- Belgian consortium organised a guided tour of its factory in Strasbourg to showcase its hydrogen-based and zero-emission technologies in the car manufacturing industry.
- Lina Gálvez, MEP and Vice-Chair of the Committee on Industry, Research, and Energy, attended the event as we celebrate the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
- This TechDay was held within the 19th European Week of Regions and Cities.
- Finnova, a leading organisation in managing EU funds for innovation and environmental projects, has endorsed PUNCH’s financing under Next Generation funds.
Belgian consortium PUNCH, an independent group with over forty years of experience in the automobile and technological industry, held a guided tour through its Strasbourg factory on 20 October. The goal of this TechDay was to bring PUNCH’s work closer to society and to demonstrate its commitment to developing and upgrading state-of-the-art and zero-emission technologies for sustainable mobility based on hydrogen. This event, which was attended by over 80 people, was supported by Finnova Foundation, a leading organisation in EU funds for innovation and environmental projects. Finnova equally supported the financing of PUNCH’s project under Next Generation funds.
Attendees got to see first-hand PUNCH’s pickup prototype equipped with a hydrogen-powered internal combustion engine – a byword of PUNCH’s commitment to clean and sustainable solutions.
By holding this event, PUNCH presented its vision for the energy transition and decarbonisation by putting forward alternative mobility solutions focusing on three fundamental levers: the current technologies and production means which enable energy transition; the uptake of specialised technologies of each sector; and the build-up of a controlled transition which takes into account its social and economic effects to preserve the existing supply base.
The event featured MEP and Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research, and Energy, Lina Gálvez, who delivered the keynote address, Rudy Aernoudt, civil servant at the European Commission’s DG GROW, and a wide array of other representatives from institutions as well as experts in the automobile sector.
A project eligible for Next Generation funding Finnova Foundation CEO, Juan Manuel Revuelta, said that “PUNCH’s project to re-industrialise the Nissan plants is a project eligible for EU funding, as it aims to secure 2,000 jobs and to transform these plants by ensuring decarbonisation and zero-emission and powerful means of transport using hydrogen”. Mr Revuelta also stressed that PUNCH’s project focuses on Europe: “when it comes to innovation, this PUNCH’s pickup combines Italian technology (Torino) and the know-how of its plants in Slovenia and Strasbourg (France)”. “PUNCH takes part in cross-regional cooperation, as this TechDay is framed within the European Week of Regions and Cities and it is endorsed by DG MOVE. PUNCH’s candidacy is the most pro-European one – this Belgian
family-owned company does believe in Europe of the Regions”, added Mr Revuelta.
European Week of Regions and Cities 2021
PUNCH’s TechDay is framed within the 19th European Week of Regions and Cities 2021 (an initiative endorsed by the Committee of the Regions), the most important event for regional and urban EU policies where international experts discuss EU cohesion policy. The 2021 programme, ‘Together for Recovery’, centers on the capacity of the EU and governments to support EU citizens and local communities via practical measures and public policies to invest in a fairer, greener, and more digital future as well as to make Europe spearhead the green transition. PUNCH strives to contribute to the EU’s endeavours in sustainable mobility and ecological transition thanks to the partnership of five European regions – Catalonia, Flanders, Piedmont, Grand Est, and Banská Bystrica.
The proposal of the PUNCH consortium, a project with European technological cooperation between Turin-Flanders-Catalonia, would create 2,000 jobs in Barcelona and would promote sustainable mobility. PUNCH ensures industrial continuity at Nissan’s Barcelona plants and is the most supported candidacy by trade unions. The objectives of this project are decarbonisation, green transition, sustainable mobility, the maintenance of jobs at the PUNCH factory, the promotion of technology transfer and public-private partnerships, and the support and attraction of innovative start-ups around the Hydrogen Automotive Startup Europe Accelerator by Finnova Foundation.
European Mobility Week
The technologies developed in the Punch project contribute to achieving zero CO2 emissions, one of the global challenges set by the UN and the EU. For this reason, this initiative, which was presented at Esferic Barcelona on 14 September, is also an official event within the framework of the European Mobility Week, an awareness-raising campaign of the European Commission’s DG MOVE aimed at raising public awareness and facilitating a change in habits through the promotion of clean and sustainable urban transport.
PUNCH is an independent group with 40 years of experience in the automotive and technology industry, 100% owned by the Belgian Dumarey family. The group employs 1,750 employees in 7 locations across Europe and Asia with an annual turnover of over half a billion euros.
PUNCH’s portfolio ranges from automatic transmissions and reducers for eAxles (PUNCH Powerglide), engines and control systems (PUNCH Torino), kinetic energy recuperation and storage systems (PUNCH Flybrid), to forged aluminium chassis parts (PUNCH Precision). PUNCH concentrated its existing expertise around hydrogen by creating PUNCH Hydrocells, which targets the development, supply, and integration of hydrogen-based propulsion and energy storage systems, reinforcing the PUNCH group’s commitment to Zero Emission technology. PUNCH’s customer base includes renowned OEMs and automotive suppliers such as General Motors, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, TATA, SAIC, Changan, ZF, and Marelli, to name a few.
About Finnova Foundation
Finnova Foundation is a Spanish-Belgian foundation which finances innovation. Finnova aims to promote public-private cooperation through innovation to address societal challenges such as jobs, training, entrepreneurship, the UN SDGs, and the circular economy, among others. Being committed to innovation, Finnova has been organising the Startup Europe Awards since 2016, an initiative of the European Commission’s DG Connect. Headquartered in Belgium and Spain, Finnova has its own delegations in Chile and Panama. In Spain, Finnova is present in Valencia, the Basque Country, Andalusia, Madrid, and the Canary Islands.