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Estonia will provide €10M to hydrogen research

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Enterprise Estonia (EAS) and Kredex are preparing to grant an additional 10 million euros through a program in applied research for projects of Estonian enterprises that contribute to cooperation in the framework of significant projects of common European interest (IPCEI) in the hydrogen value chain.

Andres Sutt, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology, stated that the pursuit of climate neutrality and the numerous energy solutions that enable it are more crucial than ever.

Sutt stated in a news release, “Russia’s actions in Ukraine clearly illustrates the need to minimize EU member states’ reliance on energy supplies from third countries and to strengthen Europe’s potential to create clean energy.”

He stated that, as far as is known, hydrogen is the sole energy storage medium that permits extremely broad integration between sectors such as thermal energy and transportation. Nonetheless, investments in research and development and subsequently production are necessary for the widespread use of hydrogen.

According to the minister, it is crucial that the state give more attention to high-tech investments that are forward-looking, generate high-paying jobs, and play a significant part in European value chains.

“We have begun this with the specificity created by the applied research program,” he continued.

The program in applied research is one of the most significant national support mechanisms for encouraging corporate research and development, notably in the field of hydrogen. Applied research contributes to the development and manufacturing of new technologies, including as electrolysis, storage systems, and fuel cells, by providing input to enterprises.

In addition to the open grant round for applied research, hydrogen technology businesses engaging in joint projects with pan-European significance and pending authorisation by the European Commission are eligible to apply for financing from the 10 million euro dedicated round.

The leader of the applied research program at the joint institution of EAS and Kredex, Madis Raukas, stated that the IPCEI round will fund initiatives with high impact and potential that will help expedite the deployment of hydrogen energy and technology in Estonia and Europe.

“Moreover, in the future, our businesses will be able to contribute to the development of the EU hydrogen value chain and collaborate with other multinational corporations. The objective of Europe is to establish a full supply chain encompassing production, storage, distribution, and consumption, and Estonia should have many opportunity to participate to this effort “Raukas stated.

According to the joint organization, hydrogen contributes to the advancement of a low-carbon economy, and all of Europe is currently contributing to its development through the establishment of various strategies and action plans and the funding of cooperation and implementation initiatives. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and the Ministry of Environment are collaborating on the development of a national hydrogen road map for Estonia.

IPCEI combines public and private sector operations to implement major, value chain-based cooperation projects and to contribute to exports, economic growth, and competitiveness in the EU. The Regional Development Fund of the European Union co-finances hydrogen development projects.

Nedim Husomanovic

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