Currently, the airport is actively collaborating in ongoing NXT Airport projects with primarily regional partners New Energy Coalition, the University of Groningen, GroenLeven, Holthausen Clean Technologies, JB Besturingstechniek, Demcon, KLM Equipment Services, Hanzehogeschool, Leeuwarden Air Base, Redstack, Noorderpoort, Alfa College, Douna Machinery, Total Energies and the Province of Drenthe. However, the network around our NXT Airport program and our Hydrogen Valley Airport project is much larger. Below is an overview of partners and stakeholders.
New Energy Coalition (NEC) is a continuously growing network of knowledge institutions, companies, governments and NGOs working together in the Northern Netherlands to accelerate the energy transition for a sustainable future. NEC is the architect of the HEAVENN project, making the Northern Netherlands Europe’s first Hydrogen Valley. Together with partners Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and Groningen Airport Eelde, NEC designed the Hydrogen Valley Airport concept in which a complete hydrogen ecosystem at the airport is being built with many partners.
Demcon develops, manufactures and delivers technology and innovative products that contribute to solving complex technological and societal issues. The Demcon group has several locations in the Netherlands, including Groningen, as well as in Germany, Japan and Singapore. Demcon is the lead partner in the WAviatER project, working with JB Besturingstechniek, Douna Machinery, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Redstack, New Energy Coalition and Groningen Airport Eelde.
University of Groningen (RUG) is an internationally oriented university that is also strongly rooted in the region. The university has the expertise and ambition to play a crucial role in developing the northern Netherlands into a hub for green hydrogen production. Together with New Energy Coalition and the airport, she designed the Hydrogen Valley Airport project and is conducting intensive research into the feasibility, implementation and scalability of this ecosystem, among other things, and contributing to the various subprojects such as the H2-GPU.
Douna Machinery Leeuwarden (connecting green technologies) has been taking care of clients in all areas of the technical innovation process for 98 years. This includes the conception, design, manufacture, supply and service on mechanical engineering installations. With this expertise, Douna Machinery has accumulated a great deal of knowledge and experience that it uses to accelerate the green energy transition. Together with partners Demcon, JB Besturingstechniek, Redstack, New Energy Coalition, the University of Groningen and Groningen Airport Eelde are working on the WAviatER project to test and demonstrate an innovative electrolyser at the airport.
TNO contributes fundamental knowledge within the WAviatER project on energy transition and hydrogen strategy.
VONK, in Zwolle and Meppel, provides power electronics expertise and inverter systems required for the power supply of the electrolyser within the WAviatER project.
Holthausen Clean Technologies has been a specialist in the development of hydrogen and electric solutions for various vehicles since 2011. Because it has developed much of the technology itself, it can move and adapt quickly. In various partnerships it is working towards a greener (transport) world, one of these partnerships is with Groningen Airport Eelde in which Holthausen is converting ground service equipment (GSE) from diesel to hydrogen powered equipment. For example, within the H2-GPU project, it is currently converting Ground Power Units -generators for aircraft on the ground- to hydrogen. It is doing this in cooperation with KLM Equipment Services, the University of Groningen, Leeuwarden Air Base, Alfa College, New Energy Coalition, Noorderpoort, Drenthe College, Stork and Groningen Airport Eelde.
KLM Equipment Services (KES) is the maintenance company for Ground Support Equipment at Schiphol Airport. KES provides aviation with Ground Support Equipment solutions. And ensures that its customers can work worry-free. KLM Equipment Services is constantly innovating at Schiphol but also at other airports such as Groningen Airport Eelde. It is a partner in the H2-GPU project in which it has offered a diesel-GPU to the partnership to convert propulsion to hydrogen.
Hive Mobility – To share and secure issues, knowledge and experience from practice and education, Hive.Mobility and Groningen Airport Eelde, in collaboration with Noorderpoort and MBO College Airport, have taken the initiative to set up the learning community HIVE LAB – GAE. In the learning community, various organizations from the aerospace and engineering sectors actively collaborate with education. Issues from the industry are shared within the community with the goal of exchanging knowledge and experience as well as finding smart solutions. Within the learning community HIVE LAB – GAE, in addition to the initiators, companies and educational institutions such as DroneHub Noord-Nederland, House of Aviation, Deltion College and Hanze University Groningen work together.
