Interview  •  Portraits  •  Members

"The feedback we have received since winning the SME of the Year Award has been overwhelmingly positive" - in conversation with Pierre-Emmanuel Casanova, co-founder of HSL Technologies


HSL Technologies won the SME of the Year Award at the 2023 Franco-British Business Awards. We had the pleasure of interviewing its co-founder, Pierre-Emmanuel Casanova, who shared what this award means for him and his business, along with the valuable feedback he received.

Can you share what the SME of the Year means to you and HSL Technologies? 

Winning the SME of the Year award is an incredible honour for both myself and the entire team at HSL Technologies. It is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and innovative spirit that our team embodies. This recognition reinforces our belief in the potential of hydrogen as a clean energy source and validates our efforts to bring sustainable hydrogen transport and storage solutions to the market. It also serves as a powerful motivator, inspiring us to continue pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the hydrogen industry. 

What do you believe were the key factors or strategies that led to HSL Technologies being awarded SME of the Year? 

Several key factors contributed to us winning this prestigious award. First and foremost, our groundbreaking discovery at Aix-Marseille University laid a solid foundation for our innovation. The development of a molecule that spontaneously releases hydrogen was a game-changer, and our subsequent focus on creating a new liquid carrier for hydrogen set us apart in the industry. Additionally, our commitment to diversity and inclusion has fostered a culture of creativity and innovation within our team. Our sustainable practices and dedication to minimising our carbon footprint also played a significant role. Finally, our strong connection to local communities and our efforts to support them have resonated well, highlighting our holistic approach to business success. 

Can you describe a particularly challenging moment HSL Technologies faced over the past year and how your team successfully navigated it? 

As an innovative company, we face challenges daily as our technologies evolve. However, our team’s resilience and problem-solving abilities truly shone during this past year to accomplish ground-breaking progress. Our main challenge was the completion of our Serie A funding that resulted in a 15 million euros fund-raising and the upscaling of our team and our vision. Doubling our workforce in less than a year has been one of the biggest challenges in our development. It was necessary to ensure continuity in the existing corporate culture while developing cohesion and a broader shared vision. By fostering open communication and maintaining a positive attitude, we managed to overcome these hurdles and keep our project on track, ultimately achieving our goals. 

What kind of feedback have you received from your team, clients, and industry peers since winning the SME of the Year Award, and how has this feedback influenced your strategic plans moving forward? 

The feedback we have received since winning the award has been overwhelmingly positive. Our team feels a renewed sense of pride and motivation, knowing their hard work is being recognised at such a high level. Clients have expressed increased confidence in our capabilities and have shown greater interest in our solutions. Industry peers have also reached out with congratulations and potential collaboration opportunities. This feedback has influenced our strategic plans by reinforcing our commitment to innovation and excellence. We are now more focused than ever on expanding our product offerings, enhancing our technologies, and exploring new markets to ensure we continue leading the hydrogen revolution. 

What are your plans and goals for HSL Technologies, and how do you plan to build on the success recognised by this award? 

Building on the success recognised by this award, our primary goal is to accelerate the adoption of hydrogen as a sustainable energy source. We plan to achieve this by continuing to develop and refine our hydrogen transport and storage solutions, making them more efficient and accessible. Expanding our market reach is also a long-term key objective. We capitalise on some business attractions in the United Kingdom, mainly after the Award. We are committed to investing in research and development to stay at the forefront of innovation in the hydrogen sector. Additionally, we aim to strengthen our partnerships with industry leaders, governments, and research institutions to drive collaborative efforts towards a carbon-free future. Ultimately, we envision HSL Technologies playing a pivotal role in the global transition to a low-carbon economy, and we are excited about the journey ahead. 


The 2024 Franco-British Business Awards are open for applications!

Boost your reputation and visibility, get access to C-Levels and win an Active Membership by applying to one of our five categories.

Share this page Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Linkedin