On July 9th Intelligent Energy’s CEO, Henri Winand, attended the official launch of the next phase of the EU’s research programme, Horizon 2020, where the invitation went out for funding proposals as seven public-private partnerships were launched including the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH 2 JU). Out of Horizon 2020’s €80bn R&D programme, €1.33bn has been allocated to the FCH JU to further develop and implement hydrogen-based energy and transport across Europe.
Dr Winand said: “This funding programme is helping to boost investment in the fuel cells and hydrogen (FCH) sector. The new ring-fenced budget will help accelerate the commercial deployment of FCH applications and has a very strong potential to address energy security and climate change. This programme’s ultimate ambition is clear – getting fuel cells and hydrogen to the market, at scale.”
In his capacity as Treasurer of The New Energy World Industry Grouping (NEW-IG) and board member of FCH2 JU, Dr Winand outlined how the sector will focus on technologies for both clean transport and energy storage and security. In attendance at the launch were three hundred delegates and senior EU leaders including Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, as well as European Commissioners for Transport and Innovation.
President Barroso said: “Only if the best brains from academia, industry, SMEs, research institutes and other organisations come together can we successfully tackle the huge challenges that we are facing. This is what public-private partnerships are about, the joining of forces to make the lives of Europeans better, create jobs and boost our competitiveness.”
Being part of the FCH2 JU public-private partnership/joint technology initiative (JTI) has a number of benefits. It means the company can help set the priorities and shape the strategic programme in order to enable private investments. “Fuel cells and hydrogen can help Europe address some of its biggest challenges: cut carbon dioxide emissions, deliver large scale energy storage, reduce dependence on fossil fuels and create jobs and growth. Our objective is to unleash this great potential. The financial support from Horizon 2020 and the new investment we secure will help fuel cell and hydrogen based products and services become an everyday reality sooner rather than later,” said Dr Henri Winand.