also need to be able to rely on trained technicians and engineers to support its development. The range of initial and continuing training courses emerging in Brittany meets this challenge.”
HyVolution 2024, an example of how BDI works at trade fairs
As Brittany Region’s armed wing, BDI is able to draw on its engineering, attractiveness and European departments to put the spotlight on the region and its players. HyVolution 2024 was a good example of how these different areas of expertise and the Region’s services work together. Prepared several months in advance, our presence at the show was based in particular on the identification of local players via the Craft skills database. This database gives us in-depth knowledge of the players in the H2 sector: we monitor their projects and are able to determine their position in the sector’s value chain. “Based on this knowledge, we define the actions we need to implement to achieve our objectives: hosting international delegations, promoting the sector, organizing B2B meetings… This can influence the architecture of the stand, as demonstrated by the installation of the research and training centre. If the pavilion has met exhibitors’ objectives, it’s also because we’ve been able to listen to the industry’s needs throughout the year, notably with the organization of H2 Breakfasts.”
Behind the scenes, the attractiveness cluster is getting into the swing of things, setting up a living space during the three days of the show, and promoting it through various communication channels, notably social networks. This approach will be used again for HyVolution 2025, from January 28 to 30.
HyVolution 2024 in figures
- 11,503 visitors (+46% on 2023)
- 572 exhibitors and brands (+45% on 2023)
- 350 speakers
- 82 visiting countries (vs. 70 in 2023)
- 10,500 participants in conferences and workshops over the three days