New NOW leader

Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff
Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff,
© Christina Gaudlitz, IHK Cottbus

On April 23, NOW’s supervisory board announced its new director in Berlin. Starting on May 15, Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff, formerly a department head at Brandenburg’s economy and energy ministry, will lead the German national hydrogen and fuel cell organization.

Knobelsdorff, 52, is also spokesperson for the executive board. He replaces Klaus Bonhoff, who left for the German federal transportation ministry in summer 2019. Responsibilities are shared with Wolfgang Axthammer, NOW’s other chief executive, who has managed the business alone over the months following Bonhoff’s exit. Before serving the Brandenburg economy ministry, Knobelsdorff held similar posts in Schleswig-Holstein and Berlin, as well as management positions at Familienunternehmer and DIHK, associations representing German businesses at home and abroad.

Having worked on a statewide strategy alongside Brandenburg economy minister and hydrogen advocate Jörg Steinbach (see interview in H2-international, April 2019), the new NOW boss has become intimately familiar with the hydrogen and fuel cell market. Right up until his last days at Brandenburg’s ministry, he was busy promoting a new hydrogen initiative in the region, making many new friends in the hydrogen and fuel cell community.

H2-international can confirm his enthusiasm for the technology after visiting Knobelsdorff’s Brandenburg office in August 2019 and several follow-up discussions at events in and around Berlin. When asked about Germany’s hydrogen strategy, he revealed that he was hoping NOW would have a “coordinating role,” considering the strategy “more or less originated” with NIP, the country’s national innovation program. He added that there were no plans to reshuffle personnel or restructure the agency at this time.

read more in H2-international August 2020

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