A Meeting in the Park

Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt was known for his pithy remarks. He famously once said: “Anyone who has visions should go to the doctor.” This remark was made in 1980 in reference to the election campaign ideas of his fellow Social Democrat Party (SPD) member Willy Brandt. Doctors would likely have a lot to do if – in accordance with Schmidt’s suggestion – they had to look after the visionaries aiming to promote the idea of the Brainergy Park to the north of Jülich. The intercommunal and innovative industrial park, which is situated between the three open-cast mines in the Rhenish mining area, is built on visions.

HC-H2 spokesperson Prof. Peter Wasserscheid welcomes guests to the first-ever HC-H2 Brainergy Connect event. Photo: Forschungszentrum Jülich/Jansen

Regular meeting

“If I think back to the end of 2021, when our cluster was founded, and there was nothing but a wide, open field here, it took a lot of imagination to envision how things would develop,” said Prof. Peter Wasserscheid, spokesperson for the Helmholtz Cluster for a Sustainable and Infrastructure-Compatible Hydrogen Economy (HC-H2), during the first-ever HC-H2 Brainergy Connect event. In future, HC-H2 wants to regularly host a meeting for all those located at Brainergy Park or those who are looking to move here in the near future. They are all united by one common goal: to work in an climate-friendly environment in a workplace with a future. The HC-H2 Brainergy Connect event provides a platform for regular exchanges.

“I’m very excited to see how this park will grow over the years. I see it as an exciting opportunity and also a great responsibility to do something for the future of our region and the climate-friendly energy system of the future.”

Prof. Peter Wasserscheid

HC-H2 director Prof. Andreas Peschel (2nd from left) chatting with guests. Photo: Forschungszentrum Jülich/Jansen

“We continue to require imagination when looking to the future,” said Wasserscheid during his welcoming speech at the first-ever HC-H2 Brainergy Connect event. The development and growth of the park still largely lies ahead, he added. Wasserscheid emphasized just how great the opportunity is for the Rhenish mining area with the € 14.8 billion in funding that the federal government is investing to generate new economic power in a region that has lived well from lignite up to now and will now lose this support as it is phased out by 2030.

“I’m very excited to see how this park will grow over the years. I see it as an exciting opportunity and also a great responsibility to do something for the future of our region and the environmentally friendly energy system of the future.”

Frank Drewes from Brainergy Park GmbH provides an insight into further expansion plans. Photo: Forschungszentrum Jülich/Jansen

Frank Drewes, managing director of Brainergy-Park GmbH, provided an insight into the next few steps for the park. The start-up village will be completed by the end of the year in the immediate vicinity of HC-H2. Construction work will begin in spring. It will offer entrepreneurs and start-up companies the opportunity to rent their first offices and thus enable their growth. An office building is also planned that will provide companies looking to move to Brainergy Park with the opportunity to get their first employees on site. Moreover, many other construction activities will be visible in a year’s time; more companies will be coming to the park.

From vision to future

HC-H2 will regularly host the HC-H2 Brainergy Connect event, allowing all current, future, and potential neighbours of the park to get to know each other, network, and discuss problems and possible synergies. This will help to turn the vision of an innovative and sustainable future working environment into a reality.