The approval of the continuation of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), with a 40% increased budget, was a major step for the sector. It was a testimony to the excellent performance of the first Joint Technology Initiative (JTI), with the sector witnessing significant growth.
Several good examples, especially in the current economic context, include: Fuel Cell and Hydrogen (FCH) industries saw 6% growth in jobs per year, with the companies increasing their annual turnover by 10%. Companies also experienced an almost 60% increase in R&D expenditure since the foundation of the FCH JU1.
Under Horizon 2020, the second generation of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH 2 JU) aims to speed up the commercial deployment of fuel cells and hydrogen in Europe through the investment of €1.33bn (half public, half private funds) in a range of programmes from research to demonstration and pre-market introduction tests.
The projects under FCH 2 JU will look to deliver a new generation of materials and prototypes as well as demonstrate, on a large scale, the readiness of the technology to enter the market in the fields of transport (cars, busses and refuelling infrastructure) and energy (hydrogen production and distribution, energy storage and stationary power generation).
The funding will be channelled through seven yearly calls, based on the Multi-Annual Working Plan developed by the Industry jointly with the European Commission and our research counterpart N.ERGHY. At NEW-IG level, the process towards this crucial document was led by a Coordination Group composed of all members and organised in five topical committees.
Concretely, we are looking to prepare the FCH technologies for the market by further increasing their efficiency and durability, expanding their lifespan and optimising their cost. Another important goal is to increase the number and size of our demonstration projects as they are a crucial step towards deeper market penetration. The goal is to expedite commercial deployment of those applications with the strongest potential for addressing energy security and climate change.
With an indicative budget of €123 million, the 2015 FCH JU Call for proposals will support a total of 20 topics covering a broad range of applications. The deadline for submission of project proposals is 27 August 2015 and all practical information can be found on the Horizon 2020 Participant Portal.