With the publication on July 2, 2009  of the  second call for proposals of the EU Joint Undretaking for fuel cells and hydrogen (JU FCH) Europe stays on course to realise the full potential of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies and to create a cleaner energy system for the future.  €71.3 million funded by the European Commission matched by in-kind contributions of more than 70  industrial partners will fund 29 project topics aim to put fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies on the market two to five years sooner than what is estimated without the support it offers. Selected teams of researchers will investigate bottlenecks in the whole range of applications for these energy technologies, from cars to large scale power plants, as well as the whole supply chain from hydrogen production to demonstration of the market-readiness of applications. Breakthrough research should foster the use of hydrogen-fuelled buses and fuel cell vehicles. It will help develop hydrogen storage and improve fuel cells’ durability, performance and the cost-efficiency to make green applications such as power stations or laptops ready for the market. The call is the second being launched by this private-public partnership whose total budget amounts around €1bn to be invested by 2014. Welcoming the launch, EU Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potočnik, said:
The new step taken today by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen JTI highlights the continued commitment of the European Commission and the European industry to develop breakthrough technologies to put Europe at the forefront of green technologies. Precious partnership in this area and others that are to follow in the framework of SET Plan will help the EU to meet its ambitious energy and environmental goals faster and cheaper. Such Investments today are a guarantee for EU competitiveness and growth tomorrow “. The Chairman of the Governing Board of the Joint Undertaking, Gijs van Breda Vriesman, also welcomed the launch of the second call, saying:

“The industry has been thriving to create this partnership for a long time. It is important to join forces to overcome the technical and economic hurdles to market-introduction of these technologies which have a big potential to address problems of climate change and energy import dependence. It is gratifying to see the long work done by the partners bearing fruit. We have a well-prepared research agenda and we are receiving a good response from the industry and the research community. We are just in time to grasp the chance to make Europe a leader in these technologies. ”
The application deadline for the call is 15 October 2009 and projects selected for contract negotiations will be announced in March 2010. For Call information click here.