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Threats For The Network

The following describes general threats and barriers that HySafe may encounter along the way to achieving its objectives and vision. HySafe has activities which are naturally self-contained and self-sustained, e.g. the conference and the educational activities, and other activities which won't generate any direct income (support of standardisation, possibly coordination, etc). In general, there could be an attitude which sees the necessity for the safety guidance as very limited in time. According to this the catalogue of knowledge gaps will be filled soon and the required guidelines and standards might be easily transferred from existing rules. However, it is easy to prove that such attitudes might provoke accidents with much more negative consequences for the whole industry than a reasonable and steady investment in safety. The main threats the HySafe initiative faces concerning its sustainability can be summarised in the following five different categories:

  • Threats through competition within Europe which could weaken the sustainable structure’s position
  • Threat of product separation within the HySafe offer
  • Threats from external offers (for example from the US) competing with competencies developed within HySafe and targeting the unique position the network currently enjoys.
  • Threat of an inconsistent HySafe offer that is inconsequentially marketed
  • Threat of shift in priorities from the partners towards the HySafe

To (1): The potential European competitors for HySafe any projects or institutions with a European mandate on similar topics (M349, HY-CO etc...), large gas/oil companies such as Shell, Linde or their representative groups, and consultants in the gas producing field. Concerning the consultation and qualification of products European certification bodies such as “one shop buying”, TÜV ..., could compete with the HySafe offer. Therefore the orientation should be less product specific and more in the pre-normative research. This means further development of tools (development of test methodologies, model development,....) rather than usage of tools (commercial CFD, standard tests) should be the focus of the HySafe activities in this area.

To (2): The activities which generate their own sustainable revenue are potential candidates for a separation due to mixed interests from partners. Not only could these activities be threatened by external institutions or initiatives from other countries, but also internally from partners willing to further develop them on their own. It is important to point out the added value of conducting these income generating activities under a single platform such as HySafe due to its special safety mandate in Europe.

To (3): There are other platforms for international information exchange or research coordination. The most prominent group in this area is the IEA HIA Task 19. This activity suffers from similar constraints as the HySafe pre-cursor. The financial support for this information exchange platform is limited in time, but all members show an interest in a prolongation of this work. National entities in particular in Japan and US with a more direct access to the stronger public financers of research and with far simpler national decision making structures could found similar institutes with an international scope.

To (4): Within the scope of possible HySafe activities, there are some grey zones or even interesting fields that do not match the specific objectives and mission of the sustainable structure. The prospect of future revenues could make partners divert from the path agreed upon the run-up discussions. A systematic approach to all the different activities and products of HySafe is necessary in order to guarantee a consistent offer and to ensure the successful implementation of its mission and vision.

To (5): During the advancement of the activities of the future sustainable structure a change in priority for key partners in the project needs to be avoided. The day-to-day business in the member research facilities will often be in conflict with the activities of the sustainable structure. Therefore it is necessary to ensure that the commitment agreed upon by every member institution of the sustainable HySafe structure is honoured. In this manner, the significance of the sustainable HySafe initiative can be ensured.

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Page last modified on November 07, 2007, at 04:07 PM