Relevance to the specific objectives of the Marie Curie action

Integrating disciplines

The academic partners have their roots in fundamental physics (UI, DTU), applied physics (FRI, CHA) and chemistry and chemical engineering (LEI, EPFL, OXF, WAR), showing the highly interdisciplinary character of the network. The expertise of the partners is summarized in Table 2.1, which shows that the contributions to the training programme are highly complementary. Synergy comes from the fact that both research goals (w.r.t. production and storage of hydrogen) have to be achieved to realise the hydrogen economy, and from the unified nanoscience/surface science approach that will be taken in research on production and storage. Also, some of the partner groups (LEI, DTU, CHA) will perform research on both topics in the framework of this proposal. The groups have extensive experience with international collaboration, and there is already intense collaboration between many of the partners. Four of the groups (LEI, DTU, OXF, UI) are currently part of one and the same Research Training Network (Predicting Catalysis) that will end on 1 July 2006, and there are many links between these groups and the other participants, and among the other participants.

Industry-academia cooperation

Industrial partners play an essential role in the programme. Their involvement guarantees the valorisation of the results: HS (an SME) and SHL are end-users of the breakthrough discoveries that are potentially made in the research of the academic partners on production and storage of hydrogen. The industrial partners will take promising methods for production and storage of hydrogen to further develop these methods and to scale them up. They provide a stimulating new environment for fellows who want to explore the opportunities of an industrial career, allowing them to perform research in a business-oriented environment. The industrial partners will give essential input in the training programme, by providing courses on communication and presentation, research management, handling of IP, and entrepreneurship. New skills and knowledge gained by the academic partners will be disseminated into an industrial environment. The project will make a strong contribution to fostering industry-academia interaction. Given the expected importance of research for the hydrogen economy over the next decades, we expect that the links that will be formed between the academic and the industrial partners during the contract period will continue to exist and even become stronger after this period.