Hydrogen and fuel cell technology will play an essential role in the future of mobility and energy supply. In order to guarantee the further development of these technologies, in 2006 government, industry and science began a strategic alliance called the National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP). NIP is intended to speed up the process of market preparation of products based on this future-oriented technology. The total budget of NIP invested over a period of ten years until 2016 amounts to € 1.4 billion. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) provide half of this sum, while the balance is funded by participating industry.
Besides large-scale demonstration projects, NIP also focuses on research and development projects. The demonstration projects are grouped into comprehensive lighthouse projects and take place under real conditions. Project partners thus work together and more efficiently on issues and challenges, which they otherwise would have to face alone, and with considerable individual effort.
NIP is divided into four programme areas in order to advance in equal measure, numerous hydrogen and fuel cell technology product and application options, and to be able to address in a targeted way the market-specific challenges of market preparation. The particular programme areas are: “Transport and Hydrogen Infrastructure”, “Hydrogen Provision”, “Stationary Energy Supply”, and “Special Markets”. With an eye to series production of components, the explicit focus in all programme areas is on the strengthening of the supply industry.