Main funding options in NRW for hydrogen and fuel cells are:

Lead Market Calls NRW

The operational program of NRW 2014 – 2020 for the European fund for regional development “investments in growths and employment” (OP EFRE NRW) has been started. Central point of the funding strategy is a call for proposals for funding competitions in eight lead markets through the "Lead Market Agency NRW". Information regarding all six different calls in 2015 focused on NRW will be in German at the webpage of Leitmarktagentur.

Federal Funding

In order to ensure the further development of technologies, the federal government and partners from industry and science have jointly initiated the "National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP)" through strategic alliance in 2006. The NIP aims to accelerate the market readiness of products of fuel cell and hydrogen technology. The total budget until 2016 is up to EUR 1.4 billion. The sum is equally provided by the federal government - the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) - and the industry involved. The NIP II (2016 - 2026) is a second phase as governmental program with R&D measures as well as market activation.

More information is available on the website of the program manager NOW GmbH.

6th energy-research-program of the federal government – research for environmentally friendly, reliable and affordable energy supply

Energy research is a strategic element of energy politics. Only with modern, efficient and environmentally friendly technologies we are able to manage the energy transition successfully. Therefore the federal government supports companies and research facilities to develop new technologies for energy supply.

Current calls focus on fundamental energy research (materials research), energy saving and energy efficiency (FC/H2 and energy storage).


The guideline regarding funding of CHP-systems up to 20 kWel has been amended and came into effect in January 2015. Funding rates for smaller systems were raised and can be increased about 85% through bonus funding “energy efficiency” and “heat efficiency”. Furthermore co-funding with twofold rates is permitted.

For power & heat with fuel cells in residential buildings click here (German).


ZIM - Central Innovation Programme for SMEs

ZIM (Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand) is a funding programme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with business operations in Germany which want to develop new or significantly improve existing products, processes or technical services. Public and private non-profit research and technology organisations (RTO) acting as a cooperation partner of a SME are also eligible for ZIM-funding.

more information

EU Funding

The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) is a unique public-private partnership supporting research, technological development and demonstration (RTD) activities in fuel cell and hydrogen technology in Europe. The aim is to accelerate the market introduction of these technologies and to realize their potential as a tool in achieving a low-carbon energy system.

The three members of the FCH JU are the European Commission, the fuel cell and hydrogen industries represented by the new industry association and the research community N.ERGHY.

The 2nd phase of this program,  FCH 2 JU (2014-2020) is under the umbrella of the European Framework Horizon2020.

For more information to the call 2017, see the website of FCH 2 JU or EC.

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