UK-Australia Renewable Hydrogen Innovation Partnership Programme

Key Features

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £5 million for collaborative innovation projects between the UK and Australia. Projects must focus on the cost reduction of clean hydrogen. The UK funding is from Innovate UK.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £5 million

Opens: 1st Dec 2023

Closes: 12th Jan 2024

! This scheme is now closed


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with Australia’s Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water’s (DCCEEW) to invest up to £5 million in innovation projects.


The aim of this competition is to reduce the cost associated with the development of a low carbon hydrogen economy and is seeking proposals from business-led collaborations between UK and Australian registered businesses.

Your project must:

  • focus on innovation within the hydrogen ecosystem
  • advance the development of clean hydrogen or derivative technologies, or hydrogen applications
  • have a focus on hydrogen use, and at least one other part of the hydrogen value chain
  • involve an element of commercial innovation such as demonstrating a novel business model or novel hydrogen applications
  • be aligned with the national hydrogen strategies of the UK and Australia and sub-national strategies where applicable for the project’s target region

Your project can be of a large, medium or small scale so long as it’s commercially sustainable.

Portfolio approach
We want to fund a variety of projects across different technologies, markets, technological maturities and research categories.

Innovate UK call this a portfolio approach.

Specific Themes

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

  • affordable low carbon hydrogen production, including integration of hydrogen production with renewables
  • safe and efficient hydrogen storage and distribution
  • hydrogen utilisation in mobility, industrial processes and power

Example innovation areas of interest include but are not limited to:

  • hydrogen business models
  • low carbon hydrogen carriers such as ammonia and methanol
  • electrolysis, methane reforming, pyrolysis or other production methods
  • physical infrastructure, for example tanks and pipes
  • blending, deblending and purification technologies
  • sensing and metering
  • compression
  • materials
  • fuel cells
  • refuelling

Where projects are considering the use of hydrogen for mobility, we are particularly interested in and will give preference to applications in heavy duty land transport and maritime.

Projects that focus on complete value chains are encouraged. A complete value chain is one that includes an element of hydrogen production, an element of hydrogen storage or hydrogen distribution or both and an element of hydrogen use.


Your project must:

  • have collaboration between at least one UK and at least one Australian registered organisation
  • involve a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • have total project costs of up to £2 million
  • start by 1 May 2024
  • end by 31 March 2026

UK project partners must carry out the majority of their project work in the UK or Australia and intend to exploit the results from or in the UK.

UK participants must submit an application to Innovate UK and Australian partners must submit an application to the Australian side of the competition.

Both UK and Australian applications must be successful to receive grant funding.

All businesses in a consortium must be separate legal and non-linked entities. This is to ensure that projects encourage genuine international collaboration, not internal company research. Linked companies are considered a single entity under the parent company.

Your project must have a balanced contribution of the total eligible project costs among the partners from the participating partner countries. No more than 60% of the total project costs can be claimed by any single partner or by all partners from a single participating country.

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Projects must always start on the first of the month and this must be stated within your application. Your project start date will be reflected in your grant offer letter if you are successful.

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

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • be or involve a UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • collaborate with at least one Australian registered eligible organisation or organisations applying to the Australian side of the competition

Australian organisations must be separate legal entities, not linked to the UK partners.

More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

Project team

The project team must involve at least one grant claiming UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

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

Each UK partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once partners have accepted the invitation, they will be asked to login or to create an account in the Innovation Funding Service. They are responsible for entering their own project costs and completing their Project Impact questions in the application.

Australian partners must not be invited into Innovate UK’s application on the Innovation Funding Service.

Non-funded partners

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 project costs.

This does not include your Australian partner(s) who must apply to the Australian side of the competition.


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.

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


Innovate UK are not funding projects that:

  • do not have a collaboration agreement with an Australian registered organisation funded by Australia’s Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water’s (DCCEEW)
  • are focussed on sustainable aviation fuel
  • are focussed on hydrogen for space heating in either an industrial or domestic setting
  • cannot demonstrate they are developing or using low carbon hydrogen or hydrogen carriers when project is in use commercially
  • are developing or innovating in carbon capture and storage technologies
  • are business as usual and do not demonstrate significant innovation
  • do not benefit the UK

Innovate UK cannot fund projects that are:

  • dependent on export performance, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product

Funding Costs

Up to £5 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

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.

For feasibility studies and 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

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

Interested in applying for this competition?

Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.