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NRC opens cutting edge fuel cell research facility


Vancouver, BC – The doors officially opened last week on the NRC Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation (NRC-IFCI), a leading-edge applied research organization in support of Canadas hydrogen and fuel cell industry.

The new $20-million facility, located on the University of British Columbia campus, positions NRC at the hub of the Vancouver-area cluster, which is considered by many to be the Canadian nucleus for this industry, with a significant concentration of fuel cell companies, suppliers, infrastructure developers and service providers in Canada.

“This investment is aimed at building Canada’s national system of innovation and fostering further development of a community-based hydrogen and fuel cell technology cluster in British Columbia,” says Pierre Coulombe, NRC president.

The new 70,000+ sq ft research facility provides a specialized and safe research environment for NRC scientists, collaborative industry and university partners. The new building provides a good platform for NRC’s hydrogen and fuel cell technology demonstration activities as well as a home for the Vancouver Fuel Cell Vehicle Program and BC’s Hydrogen Highway.

“The National Research Council Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation is an asset to Canada’s hydrogen and fuel cell industry and further enhances the sector’s hydrogen and fuel cell research capacity,” said John Tak, president of Hydrogen & Fuel Cells Canada. “This facility builds on a solid foundation of partnerships that our industry shares with the Government of Canada.”

The new building addresses the Canadian hydrogen and fuel cell industry’s current and future needs, and was designed to facilitate research, and encourage communication and collaborations among NRC-IFCI researchers and key stakeholders in the community, including from industry and Canadian universities.

Key building highlights include state-of-the-art hydrogen-safe labs, a hydrogen fueling station, and building-integrated fuel cell technologies including ground source heat pumps and photovoltaic hydrogen production technologies. This facility is awaiting LEED Gold certification by the United States Green Building Council, in recognition of its innovative sustainability features.