Driven by the Common European Interest – IPCEI Hydrogen

EU Matchmaking to commence in June 2021

The Pre-selection screening phase of the submitted project outlines for as part of the Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) on Hydrogen awarding process at German national level has been concluded. All submitted project outlines are rated against the selection criteria as specified in the “Call for expressions of interest issued for IPCEI on hydrogen” and their contribution to the creation of a hydrogen network. For the pre-selected 62 German projects, German federal and state funding of EUR 8 billion will be made accessible.

Those 62 pre-selected projects will be invited to participate in the further process and to join the “EU-matchmaking” sessions to commence in June 2021 which will entail them to connect to projects selected in other countries that are participating in the IPCEI on Hydrogen.

The objective is that the members states will after the matchmaking workshops elaborate a Joint Notification. They have to precise the common European interest of the IPCE on Hydrogen and all shall agree with the integration of the pre-selected projects.

To achieve this, each Member State and each candidate must be ready to engage in an intensive and detailed project assessment with the Commission and shall be able to justify all financial assumptions and business plans, as well as the full content of their project outline. Complementarity exchange of information between Member States and the applicants is dedicated to enable integration between individual projects.

Although the EU matching process is treated by the Member States with priority; it could take due to the interactions a couple of month time before the Joint Notification can be presented to the EU Commission.


Chapeau Agreement demonstrating the Integration and Positive Spill-over

The full integration of individual projects and the collaboration between companies is a must. The participating Member States have to demonstrate that the joint contribution of the IPCEI on Hydrogen serves the common EU interest. The IPCEI on Hydrogen cannot become a collection of independent projects. Each individual project of the integrated project must be complementary and necessary for the achievement of the important European objective pursued by the IPCEI on Hydrogen.

The benefits of the participating projects shall not be limited to the participating companies or to the Member States concerned but must be of wider relevance and application to the European economy or society through positive spill-over effects which are clearly defined in a concrete and identifiable manner. Benefits, or spill-over commitments, must go beyond normal business spill-overs, be clearly defined and quantified and must not be limited to a region, one or two Member States or companies, or the same sector as of the beneficiaries.

This is clearly to be documented in the Joint Notification a.k.a. the ‘chapeau’ document, which must be drafted and agreed jointly by all notifying Member States, justifying all eligibility and compatibility conditions.

Nomination to the EU Commission/ EFTA Surveillance Authority

The IPCEI on Hydrogen project will through the “chapeau” be subject to notification to the Commission / EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA). Upon approval by the European Commission, the Member States and participating companies can proceed further with the national funding application and granting. Each participating European Member State will do this individually and proximally for its national projects. For Germany, the 62 pre-selected projects are envisaged to receive the official granting early 2022.