Grace Quan, CEO of Hydrogen in Motion, is on a mission to not only grow her company into a keystone business in the Canadian Hydrogen industry, but to build a lasting legacy and a new hydrogen economy in BC and across the country.
Hydrogen in Motion, headquartered in Vancouver, BC, has developed a breakthrough in solid state hydrogen storage nanomaterial, a technology that is redefining the use of hydrogen fuel technologies and simplifying its logistical applications.
A Major Breakthrough
Their H2M hydrogen storage technology belongs in the rare category of a true scientific and technological breakthrough. It’s the kind of stand-out advancement that happens when you put together a group of theoretical physicists in a lab, do some quantum modelling, and then tell them to build out the material from a quantum scale outwards. A true marriage of science and engineering that took something from a theoretical idea – “can we create a solid-state storage material for hydrogen?” – through a journey of experimentation, lab work and testing, into an actual, commercializable-at-scale technology.
Their current product prototype of non-compressed hydrogen storage tank is a major breakthrough in hydrogen based energy systems, with multiple prospects for commercialization (fuel cell applications, storage, transport and distribution, high density hydrogen storage, distributed power).
Hydrogen – A Breakthrough Economy
Quan believes we are on the cusp of a new hydrogen energy economy, and for good reason. The H2M technology from Hydrogen in Motion resolves the constraints currently burdening the hydrogen economy, making it the most viable solution for commercialization of future clean energy.
With Hydrogen in Motion’s technology facilitating the low cost storage and transportation of hydrogen, the hydrogen energy economy that has been brewing under the surface and making incremental progress over the last several decades, now has the support it needs to make serious headway into the oil/gas dominated Canadian energy market (and to bring along with it all the positive economic and environmental impact of an infinite source of constant energy with no emissions).
Facilitating the Hydrogen Revolution
It is this vision of a clean, hydrogen enabled economy in Canada that drives Quan forward, and it’s a vision she wants to share with others:
“We’re on the cusp of a hydrogen revolution in Canada, and in BC in particular – anything that is new and hydrogen related tends to come from BC. We need to create an industrial base that can facilitate these highly skilled jobs and opportunities that are coming. All roads lead to Canada in terms of Hydrogen Technology.”
Quan sees Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre as an important contributor to this breakthrough economy. “I was attracted to work with Foresight because of the quality of their executives and their cleantech mandate. They understood the importance of incubation and industrial space for hardware focused companies. They helped us get off the ground in a short period of time.”
Building a company in an emerging economy is not a short term play – it is a mission-driven, long term commitment. It’s a different game altogether when you are creating a business, developing IP and markets, and building a new industry at the same time. As Quan notes:
“It’s a deeper process for a hydrogen tech company. I’m not just planting a garden, I’m planting a vineyard that will last for generations. A deep, rich, crop takes time. This is deep tech with possibilities for transformative economic impact”.
Hydrogen Sector in British Columbia
Thanks in part to pioneering innovators like Quan and her team at Hydrogen-in-Motion, British Columbia has a real strength in hydrogen. With industry stronghold Ballard Powera nchoring the sector, Hydrogen in Motion is one of many ‘spinoff’ companies that have emerged out of the industry. Hydrogen is a sector to watch, and forms a significant part of the Cleantech landscape in BC (see the recently released BC Hydrogen Study for more information).
Foresight’s Director of Partnerships and Strategy, Catriona Power would agree – she is facilitating a Cleantech Cluster project, investigating how cleantech sectors are evolving in BC. Power sees hydrogen energy as an important factor in the future of BC’s economic growth:
“There is an economic cluster of hydrogen related companies in BC, covering a myriad of technologies and business models (engines, batteries, water purification membranes, carbon capture, infrastructure/fueling and transportation). The hydrogen sector is not only a good-news story, it’s a significant growth opportunity.”
Building an economic sector isa lot like building a vineyard – it takes dedication, persistence, teamwork, and a compelling vision. Quan’s vision of that hydrogen economy vineyard – where opportunity for clean energy is available for generations – is a vision that Foresight is completely behind.
It’s a vision we share, because we can’t wait to taste the fruits of that vineyard, and we know the tasting will be sweet.