Brussels, 10 October 2007
The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Technology
The proposal for a Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint
Technology Initiative has been adopted by the European Commission (see IP/07/1468).
It will be a public private partnership with industry in the lead. The
Commission will fund 470 M€ from the FP7 programme and at least the
matching amount will come from private industry. Details of the concept of Joint
Technology Initiatives are given in MEMO/07/191.
This MEMO gives some detail about the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen
Rationale for the Fuel Cells and hydrogen JTI
Current situation of hydrogen and fuel cells (FC/H2) research in the
- R&D in FC/H2 has received increasing levels of funding from EU Framework
Programmes: FP2 (8m€) to FP6 (315m€).
- National funds available for FC/H2 are dispersed
- There are still many technical and non technical barriers to overcome before
widespread commercial availability is possible.
- Strong R&D competition is coming from other global players (not only
US/Japan but increasingly China)
Factors which will risk failure
with a "business as usual" scenario
- The research needed is often so complex that no single fuel cell company or
public research institution can perform it alone;
- There is no agreed long-term budget plan and strategic technical and market
objectives to encourage industry to commit more of their own resources;
- There is insufficient integration of the EU R&D programme (from
fundamental research through to large-scale EU-level demonstrations);
- Technical breakthroughs are needed to improve performance and durability and
reduce system costs to meet the expectations of potential
Elements of the JTI
The Joint Technology Initiative, JTI, will be a new way of realising
public-private research partnerships at European level. The JTI will bring
public and private interests together into a new, industry-led implementation
structure. This structure will ensure that the jointly defined research
programme will better match industry’s needs and expectations, and
accelerate the hydrogen and fuel cell technology acquisition and deployment
Added value of the JTI
This new kind of research cooperation has a number of clear advantages.
- The JTI will contribute to reduced time to market for hydrogen and fuel
cells technologies by between 2 and 5 years.
- There will be a quicker impact on improving energy efficiency, security of
supply, pollution, and on improving potential for reducing greenhouse
- A pre-defined budget of sufficient critical mass and a 6 year time horizon
will raise confidence in public and private investors and allows industry to
make long-term investment plans and manage its cash flows.
- Industry’s lead role, together with the European Commission, in
defining priorities and timelines, in consultation with the research community,
will ensure that full advantage is taken of the fundamental research capacities
in universities and research centres and that RTD and demonstration efforts are
integrated under common management.
- The JTI will create a stronger link between demonstration projects and
fundamental and applied research projects, accelerating the pace of learning and
moving faster along the experience curve.
- The JTI will implement basic research and industrial applied R&D,
demonstration actions and supporting activities, based on the work already done
by the European Technology Platform. Perhaps not adding much of useful info
- The intention with the JTI is to deliver robust hydrogen supply and fuel
cell technologies developed to the point of commercial take-off. For the
automotive sector, the aim is to achieve breakthroughs in bottleneck
technologies and to enable industry to take the large-scale commercialisation
decisions necessary to achieve mass market growth in the time-frame 2015-2020.
For stationary fuel cells (domestic and commercial) and portable applications,
the JTI will provide the technology base to initiate market growth from
Legal basis and structure
- The JTI will be established as a Joint Undertaking according to the
provisions of Article 171 of the EC Treaty.
- This entity will initially be established for 10 years. à The seat of the JTI will be
- The founding members of the JTI are: the European Community, represented by
the European Commission and an Industry Grouping established as an international
not-for-profit association representing European industry interests.
- A similar grouping representing the interests of the European research
community may be formed and become a member of the
The JTI is created by a decision of the Council, after an opinion from the
European Parliament. The further legislative process may then take several
months to complete. In order to facilitate the start-up of the JTI and ensure a
rapid transition to full operational readiness, the Commission will enter into a
grant agreement in 2007 with the Industry Grouping that will become the founding
member of the JTI along with the European Community. This will allow the set-up
of an interim JTI structure.
The European Commission will contribute up to 470M€ for the 6-year
period until 2013. This, and any other public sources of funding that can be
leveraged, have to be at least be matched by private investments in JTI
The costs for the basic administration of the JTI programme, estimated at
about €20m will be shared: 50% from the Industry Grouping and 50% from the
other member(s) of the JTI.
JTI work programme and project financing
- The resources will be available to finance JTI projects.
- The JTI will develop its own work programme that will take into
consideration the strategic documents developed by the hydrogen and fuel cells
technology platform, and in particular the Implementation Plan. This plan
contains a RTD&D programme with actions needed for a commercial take-off in
the time-frame of 2010-2020.
- The implementation of the work programme of the JTI will be mainly through
calls for proposals.
- The JTI will also take appropriate measures to leverage additional financing
from other sources, including from national and regional programmes, as well as
exploring opportunities to make use of the FP7 Risk-Sharing Finance Facility
(with the European Investment Bank).
- It is expected that Member States and Regions may invest directly or
indirectly into those JTI projects of interest to them. A flexible set of
mechanisms will be put in place to allow their optimal participation in JTI
Governance of the JTI
- The executive bodies of the JTI will be the Governing Board and the
Executive Director assisted by the staff in a Programme Office.
- The Governing Board will be composed of representatives of the Industry
Grouping, the Commission and, if established, the Research Grouping. The
Governing Board shall have overall responsibility for the operations of the JTI:
implementation of the activities, approval of the annual implementation plan,
budget, accounts and the balance-sheet; approval of the list of selected project
- The Programme Office will, under the responsibility of the Executive
Director, be in charge of the daily management of the JTI as well as managing
the launch of the calls for project proposals, the evaluation and selection of
the projects, among others.
- The Scientific Committee is an advisory body to the Governing Board.
- The High Level Member States Group will follow the work of the Joint
Technology Initiative and advise the Governing Board.
- The Stakeholders Forum will take place once a