The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has allocated a funding envelope of $25 million for the R&D Funding Round under two streams, which are (1) Hydrogen and Hydrogen Vector Production and (2) Hydrogen Storage and Distribution. This R&D funding round seeks proposals to accelerate innovative, renewable hydrogen technologies with a path to commercial application.
Deadlines and Timings
Submission of expressions of interest (EOIs) are open and will close on 1 June 2023 at 5:00PM AEST. Accepted EOIs will be invited to submit a full application by July 2023.
Overview and Grant Amount
ARENA views the R&D funding round as a valuable mechanism to progress the commercialisation of low cost, clean hydrogen in Australia. The objectives of the R&D funding round are to:
- accelerate the commercialisation of renewable hydrogen through innovative R&D in hydrogen production, storage and distribution technologies; and
- build academic research capacity and facilitate collaboration between research groups and industry
The amount of ARENA grant funding requested should be a minimum of $500,000 and no greater than $5 million.
Eligibility and Criteria
Applicants under Round 1 are required to meet all eligibility criteria as outlined in the Transformative Research Accelerating Commercialisation (TRAC) Program, as well as the following additional criteria:
- Hydrogen and Hydrogen Vector Production Stream ― must be focused on innovative production systems that could feasibly serve a significant addressable market at commercial scale
- Hydrogen Storage and Distribution Stream ― is for advancing technologies for efficient, low cost and safe storage and distribution of hydrogen
The applicant must be able to demonstrate that the project described in the proposal:
- involves technologies specific to renewable hydrogen (or renewable hydrogen vectors)
- addresses one of the stream requirements
- meets the definition of R&D activities
- involve a technology with a minimum of TRL 2 at the time of applying
Scope of Activity
- Hydrogen and Hydrogen Vector Production Stream
ARENA may seek to support areas including, but not limited to, novel production; significant design optimisation and/or alternative direct pathways for high efficiency, low-cost, renewable hydrogen or hydrogen vectors. Examples may include, but are not limited to:
- improved electrolysis efficiency or improved operational flexibility
- capital cost reductions (extending to balance of production system)
- direct production of hydrogen vectors; and iv. innovation in water usage for hydrogen production
- Hydrogen Storage and Distribution Stream
ARENA may seek to support areas including, but not limited to, significant optimisation of hydride-based, adsorbent-based, liquid organic hydrogen carrier-based and liquefaction technologies for commercial hydrogen storage and distribution. it should be noted that industry proven existing storage and distribution technologies (such as compressed hydrogen gas) will be considered on the basis that proposals demonstrate step change cost reductions could be achieved.
Proposals must additionally comply with the following parameters:
- projects align with the scope of activity of one of the streams
- development of technology that is assessed as having achieved a minimum Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 2 at the time of applying; projects should aim to progress the relevant technology beyond its starting TRL
- Proposals should budget no more than 50% of total funding sought towards research commercialisation activities, up to a limit of $2.5 million
- the project timeframe is up to 5 years, which is split between core research (up to 3 years) and research commercialisation activities (up to 2 years); a stage-gate mechanism will be implemented within the funding agreement to assess the viability of the proposed technology and commercialisation pathway to approve commencing research commercialisation along with the release of associated funding
- the applicant must present a proposed scope for research commercialisation of the technology (in the form of a research commercialisation plan), which is expected to be refined during the project
For more information, interested parties are encouraged to read the program guidelines and FAQ set by the funding grant. Submissions for EOI and full application must be lodged through ARENA’s online portal.
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