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Open Pilot Line/Test Bed for hydrogen


The Staff Working Document on hydrogen highlighting the EU R&I support for implementing the Green Deal hydrogen strategy and contributing to a roadmap of actions called for better synergies at European and national level as well as between European and Member States programmes and activities. A single-entry approach for testing hydrogen production technology was identified as the Open Innovation Test Bed (OITB).

Open Innovation Test Beds were first conceived in the Horizon 2020 work programme. They are entities, established in at least three Member States or Associated Countries, offering access to physical facilities, capabilities and services required for the development, testing and upscaling of technology in industrial environments. OITBs will upgrade existing or support the setting of new public and private test beds, pilot lines, and demonstrators to develop, test and upscale technologies and services for new innovative products for specific technology domains.

The applicants are required to implement the set-up of an Open Innovation Test Bed (OITB) for hydrogen production technologies. The proposal should address the following:

  • Provide services for testing of emerging hydrogen production technologies mentioned in the Agenda Process SRIA[[]]. It will cover all activities from the prototyping to industrial production, and especially the testing in an industrial environment, the validation of the characteristics H2 production technologies and the control of the respect of legal and regulatory constraints.
  • Provide a technology assessment base line for future developments of the technology being tested.
  • Provide an assessment of the circularity of the technology being tested as well as potential domains for increasing its sustainability /Ensure that the innovations tested contribute to sustainability considering circularity in the design phase, less (or no) use of (critical) raw materials and decreasing negative environmental and social impacts.
  • The OITB needs to be operational within the first six month of the start of the project.

Access to the OITB opened to all potential customers. Open access in this context means that any interested party, from Europe and globally, can access test beds' facilities and services independently whether they are part of the consortium or not. It is critical that any interested party from the EU or Associated Countries can access the test beds at fair conditions and pricing and with transparent and mutual obligations with regards to, for instance, security, safety and intellectual property rights.

It is expected that SMEs will have access the test beds at the same conditions as any other entity from the EU or Associated Countries. For SMEs as core targeted user group, the test beds will offer a range of services which are of specific interest to them, e.g. regulatory support and the development of innovative materials that SMEs frequently cannot afford on their own. Proposals should demonstrate a solid and measurable outreach strategy towards SMEs and innovators outside the consortium.

As OITB aims at providing a full service along all the steps of the technological development of a physical innovation, all needed expertise has to be provided to users through a Single-Entry Point (SEP). The SEP is a separate legal entity of which the legal structure is up to the partners involved; however, the consortium needs to come up with a convincing structure that shows its capacity to work together as well as ensure sustainability during the implementation of the grant. If necessary, each test bed will acquire complementary services from other entities, for instance on characterisation and or modelling, in order to offer a full-service package to users.

The proposal needs to present a credible business plan aiming at future sustainability and operation of the OITB, included after the grant ends. It should set a framework for the definition of the access conditions to their facilities and services respecting transparency and fair access conditions.

Projects should collaborate with the Clean Hydrogen Joint Undertaking on aspects that require integration of hydrogen and are expected to contribute and participate to the activities of the TRUST database and the hydrogen observatory. Where applicable, proposals are expected to complete and/or extend the range of Open Innovation Test Beds that are existing or under development, including those funded under topic HORIZON-CL4-2022-RESILIENCE-01-20.