Safran launches Explore H2 program to identify and develop hydrogen-focused startups



Safran has launched its Explore H2 program to spot and support startups and forge cooperation for its hydrogen-related R&T and innovation projects. The first group of selected startups will focus on four areas: hydrogen flow control in propulsion systems, hydrogen state and temperature control, real-time systems monitoring, and aviation fuel cells.


Hydrogen offers an attractive solution for decarbonizing air transportation but presents certain technical challenges. Through its Explore H2 program, developed with French and German partners, Safran aims to work together with startups to mature technologies and turn hydrogen into a viable and technologically feasible solution that will help decarbonize aviation.


Startups will be selected through various challenges run by German startup accelerator TechFounders by UnternehmerTUM and by the European Commission’s European Innovation Council1. Successful contenders will receive support from the Starburst accelerator program, along with training from Safran University, plus assistance in the technical maturation phase from France’s Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and CETIM in its own laboratories. This program could lead to the signing of cooperation agreements with the Group within a year.


Opening up to outside innovation and the startup ecosystem is hugely enriching for Safran and allows us to share our aeronautical expertise so that together, through the Explore H2 program, we can turn hydrogen into a bold solution for the aviation industry of the future.” said Eric Dalbiès, Safran Senior Executive Vice President, Strategy, R&T and Innovation.


With this ambitious Explore H2 new program, which aims to identify new solutions for decarbonizing aviation, Safran is positioning itself at the heart of the innovation ecosystem able to move the lines. Starburst is very pleased to contribute to this program with its long-time partner by bringing its expertise in start-up acceleration.”, said Christelle Astorg-Lepine, Director of Accelerator Programs at Starburst.



About Safran

Safran is an international high-technology group, operating in the aviation (propulsion, equipment and interiors), defense and space markets. Its core purpose is to contribute to a safer, more sustainable world, where air transport is more environmentally friendly, comfortable and accessible. Safran has a global presence, with 76,800 employees and sales of 15.3 billion euros in 2021, and holds, alone or in partnership, world or regional leadership positions in its core markets. Safran undertakes research and development programs to maintain the environmental priorities of its R&T and Innovation roadmap. Safran is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange and is part of the CAC 40 and Euro Stoxx 50 indices.


About Starburst

Starburst is the first and only global Aviation, Space and Defence accelerator with 10 offices worldwide (including Paris, Munich and Madrid in Europe) uniquely combining consulting, technology scouting, and venturing. Starburst team can master a great diversity of technologies and combine them with strong market insights. Starburst has built an unmatched global Aviation, Space and Defence innovation ecosystem composed of more than 10 000 start-ups, among which 35% are space related. It has long experience managing space specific acceleration programs and entrepreneur challenges. Starburst Consulting team has been involved in multiple market studies on space and connectivity topics.


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