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Enlarging fuel cells and hydrogen research co-operation

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Boosting alternative energy research in eastern Europe

Researchers have promoted the use of fuel cells and hydrogen in certain eastern European countries. They investigated the current state of affairs, considered needs and barriers and created a collaborative environment, as well as guidelines.

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The 'Enlarging fuel cells and hydrogen research co-operation' (Enfugen) project made great strides in improving the capabilities of actors in new Member States (NMSs) and associated candidate countries (ACCs), and promoting their expertise. Efforts also improved knowledge for accessing funds, building partnerships and increasing participation in the European Research Area (ERA). Research and development (R&D) competences were mapped to improve the visibility of the NMSs and ACCs in question. The resulting report included references of major actors in the fuel cells and hydrogen (FC&H) field, along with information on public and private research bodies, research projects, technology platforms, fairs and events, dedicated press, and industries. The EU-funded consortium also produced a document related to the needs for and barriers to developing an FC&H economy. This knowledge, helpful for rolling out training modules and building guidelines for enhanced NMS and ACC ERA participation, was disseminated to European stakeholders for consideration in efforts to improve approaches and plans regarding the specific region. A collaborative virtual environment was created through the Enfugen platform, which allowed subscribers to exchange experiences and share knowledge, post news, download documents, develop project ideas and work on partnership building. Users could also request the activation of a wiki-based collaborative environment for preparing project proposals and their registration on the project database. Researchers also created the Enfugen visibility catalogue, a promotional publication containing the profiles and expertise of 36 research centres from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. having established a base for the promotion of FC&H in eastern Europe, researchers in the area now have the means to actively take part in the European Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Technology Platform (HFP Europe), amongst other activities. Beyond the short-term boost for the research sector, project outcomes have the potential for long-lasting and increased active participation in initiatives relevant to this up-and-coming technology.

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