Noorderpoort is a regional training center (ROC) with several locations in the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe. Noorderpoort is the place where professionals learn. With mbo education, courses and training. A lifetime. Within the NXT Airport pillar Education, Noorderpoort has found a physical location at Groningen Airport Eelde. With a classroom in the old State Aviation School buildings and a unique hands-on learning location, namely the airport terminal, it trains Aviation Services students in a vibrant environment. Also on the NXT themes of Innovation and Sustainability, Noorderpoort is working with the airport and partners such as Omnidrones on the elective course “droning” for Noorderpoort students. Students, in cooperation with the OmniDrones Academy at Eelde airport, are being prepared to become drone pilots. Furthermore, Noorderpoort participates in the H2-GPU project and is one of the initiators of the Hive Lab Groningen Airport Eelde Learning Community.
Alfa College trains young people and adults for the society of today and tomorrow. They do this in close cooperation with partners in the various regions. Alfa College works to provide good education in an inspiring learning environment. A good example is the cooperation with Securitas Netherlands and Groningen Airport Eelde that provides an excellent opportunity for students to learn in a practical environment. Instructors from the Security Officer course integrate theory and practice in a true-to-life practical environment, with Securitas also providing lessons. Groningen Airport Eelde will make space available in the departure hall, where topics such as First Aid, firefighting and evacuation will be covered. Any equipment used to handle a departing passenger, such as body scans, will be used.
Engineering teachers and hydrogen specialists at Alfa-college are preparing their students for a future in which hydrogen plays a major role in mobility and aviation. For example, the training module Hydrogen was developed, students of this ROC created a hydrogen model for Groningen Airport Eelde and Alfa is going to cooperate in the H2-GPU project in which ground handling equipment at the airport will be converted from diesel to hydrogen propulsion.
The Deltion Collegeis a regional training center in the Zwolle region for intermediate vocational education and adult education. The organization has some 20,000 students and 1,800 employees. The Deltion has not only been working with the Groningen Airport Eelde-based companies KLM Flight Academy and Skyline Aviation for years, but is also an active member of the Hive Lab Groniningen Airport Eelde Learning Community.
DroneHub North Netherlands is an initiative of the three Northern provinces, Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe and is represented by experts from the industry itself who have an extensive track record in the field of unmanned aviation. It connects and represents the North on a national and international level. For example, it supports and connects entrepreneurs, education and government authorities in the region to realize their ambitions. Actively driving innovation by lowering barriers also fits within the mission. DroneHub Noord-Nederland can regularly be found at various events such as at the Zernike Campus Groningen, at the TechHub in Assen and at Groningen Airport Eelde where Dronehub Noord-Nederland has worked intensively with the airport and other parties on easing the regulations regarding droning.
The Hanze University Groningen is the oldest multisectoral university of applied sciences in the Netherlands and the largest university of applied sciences in the North. Students, teachers, researchers and professionals from the field work together on innovations for professional practice and on solving issues from society. So too at Groningen Airport Eelde. The Hanze University of Applied Sciences works with the airport through graduate projects to investigate issues related to hydrogen implementation at airports. For example, the Hanze University of Applied Sciences is investigating what permits are required when implementing an electrolyser (project WAviatER) and a hydrogen refueling station in an airport environment. Hanzehogeschool also collaborates in the Hive Lab Groningen Airport Eelde Learning Community.
JB Control Technology in Oosterwolde is an internationally oriented family business with an open culture and self-managing teams. With about forty, mostly college or university educated employees, the company specializes in industrial automation solutions that it puts into operation all over the world. JB Besturingstechniek values long-term relationships with clients, employees and suppliers. Together with partners Demcon, Douna Machinery, Redstack, New Energy Coalition, the University of Groningen and Groningen Airport Eelde are working on the WAviatER project to test and demonstrate an innovative electrolyser at the airport.
REDstack in Sneek is a specialist in sustainable energy extraction using a membrane process. This involves the controlled mixing of salt and fresh water in so-called stacks to generate electrical energy. Together with partners Demcon, Douna Machinery, JB Besturingstechniek, New Energy Coalition, the University of Groningen and Groningen Airport Eelde are working on the WAviatER project to test and demonstrate an innovative electrolyser at the airport.
