Brussels, 14 October 2008
The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Technology
The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Technology
Initiative (JTI) is a public private partnership with joint funding from the
Community and from industry with industry in the lead. The Fuel Cells and
Hydrogen JTI was established as a Joint Undertaking by Council Regulation (EC)
is officially launched at the First Stakeholders General Assembly in Brussels on
14-15 October 2008. The Commission will fund 470 M€ from the FP7
programme over six years and at least the same amount will come from private
industry. Details of the concept of Joint Technology Initiatives are given in
What is the rationale for the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen JTI?
Current situation of fuel cells and hydrogen research, technological
development and demonstration (RTD) in the EU
- Fuel cells, as an efficient conversion technology, and hydrogen, as a clean
energy carrier, have a great potential to contribute to addressing energy
challenges facing Europe. EU Framework Programmes (FPs) have given increasing
levels of funding to this area, going from 8M€ in FP2 to 315M€ in
FP6. There are also national programmes with substantial funding. Therefore,
better coordination of the sources of funding could bring efficiency gains,
meaning that everyone gets more for their money.
- There are still many technical and non-technical barriers to overcome before
fuel cell and hydrogen technology is widely commercially available. Time is
running as strong RTD competition is coming from other global players, US and
Japan but also China and emerging countries.
Why is the JTI
favoured over a "business as usual" public-private partnership scenario?
The JTI will be a public-private partnership for research at EU level. It
will bring public and private interests together into a new industry-led
structure, implementing a jointly defined research programme. This structure
will ensure that the jointly defined research programme will better match
industry’s needs and expectations, and accelerate the fuel cell and
hydrogen technology acquisition and deployment process.
- The Commission supports such structure because the research needed to
develop the technologies is often so complex that no single company or public
research institution can perform it alone.
The Commission expects
this new model of public-private partnership to stimulate additional European
research investment, build critical mass by uniting currently fragmented
efforts, and ensure effective and efficient programme management.
What is the JTI added value?
This new kind of research cooperation has a number of clear advantages.
- It is estimated that the activities of the JTI will help to reduce time to
market for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies by between 2 and 5 years and will
therefore have a quicker impact in improving energy efficiency, security of
supply and reducing greenhouse gas and pollution.
- A pre-defined budget of sufficient critical mass and a 6 year time horizon
will raise confidence among public and private investors and allows industry to
make long-term investment plans and manage its cash flows.
- Industry’s lead role in defining priorities and timelines, in
consultation with the European Commission and 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.
What is the JTI expected
- 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
How does the role of hydrogen fit with other
energy carriers such as electricity and biofuels?
Hydrogen should be seen as a complementary energy vector to electricity and
biofuels. It is already part of today’s industrial technology; yet for
energy use the real benefits can only be exploited with novel technologies such
as fuel cells.
As hydrogen can be produced from a great variety of primary energies and it
can be advantageously utilised in a great variety of different applications
(transport, portable and stationary power) it will form an energy hub like
Hydrogen has the advantage over electricity that it can be stored much
better, which could be used to match renewable power supply and power demand.
Hydrogen can be carbon-dioxide-free or lean on its energy pathway if produced
appropriately and it can be used as a transportation fuel without emitting
Who are the members of the JTI?
- The founding members of the Joint Undertaking are: the European Community,
represented by the European Commission, and an Industry Grouping (the NEW IG)
established as an international not-for-profit association representing European
industry interests. The NEW IG currently has 66 companies, including members
from Fiat, PSA and Volvo in the automobile sector and Total and Shell in the
energy sector. In terms of size, the member companies represent the whole range
from multinationals to SMEs. Most are based in the Member States but there are
also companies from Associated Countries.
- A similar grouping, the N.ERGHY Research Grouping, representing the
interests of the European research community became a member of the JTI in July
2008. The N.ERGHY Research Grouping currently has a membership of a total of 49
universities and research institutes, mainly from EU Member states but also from
Associated Countries. They include CNRS (the French national research agency),
VTT (the Technical Research Centre of Finland) and Tübitak (the Turkish
Council for Science and Technology).
What is the legal basis and
structure of the JTI?
- The JTI has been established as a Joint Undertaking according to the
provisions of Article 171 of the EC Treaty. This entity will be established for
6 years with additional 3 years to bring projects that have already been started
- The seat of the Joint Undertaking will be Brussels.
Undertaking was formally established 30 May 2008 by the adoption of the Council
Regulation (EC) No 521/2008. During the start-up period (publication of the
first call, establishing the necessary infrastructure, etc.) the Commission
takes the responsibility for the JTI operations. The progress in the start-up
period is facilitated by an FP7 Coordination and Support Action funded jointly
by the Commission and the Industry Grouping.
The European Commission will contribute up to 470M€ for the 6-year
period until 2013. This has to be at least matched by industry's in-kind
contributions in the JTI projects.
The running costs of the Joint Undertaking will be shared with 50% paid by
the Industry Grouping and 50% by the European Commission and the Research
What is the JTI work programme and project financing?
- The JTI will develop its own work programme that will take into
consideration the strategic documents developed by the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell
Technology Platform. The Joint Undertaking will make resources available to
finance JTI projects.
- The JTI will take measures to attract 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).
- The JTI will implement the work programme through calls for
First call for proposals in October 2008
- First call for proposals has been published in October 2008 with a budget of
- Activity areas for the first call include:
- Transportation & refuelling infrastructure
- Hydrogen Production, Storage & Distribution
- Stationary Power Generation & CHP
- Early Markets
- Cross-Cutting Issues
What is the Governance of the
- The executive bodies of the Joint Undertaking are the Governing Board and
the Executive Director assisted by the staff in a Programme Office.
- The Governing Board is composed of representatives of the Industry Grouping,
the Commission and the Research Grouping. The Governing Board has overall
responsibility for the operations of the Joint Undertaking: implementation of
the activities, approval of the annual implementation plan, budget, accounts and
the balance-sheet; approval of the list of selected project proposals, etc.
- The Programme Office will, under the responsibility of the Executive
Director, be in charge of the daily management of the Joint Undertaking as well
as managing the launch of the calls for project proposals, the evaluation and
selection of the projects, among others.
- The advisory bodies of the Joint Undertaking are:
- The States Representatives Group
- The Stakeholders General Assembly
Which are the other JTIs?
4 other Joint Technology Initiatives have been launched over the last year in
fields of key importance for industrial research, where there are clearly
identified common technological and economic objectives.
- Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI): this programme will support the
development of new knowledge, tools and methods in order to bring better and
safer medicines quicker to the market.
- Clean Sky : this JTI will develop breakthrough technologies to significantly
improve the impact of the air transport on the environment.
- Artemis: this JTI will sustain Europe’s world lead in embedded
systems, specialised computer components dedicated to a specific task that are
part of a larger system.
- ENIAC: this public-private partnership aims at implementing large European
research and technology development projects in
 Council Regulation (EC)
No 521/2008 of 30 of May 2008 setting up the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint
Undertaking, OJEU L 153, p.1