The European Commission announces a E71.3 million ($99.5 million) research program on hydrogen fuel cells as part of the European Union’s Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Technology Initiative.

The JTI’s goal is to coordinate European auto makers, parts manufacturers, energy firms, institutions and governments in commercializing hydrogen fuel-cell technologies starting sometime between 2010 and 2020.

The EC is asking for grant applications from auto makers and other organizations. As is the case with other grants for the JTI, organizations will need to form research consortia, ideally with three or more EU countries represented.

The deadline for the applications is Oct. 15, and funding will be sourced from the EU’s seventh framework programs that fund the bulk of EC research initiatives.

The latest program is split into five sections, of which the most important for the auto industry is an E26.4 million ($36.8 million) tranche on a transport and refueling infrastructure and six related research projects.

These include the large-scale demonstration of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles and hydrogen filling stations; development of electric-driven turbochargers for fuel cells; optimization of electrodes for the proton exchange membrane fuel cell; cryogenic hydrogen storage; the use of composites for hydrogen storage; and quality issues associated with hydrogen fuel cells.

Other sections of the program have a more general application for hydrogen fuel-cell technology development, including industrial uses.

A E5.7 million ($7.9 million) expenditure will focus on developing gas-purification technologies for hydrogen production, while another E10.3 million ($14.4 million) is earmarked to cultivate early hydrogen fuel-cell markets.

Some E3 million ($4.2 million) will focus on training, education and promotion of hydrogen fuel cells for small businesses, and E25.9 million ($36.1 million) will be spent on developing stationary power generation.