GroenLeven develops and realizes large-scale solar energy in the Netherlands. To make the most efficient use of scarce space, GreenLeven specializes in “dual functions. Such as floating solar panels or solar panels at an airport such as Groningen Airport Eelde. This is the world’s largest solar farm on a controlled. The construction of the solar park on the middle grounds is a unique project. This is the first time in the world that a solar park has been realized in this way. The solar park is located between the runway, taxiway and apron. A total of 63,196 solar panels have been installed, providing a total capacity of 21.9 MW. This is an equivalent of approximately 6,200 households. A covered passageway has been constructed from the terminal to the platform. With the solar panels placed on the passageway, Groningen Airport Eelde will soon be able to generate its own electricity. This makes the airport self-sufficient in its electricity consumption. GroenLeven is thinking along with Groningen Airport Eelde about expanding Groningen Airport Eelde as an Energy Hub by researching the expansion of the solar park, energy storage, hydrogen development and the development of charging facilities.
EVIA AERO, based in Bremen (D), is developing a sustainable regional airline and will soon serve the business market with electrically powered, sustainable aircraft. Partly battery-powered and partly hydrogen-powered. The goal of EVIA AERO is to strengthen the development of regional economies in Europe by enabling customers to travel in an affordable, time-saving and sustainable way. With a schedule designed to generate connectivity between cities multiple times a day, EVIA AERO will offer passengers high reliability in flight connections. Groningen Airport Eelde (GAE) has signed a letter of intent with Evia Aero and aspires to serve as a base of operations for Evia Aero. Florian Kruse of Evia Aero says, “For us, GAE is a good base for the future. The presence of locally generated green energy is a reason for us to choose GAE. The airport is working on a green hydrogen ecosystem, which will power our electric and partially hydrogen-powered future fleet.”
TotalEnergies Marketing Netherlands is part of the international TotalEnergies Company and offers products and services in the field of (clean) fuels, electric charging, lubricants and more. It caters to the private and corporate markets as well as government agencies. With some 385 filling stations, about 100 CNG stations and about 8,000 charging stations, TotalEnergies Marketing Netherlands is one of the largest providers in the Dutch market for safe, clean and affordable energy. Together with Groningen Airport Eelde and New Energy Coalition, TotalEnergies Marketing Nederland has the ambition to develop a hydrogen refueling station at the airport that serves both the airside and landside of the airport.
Summit Engineering helps companies and governments with their energy management and renewable energy projects. Together they work to reduce CO₂ emissions and take steps toward a CO₂-neutral world. Summit Engineering is located at Groningen Airport Eelde in the RLS1957 complex. It is conducting studies with the airport, including in the WAviatER project, on necessary permits and siting for an electrolyser in an airport environment.
NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences is a higher education institution with campuses in the Netherlands and abroad. NHL Stenden Hogeschool was formed in 2018 by the merger of NHL Hogeschool and Stenden Hogeschool. The university has 24,000 students and 2,000 staff and offers education according to the educational concept Design Based Education. Education is based on co-creation with the professional field and the social environment. Students, lecturers and researchers work in multidisciplinary teams to solve assignments from the field, including at Groningen Airport Eelde, where students have already carried out several assignments, partly on location. Groningen Airport Eelde also offers internships and graduation placements, participates in Pressure Cooker sessions and NHL-Stenden students carry out research, for example in the field of calamity abatement for future battery-electric and hydrogen-electric powered aircraft.
Gasunie is an energy infrastructure company. In the Netherlands and northern Germany, Gasunie manages and maintains the infrastructure for large-scale transport and storage of gas. Currently, this is still mainly natural gas. With the energy transition, this will increasingly shift to green gas and hydrogen. Gasunie supports Groningen Airport Eelde in its GRQ Hydrogen Valley Airport project and sits on the Advisory Board of NXT Airport.
Resato is located in Assen and a supplier of smart high-pressure solutions. Moving towards a greener future, its product range has expanded to include hydrogen filling stations, boosters and test systems, with which it aims to stimulate the development of a hydrogen-based economy in the Northern Netherlands. Resato is actively participating in the development of GRQ Hydrogen Valley Airport, together with Groningen Airport Eelde it is promoting the hydrogen ambitions of the region and the airport, and is a future partner in the development of a hydrogen filling station at the airport.
NOM is the regional investment and development company for the northern Netherlands. Its objective is to strengthen the economy in the northern Netherlands. It does so by investing in companies and supporting entrepreneurs in their growth plans. NOM assists the airport and its NXT Airport Programme in word and deed by advising and guiding the airport and its NXT partners in areas such as establishment at the airport and project development.
