Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: Public acceptance of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies can be generally regarded as positive - with some safety issues still remaining significant. Global macro benefits remain not widely quantified and known: key features on fuel cells and hydrogen specificities and advantages are not well displayed in an easy to access format, as for instance dedicated internet platforms; introductions to technology uses and supporting demonstrators, apart from cars, are not sufficiently available either. This explains that the public seems to be relatively indifferent to developments regardless of the opportunities offered by these technologies.

Insofar the problem lies not so much with performing research into whether the public would accept widespread employment of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, but to make the public, including all stakeholders, increasingly aware of the potential of these technologies in order to prepare a commercial market entry, through a widely accepted vision of its macro benefits, concrete facts and figures on hydrogen and on safety and reliability issues, and clever and simple demonstration items and exhibits easy to display and use for a general public audience (for instance fuel cell assisted electric bicycles, mobile charging devices for personal computers and phones, and other gadgets suitable for public exhibitions).

Scope:  The overall objective is to increase public awareness of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies and deliver well-founded information on opportunities and risk management (fight the fear) by developing a strategy to explain these technologies to the general public and to private and public bodies (future potential clients). In order to do so, the consortium will need to include a range of economic academics mastering energy transition matters and issues, marketing and communication experts, and web communication agencies.

We expect the consortium to build a web platform, and to design and use innovative communication tools and the social media to allow the targeted audiences to better understand the opportunities and risk management of fuel cell and hydrogen technology implementation through a multi stage contributive approach.

Expected impact:

•             Supply of an overview study compiling the many existing studies showing the potential long term macro benefits of displaying technologies in terms of innovation, job creation, energy security and balance, and health in the European Union

•             Dissemination of the results of this meta-study through a well-defined media strategy and development of the associated communication kit reaching out to policy makers at European and national levels

•             Supply of a one-stop-shop for information around hydrogen and fuel cell technologies by design and implementation of an internet communication strategy based on a specialised web portal (e.g. news aggregator, social media, videos, mobile apps, games, case-studies, etc.). The platform web site has to document fuel cell and hydrogen technologies, including facts and figures, opportunities and risk management that will set the scene for the fuel cell and hydrogen sector for different key audiences, relay key news, structure the policy and public debates and propose debates on questions, concerns and issues around the technology

•             Improved public information by supply of technical content suitable for the general public to platforms such as Wikipedia and others

•             Supply of demonstrational items (other than vehicles) for exhibitions, fairs and other events that constitute a basic mobile lighthouse set of objects that can be easily displayed and used for the public in any blue / green society / green mobility event

Organisation of public debates in different Member States.

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