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EU Promises $1.28 Billion for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Initiative

October 22, 2008

Bank bailouts may be capturing all of the headlines, but a new initiative from the European Union (EU) promises to inject a considerable pool of money during the downturn to accelerate the development of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. The European Commission, as well as participants from the European research community and industry will contribute nearly 1 billion Euros (U.S. $1.28 billion) to the public-private partnership over the next six years to fund research. Stakeholders believe that this effort will help speed the commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies by two to five years, and are hoping for a mass-market rollout of these technologies before 2020.

The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) is one of five JTIs launched by the EU over the last year in strategic fields of industrial research. The others address technological and economic goals including reducing time-to-market for new medicines, lowering the carbon impact of air transportation, improving complex computer systems, and implementing nanoelectronic research projects. These initiatives are led by non-profits representing the interests of industry stakeholders, which the EU hopes will help deliver timely and beneficial results for the European economy. The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen JTI industry group includes members from 66 companies including Fiat and Volvo from the automotive sector, and Total and Shell from the energy sector. 

The initiative is intended to help support research that is often so complex that it cannot be undertaken by a single company or research intuition. It will also help companies tap into the research capabilities of European universities. The JTI will implement the program by funding research proposals, and has already made its first round of requests.

For more information, visit: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/1498&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

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