Hydrogen Transport Hub Demonstration Phase 2 - Strand 1 UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £20 million to demonstrate how hydrogen can be used to power transport solutions for end users. Eligibility This competition is open to collaborations only. To lead a project, you must: be a UK registered business of any size collaborate with other UK registered organisations Open now Opened: 6 October 2022 Closes: 30 November 2022

Programme: Innovate Uk


Opens: 6 October 2022

Closes: 30 November 2022


The Department for Transport will work with Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, to invest up to £20 million for innovative projects.

The aim of this competition is to create a long-term sustainable demand for hydrogen from transport and to de-risk hydrogen’s adoption for transport owners and operators.

This investment will support demonstrations of infrastructure and hydrogen powered vehicles across transport modes in real world operational settings across the Tees Valley.

This competition is split into two strands:

  • Hydrogen Transport Hub Demonstrator phase 2 - Strand 1 – must include capital costs for fixed hydrogen refuelling stations (this strand)
  • Hydrogen Transport Hub Demonstrator phase 2 – Strand 2

Your strand 1 project must:

  • construct one or more fixed hydrogen refuelling stations in the Tees Valley area
  • demonstrate hydrogen transport solutions by 31 March 2025 for a minimum of 6 months with the expectation of continuing operations commercially after this period
  • operate the demonstration in an open public setting or controlled environments, such as warehouses and distribution centres
  • be part of the demonstration track vehicle performance against stated metrics to understand benefits or challenges for the benefit of other regions and industry
  • report on the benefits for passengers, customers and residents in the Tees Valley
  • develop plans for long-term activities to create a demand for hydrogen in the Tees Valley from 2025

It is your responsibility to ensure you submit your application to the correct strand for your project. You will not be able to transfer your application and it will not be sent for assessment if it is out of scope.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.

Funding type


Project size

Your project’s total costs must be between £500,000 and £8 million.

Who can apply

Your project

Your project must:

  • have total costs of between £500,000 and £8 million
  • start by 1 June 2023
  • end by 31 March 2025
  • last up to 22 months
  • include vehicle demonstration of at least 6 months
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian or Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian or Belarusian source.

If your project’s total eligible costs or duration falls outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to at least 10 working days before the competition closes. We will decide whether to approve your request.

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

For more information on company sizes, please refer to the company accounts guidance. This is a change from the EU definition unless you are applying under State aid.

Project team

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be a:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.

The lead and at least one other organisation must request grant funding by entering their costs during the application.

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total eligible project costs.


Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.

Number of applications

A business can lead or collaborate in any number of applications across the two strands of the competition.

An organisation can collaborate in any number of applications across the two strands of the competition.

Previous applications

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

We will not award you funding if you have:

Subsidy control (and State aid where applicable)

This competition provides funding in line with the UK's obligations and commitments to Subsidy Control. Further information about the UK Subsidy Control requirements can be found within the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation agreement and the subsequent guidance from the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Innovate UK is unable to award organisations that are considered to be in financial difficulty. We will conduct financial viability and eligibility tests to confirm this is not the case following the application stage.

EU State aid rules now only apply in limited circumstances. Please see our general guidance to check if these rules apply to your organisation.

Further Information

If you are unsure about your obligations under the UK Subsidy Control regime or the State aid rules, you should take independent legal advice. We are unable to advise on individual eligibility or legal obligations.

You must at all times make sure that the funding awarded to you is compliant with all current Subsidy Control legislation applicable in the United Kingdom.
This aims to regulate any advantage granted by a public sector body which threatens to, or actually distorts competition in the United Kingdom or any other country or countries.

If there are any changes to the above requirements that mean we need to change the terms of this competition, we will tell you as soon as possible.


Up to £20 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

You can request funding for your eligible project research and development (R&D) costs and capital costs. These costs must be listed separately in your application. If successful you will not be able to:

  • reassign capital costs to R&D costs
  • reassign R&D costs to capital costs
  • increase the amount or proportion of grant funding you are requesting for capital costs or non-capital costs

The total funding available for the competition can change. The funders have the right to:

  • adjust the funding allocations between the two competition strands
  • apply a ‘portfolio’ approach

Research and development costs

If the majority of your organisation’s R&D work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.

For industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

For more information on company sizes, please refer to the company accounts guidance. This is a change from the EU definition unless you are applying under State aid.

If you are applying for an award funded under State aid Regulations, the definitions are set out in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003.

Capital costs

Your application can include the purchase of capital equipment as an eligible project cost for large-scale demonstration projects. Investments must be relevant to the project and the maximum intervention rate on these purchases is up to 80% grant for the duration of the project up until 31 March 2025 for all organisations.

As part of your application, you must calculate the net cost of any capital usage of capital equipment. This must exclude any usage after the project end or any usage that is not part of your project.

You must estimate the residual value and we may independently value capital equipment at the end of the project. Where there is a discrepancy which results in you exceeding the rate of subsidy you have been awarded, this will need to be redressed.

Your eligible capital costs must be the costs of the construction, installation or upgrade of the refuelling infrastructure.

These may include:

  • the costs of the refuelling infrastructure itself
  • installation of upgrades to other components that are required for connecting to a local hydrogen production or storage unit
  • related technical equipment
  • civil engineering works
  • land or road adaptations
  • installation costs
  • costs for obtaining related permits

The costs of local production or storage units generating or storing the hydrogen and the costs of local hydrogen production units are excluded.

You will have to provide a cost breakdown for this in your application.

The refuelling infrastructure must be accessible to the public where applicable. It must provide non-discriminatory access to users, including in relation to tariffs, authentication and payment methods and other terms and conditions of use.

Within a capital infrastructure project involving businesses or collaborations with business and research organisations, if your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below.

These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

Individual partners that are conducting commercial or economic activities (which may include research organisations) as part of the project, can claim grant funding up to 80% of their eligible capital project costs. The funding rates are a maximum rate, the funding you request should be the minimum amount to make your project viable.

Funding cannot be used to reduce the total cost of operations below an equivalent fossil fuel, for example, a diesel operation. You will have to submit details of your capital costs as part of your application.

You can contact Innovate UK for clarification about funding levels and eligible costs.

We may contact applicants for further information related to your capital costs after your application has been submitted. If successful you may be required to claim funding awarded for capital costs separately to your projects R&D costs.

Research participation

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them.

Of that 30% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-S registered institution such as an academic
  • 100% of your project costs if you are an RTO, charity, not for profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation
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