The European Commission is launching a second phase of the first Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (FCH) Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) set up in 2008. The new Fuel Cells & Hydrogen 2 Initiative—with a proposed combined 50:50 EU-industry budget of €1.4 billion (US$1.8 billion)—will continue to develop a portfolio of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies to the point of market introduction. The new FCH 2 JTI is expected to start in 2014 and will end in 2024.
The JTI is one of five announced as part of a new EU-industry investment of €22 billion (US$28 billion) in research and innovation. The other JTIs address innovative medicines; aeronautics; bio-based industries; and electronics.
Specific objectives for the FCH 2 JTI include:
Reduce cost of fuel cell systems for transport applications by a factor of 10;
Increase electrical efficiency of fuel cells for power production by 10%;
Demonstrate the viability of large scale hydrogen production from electricity generated from renewable energy sources.
The EU expected contribution for the FCH JTI will come from the Horizon 2020 programme budget. The private contribution of €700 million will consist of both in-kind contributions in calls for proposals activities and of complementary actions implemented in addition to the calls, contributing to the objectives of the initiative.
JTIs are partnerships between the EU and industry, with their own strategic research agendas. The projects will be selected through open and competitive calls for project proposals. The selection of the best proposals will be based on independent peer review and concluded by formal funding agreements. A small number of activities are implemented through calls for tender (i.e. public procurement).
The new FCH 2 JTI will be managed by a dedicated FCH 2 Joint Undertaking the Governing Board of which—comprising representatives of the European Commission, the Industry Grouping and the Research Grouping—will take funding decisions.
Bio-based industries JTI. The Bio-based industries (BBI) JTI will focus on three main streams of activities:
Feedstock, by fostering sustainable biomass supply with increased productivity and new supply chains;
Biorefineries, by optimizing efficient processing through R&D and demonstrating their efficiency and economic viability at large-scale demonstration biorefineries; and
Markets, products and policies, by developing markets for bio-based products and improving policy frameworks.
The new BBI JTI is expected to start in January 2014 and to end in 2020. The estimated budget of this new initiative is €3.8 billion (US$4.9 billion). The EU will contribute €1 billion (US$1.3 billion) from the Horizon 2020 programme budget. The industrial partners will commit €2.8 billion (US$3.6 billion).