Leeuwarden Air Base is an F-35 and MQ-9 base and part of RNLAF Air Combat Command (ACC). With the sustainability team, Groningen Airport Eelde is working -within its NXT Airport Programme, together with New Energy Coalition, Holthausen and other partners- to convert a DSA/Ground Power Unit of the airbase from Diesel to Hydrogen propulsion. Leeuwarden Air Base and Groningen Airport Eelde have expressed their intention to work together in the field of sustainability, with a focus on hydrogen application in ground handling.
The Province of Drenthe is a partner in the European programme HyTrEc2, part of the Interreg VB North Sea Region Programme. This programme that aims to support the use of hydrogen in the transport and energy sector in the North Sea Region (NSR). The Province is using these funds to enable the development of two hydrogen-powered Ground Power Units (H2-GPU), generators for aircraft on the ground. In addition, the Province’s Energy Team is actively assisting the airport in various projects under the NXT Airport Programme.
The Northern Netherlands is Europe’s first recognised Hydrogen Valley, where green hydrogen is produced, transported but also applied in industry, transport and other sectors. The province of Groningen is actively committed to developing this hydrogen network. In doing so, it works closely with other northern governments, companies and knowledge institutions such as the airport. In addition, it is co-initiator of Hive Mobility and the Province thinks and collaborates on the themes of hydrogen, droning and electric flying.
VolkerWessels is a leading Dutch construction company that has been active in the construction industry for more than 150 years. The company has built up extensive experience and expertise in various sectors, including infrastructure, real estate and energy. In cooperation with Groningen Airport Eelde, VolkerWessels installed NoNOx filter on one of the Ground Power Units (GPU) used during ground handling at the airport. A NOx filter is a filter used to reduce harmful nitrogen (NOx) emissions from diesel engines. By using the NoNOx filter, the current material can be preserved without having to be replaced immediately. VolkerWessels and Groningen Airport Eelde will test this system for the aviation sector in Q2 and 3 of 2023.
Netherlands Aircraft Company (NAC) is a Dutch company which, following the bankruptcy of Fokker in 1996, aims to develop a retrofit modification, making existing jet aircraft suitable for hydrogen and paraffin combustion. As a demonstrator, one of the two engines of a Fokker 100 will be adapted to burn cryogenic liquid hydrogen. In addition, NAC is part of the European Clean Aviation project Consortium for the AdVent of aero-ENgine Demonstration and aircraft Integration Strategy with Hydrogen (CAVENDISH) led by Rolls Royce. In the CAVENDISH project, a Pearl 15 turbofan is being adapted to burn cryogenic liquid hydrogen. The intention is to test and demonstrate at Groningen Airport Eelde | Hydrogen Valley Airport in a later phase of the project.
RWE is one of Europe’s largest energy companies and a major player in renewable energy. The company operates in more than 40 countries worldwide. RWE focuses on energy production and distribution and is active several sectors, including renewable energy, gas, coal and nuclear. The company has a strong focus on innovation and invests in new technologies and energy sources to achieve its goals. For example, RWE plans to build a hydrogen production facility in Eemshaven. Groningen Airport Eelde will use this hydrogen, among other things, for the, yet to be realised, hydrogen refuelling station and to power its Ground Support Equipment. RWE is actively participating in the realisation of H2 supply at the airport.
ENGIE is a leading international technical services and sustainable energy generation company. ENGIE plans to build a hydrogen production facility in Eemshaven. ENGIE’s facilities will be connected to the hydrogen network that Gasunie is developing throughout the Netherlands and northern Germany. Groningen Airport Eelde will use this hydrogen for, among other things, the yet-to-be-constructed hydrogen refuelling station and powering its Ground Support Equipment. In addition, ENGIE expects to supply liquid hydrogen to the Netherlands from Sines (Portugal) from 2027. The first demonstrator aircraft powered by liquid hydrogen are expected in 2028. Together with ENGIE and other relevant partners, Groningen Airport Eelde will prepare for this future in the coming years.
UMCG Ambulancezorg, a subsidiary of the University Medical Centre Groningen, is responsible for ambulance care in Drenthe and part of Fryslân. An innovative organisation that actively thinks about the possibilities of tomorrow’s ambulance care: both by land and by air. For example, it works with the airport, in its NXT Airport Programme, on manned and unmanned future air mobility in particular. It does this, among other things, by sharing knowledge and deploying its network in the field of unmanned aviation and electric flying.