Hydrogen Transport Hub: demonstration

Key Features

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of £2.5 million to demonstrate how green hydrogen can be used to power transport solutions for end users.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of £2.5 million

Opens: 11th May 2021

Closes: 16th Jun 2021

! This scheme is now closed


This competition will help the UK to understand how hydrogen can support the long-term development of the Tees Valley Hydrogen Transport Hub (HTH) and drive demand to decarbonise the transport system. This investment will support demonstrations of hydrogen-powered vehicles in real-world operational settings across Tees Valley.


The aim of this competition is to demonstrate the use of green hydrogen in transport to test business models and user operating needs to inform future large-scale hydrogen-based operational trials.

Innovate UK are looking for projects that will increase the demand for green hydrogen transport and support laying the long-term groundwork for the hub.

Applicants in this competition must use a hydrogen vehicle or vessel in an operational setting to replace, complement or add to existing transport fleets or operations.

Your projects must:

  • demonstrate a green zero-emission hydrogen transport solution by 31 March 2022 for 3 months
  • operate the demonstration in an open public setting or controlled environments, such as warehouses and distribution centres
  • offer a method to track their solution against performance indicators against a baseline comparator to understand benefits or challenges and then deploy this solution as part of the demonstration
  • 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 2022

Projects can operate vehicles partly outside the Tees Valley but must maintain their main logistical connection with the area.

As part of your project, you must also:

  • undertake desk-based research into future engagement with the hub after 31 March 2022
  • show how the activity proposed for 2021 to 2022 will support the hub’s longer-term ambitions
  • outline how post-2022 activity will transition into a commercially viable ongoing hydrogen-fuelled transport activity or a larger trial on the ground encompassing hydrogen production and its wider use beyond transport.
  • explore the policy landscape associated with the deployment of a specific hydrogen vehicle or vessel to help inform wider policy discussions

The project can bring together opportunities in other programmes throughout 2021 to 2022 which includes the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition.

You can use any number of vehicles in your project including:

  • freight vehicles over 3.5 tonnes,
  • light commercial vehicles under 3.5 tonnes
  • mobile construction plant
  • maritime or inland waterway vessels
  • trains
  • buses
  • forklift trucks

Specific Themes

Your project must focus on one or more of the following:

  • hydrogen-powered fuel-cell electric or zero-emission combustion vehicles of any size
  • maritime, rail, aviation transport
  • non-road mobile machinery, such as forklift trucks
  • infrastructure that uses hydrogen-fuelled vehicles and mobile machinery


Your project must:

  • have total eligible costs of between £200,000 and £ 1million
  • start by 1 September 2021
  • end by 31 March 2022

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • collaborate with other UK registered businesses, academic institutions, charities, not-for-profit, public sector organisations, research organisations or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business, academic institution, charity, not-for-profit, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

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

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

Innovate UK will not award you funding if you have:

  • failed to exploit a previously funded project
  • an overdue independent accountant’s report
  • failed to comply with grant terms and conditions


Innovate UK are not funding projects that are:

  • exclusively outside of the Tees Valley
  • dedicated technology development projects which do not have the required demonstration time built in
  • not intended to lead to commercial activity or larger on-the-ground trials after the funding period
  • infrastructure projects including hydrogen generation
  • desk-based studies which do not include a demonstration of hydrogen-powered transport
  • dependent on export performance
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage

Funding Costs

Innovate UK have allocated up to £2.5 million to fund innovation projects in this competition.

If your organisation’s work on the project is mostly 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 80% 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