Brussels, 08 Sep 2003
The European technology platform for hydrogen will be established before the end of the year and will play a crucial role in encouraging cooperation within Europe and beyond, according to EU Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin.
The platform is being created on the recommendation of the high level group on hydrogen and fuel cells, whose role is to facilitate Europe's transition to a hydrogen economy.
Addressing a conference in Grenoble, organised be the French association for hydrogen, Mr Busquin said that following the adoption of a common strategic vision the hydrogen economy is moving into a new phase, with the creation of instruments designed to turn vision into reality.
'The projects, structures, networks and initiatives that will focus on hydrogen and fuel cells are at the heart of the technology platform,' said the Commissioner. 'It will allow Europe to move forward with a united front, and speak with one voice on the international stage.'
The US has already proposed the creation of an international partnership for the hydrogen economy, and Mr Busquin would like to see Europe play a major role in such initiatives.
However, the Commissioner stressed that the active involvement of Member States from the outset would be crucial if the platform is to generate the various national and regional projects that are required.
He described hydrogen policies and research in Europe as 'fragmented', and said that the European Research Area still needs to be completed in this field.
There was, however, an optimistic message for delegates at the conference to take away with them. 'Europe has the competences and the scientific, technical and industrial resources necessary to play a leading role in the transition to a hydrogen economy,' Mr Busquin concluded. To read the full text of Mr Busquin's speech (in French), please click here