Photography by ACE
04 September 2023
America’s Cup has forged a new technological partnership with ACCIÓ, the public agency for the competitiveness of Catalan enterprise which is part of the Ministry of Business and Labour of the Generalitat of Catalonia.
The wider partnership is a collaboration agreement to promote participation of local businesses in events related to the America’s Cup and centred around sharing of new Hydrogen technological advancements led by Emirates Team New Zealand, the Defender of the 37th America’s Cup and team that brought the America’s Cup to Barcelona, and their innovative developments of ‘Chase Zero’: the hydrogen powered foiling chase boat.
This is a key milestone to boost the use of this sustainable zero emissions source of energy in the marine industry.
The collaboration is also excitingly focused around the huge growth market of E-Sports and gaming, the objective of which is to take advantage of the first America’s Cup simulator game and the continued development of it with local suppliers and to strengthen Catalonia as a benchmark in the world of gaming and e-sports.
According to the Minister of Business and Labor, Roger Torrent i Ramió, “the Government’s objective is for the America’s Cup to have a socioeconomic impact that goes beyond the celebration of the event and that results in a significant economic return and job creation.
“But above all, it should translate into R&D projects in Catalonia, industrial development, opportunities for Catalan small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and growth in the blue economy and the Catalan nautical sector, always with sustainability as the underlying principle,” he emphasised.
The partnership will help to generate a new economic sector of nautical boats using green hydrogen via the transfer of the hydrogen boat technology to ACCIÓ and ensure that the new demand for hydrogen supply and infrastructure generated by the America’s Cup competition and teams is supplied by local suppliers.
One such supplier is Air Products, through its local subsidiary Carburos Metálicos a Barcelona based industrial gas supplier who have become the Official Hydrogen Supplier of the 37th America’s Cup here in Barcelona. It will be responsible to supply Chase Zero and all event and team hydrogen powered chase boats with the green hydrogen required for the zero emission boats, capable of speeds over 50 knots, to operate.
“Air Products is proud to collaborate with the America’s Cup on this innovative project to demonstrate on a world stage how renewable hydrogen can help decarbonise nautical travel,” said Air Products’ executive Ivo Bols, President Europe and Africa.
“As the world’s largest hydrogen producer, Air Products has made significant investments in clean hydrogen to help spur the energy transition. Through this competition, viewers around the world will be able to see, for the first-time, hydrogen-powered foiling chase boats used in a competitive and challenging environment.”
A bespoke mobile hydrogen refuelling station has been established by Air Products adjacent to the Emirates Team New Zealand base in the Port of Barcelona where the boats will refuel with the help of Air Products technicians.
The continued close collaboration between America’s Cup and the Catalan Government is another strategy to maximise the positive impact of the America’s Cup in Catalonia.
This approach has been mirrored throughout by all host entities including both the City of Barcelona and the Port of Barcelona, who have been fundamental partners in setting up the Hydrogen refuelling station within the Port.
“Today marks a new milestone in the commitment to decarbonize the Port of Barcelona. Hydrogen is one of the future fuels that must turn the maritime industry into a zero-emission sector. And at the Port of Barcelona, we are catalysts for all those projects, like this one, that should enable us to accelerate the energy transition to achieve the goal of being an emissions-neutral port,” stated Lluís Salvadó, the president of Port de Barcelona, who, as a host, has welcomed the attendees to the port area for the event.
Grant Dalton CEO of America’s Cup Event explained, “It has been very evident from the beginning that the host entities of the 37th America’s Cup here in Barcelona recognised the significant opportunities that exist with hosting the event over and above the sporting spectacle like Chase Zero the green hydrogen powered foiling chase boat developed by Emirates Team New Zealand.
“Innovation and technology are in the DNA of the America’s Cup as is pushing the boundaries of sustainability, and this exciting partnership with ACCIÓ is an example of a practical flow on of technology from the event that will boost the local business ecosystem of technology and research.”
“There has also been a huge amount of work that has been going on in the development of the America’s Cup game and simulator that the AC teams and Puig Women’s and Youth teams have access to learn to sail the AC40’s and this partnership with ACCIÓ allows us to continue the investment and utilise local gaming programmers here in Barcelona, the E-Sports capital of Europe, to bring the game to the global gaming market in due course,” said Dalton.