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IUK – Hydrogen storage and distribution supply chain Collaborative R&D

Fund Name

IUK - Hydrogen storage and distribution supply chain Collaborative R&D

Project Length

Up to 18 months

Project Value

Up to £1m

Deadline

26.04.2023

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation will work with industry to invest up to £4.35 million in innovation projects. As part of the Future Economy Net Zero Programme, this competition will focus on the development of the hydrogen economy.

The aim of this competition is to develop new ways of delivering integrated hydrogen storage and distribution systems and the associated supply chains.

Check Your Eligibility

Fund details

Your proposal must show how you will:

  • develop new ways of delivering integrated hydrogen storage and distribution systems
  • develop and reduce the associated cost of UK hydrogen supply chains associated with the storage and distribution of hydrogen
  • push businesses towards commercialisation, accelerate adoption, reduce complexity and cost of hydrogen through demand-led innovation

Your project must demonstrate how it will work across and integrate multiple parts of the hydrogen value chain and tiers of the supply chain. You can include technology, business model development, safety and standardisation.

Your project must span two or more parts of the hydrogen value chain including:

  • production
  • storage
  • distribution
  • use

You must demonstrate how you are developing the UK hydrogen supply chain within the focus area of innovation and how it has included multiple tiers of the hydrogen supply chain.

You can use hydrogen or its low-carbon carriers, such as:

  • low carbon ammonia
  • low carbon methanol
  • low carbon liquid organic hydrogen carriers

Projects focussing on a low-carbon hydrogen carrier must demonstrate benefits to the development of the hydrogen economy in the UK.

You can develop innovation within different parts of the hydrogen storage and distribution supply chain, including:

  • physical infrastructure, for example, tanks and pipes
  • digital and optimisation infrastructure
  • components and enabling technologies, for example, valves, seals and fittings
  • on-road distribution, for example, tube trailers
  • refuelling
  • metering
  • sensing
  • separation
  • compression
  • materials
  • blending and deblending

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

You are encouraged to work across supply chain components to develop new ways of delivering integrated storage and distribution systems, accelerate adoption, and reduce the complexity and cost of hydrogen.

Your project can also consider and develop business models to:

  • reduce the cost of capital
  • attract private investment
  • increase insurability
  • revenue generation models
  • develop the value proposition
  • develop data for investors
  • reduce the risk for investors and insurers

Your project can also include aspects of hydrogen production to develop an integrated project spanning two or more parts of the hydrogen value chain.

Where hydrogen production is included, this should not be the primary area of innovation within the project. At least 50% of your project costs must be for the storage and distribution elements of your project.

Your proposal must demonstrate a need by including an end customer, such as a Tier 1 or original equipment manufacturer (OEM), within your consortium. They can be a funded partner or non-funded project adviser.

You must show evidence of how you have considered the end user of the hydrogen as part of the project. They can be a funded partner or non-funded project adviser.

Specific themes: 

Your project must focus on one or both of the following parts of the hydrogen value chain:

  • hydrogen storage
  • hydrogen distribution

Innovate UK will not fund:

We are not funding projects that:

  • are not collaborative
  • do not include collaboration across two or more parts of the hydrogen value chain where one part must include storage or distribution
  • do not address the development of UK hydrogen supply chains
  • do not include multiple tiers of the hydrogen supply chain
  • are innovating within the end use of hydrogen including in mobility, for example, on-vehicle or vessel technologies associated with the power train and fuel tanks
  • are innovating within the end use of hydrogen within industry, heat or power
  • are using high carbon-hydrogen carrier fuels of fossil fuel origin, hydrogen carriers must be low carbon
  • are not focused on innovation within the storage or distribution of hydrogen
  • are focused largely or have more than 50% of the cost dedicated to innovation within the production of hydrogen
  • are business as usual and do not demonstrate significant innovation
  • do not benefit the UK
  • are focusing on the national gas transmission systems
  • are focussed on sustainable aviation fuel

Eligibility

Your project must:

  • have total costs of up to a maximum of £1 million
  • start by 1 December 2023
  • end by 31 May 2025
  • last up to 18 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK-registered business of any size
  • collaborate with other UK-registered organisations
  • be or involve at least one grant claiming micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

Non-funded partners 

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example, non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.

Subcontractors

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

Funding 

Up to £4.35 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

If your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically but for this project will be undertaking the commercial or economic activity.

For feasibility studies and industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

Talk to us today if you would like to apply for this opportunity.

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