back to open calls

Hydrogen Transport Hub Demonstration Phase 2 - Strand 1

General & Misc
Automotive & Transport
Project Size:
£500,000 - £8 million

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.


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.

The aim of this competition is to demonstrate the use and refuelling of hydrogen for transport vehicles, while securing a sustainable demand of hydrogen from operators.

Demonstrations will test business models and user operating needs to inform ongoing adoption of hydrogen within Tees Valley and across the UK.

We are looking for projects that will significantly increase the demand for hydrogen transport and to support the development of the Tees Valley Hydrogen Transport Hub.

Projects are required to demonstrate realistic scale in their demonstrations.

Projects which demonstrate non-passenger car vehicles are encouraged to apply. Projects which address use cases that are hard to decarbonise and are yet to demonstrated are also encouraged to apply.

Your project must:

  • be aligned to wider Tees Valley strategic priorities and integrate with other hydrogen activity in the region where feasible
  • commit to provide results and learnings from your project to reinforce the Hydrogen Transport Hub’s commitment to encouraging hydrogen adoption in the UK
  • agree to support the Hydrogen Transport Hub’s training and skills development remit where agreeable
  • integrate with the Tees Valley hydrogen cohort and network to be facilitated by the Hub
  • outline how post-March 2025 operations will transition into a commercially viable ongoing hydrogen fuelled transport activity or a larger deployment encompassing hydrogen production and its wider use beyond transport

We encourage projects to demonstrate links to other initiatives, such as the OFGEM Strategic Innovation Fund, Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, Zero Emission Road Freight Demonstration, Aerospace Technology Institute and the Net Zero Hydrogen Fund.


Your proposed project must use a hydrogen vehicle or vessel in an operational setting to replace, complement or add to existing transport fleets or operations.

Projects can include demonstrations of single mode operations using one vehicle type, multi-mode operations and end-to-end operations where a mix of vehicle types are used to undertake a defined journey or operation.

Your project must:

  • demonstrate on a vehicle hydrogen transport solution by 31 March 2025 for at least 6 months
  • operate the demonstration in an open public setting or controlled environments, such as warehouses and distribution centres
  • track your solution against performance indicators to understand benefits or challenges, this includes addressing air quality and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with vehicles powered by hydrogen combustion
  • deploy your solution as part of the demonstration
  • report on the benefits for passengers, customers and residents in the Tees Valley
  • utilise the refuelling infrastructure which is to come online within the demonstration period
  • create the conditions for long-term adoption of your solution post March 2025
  • include operator training and vehicle familiarisation to aid useability

Your project can operate vehicles partly outside the Tees Valley but must maintain your main logistical connection with the area.

You can incorporate temporary hydrogen refuelling solutions into your project whilst the required fixed refuelling stations are brought online. Temporary solutions must be sited in the Tees Valley and meet volume, quality, and pressure requirements of the vehicles they intend to refuel.

Temporary stations must use either 'green' hydrogen or hydrogen that meets the UK’s draft low carbon hydrogen standard.

Your project must put in place an aggressive roadmap to move towards solely green hydrogen by March 2025. The use of grey hydrogen is not permissible.

You can use any number of vehicles in your project including but not limited to:

  • freight vehicles between 3.5 and 39 tonnes,
  • light commercial vehicles under 3.5 tonnes
  • mobile construction plant
  • maritime or inland waterway vessels
  • trains
  • buses
  • forklift trucks
  • aircraft
  • airside vehicles

Any form of hydrogen propulsion is in scope however, hydrogen combustion technologies must be advanced in pursuit of zero emissions and restricted to use on certain applications such as non-road applications.

Innovate UK reserves the right to prioritise fuel cell vehicles through its portfolio process.

Vehicles can be retrofits or new builds or a combination of both within the same project.

Refuelling infrastructure

Your project must construct new hydrogen refuelling capacity in the Tees Valley.

Your project must:

  • undertake site selection and all preliminary design and planning and permission requirements
  • meet all required safety and regulatory requirements, including current and emerging international standards
  • future proof the station for appropriate utilisation (scale) in a commercially sustainable manner
  • address operator and user needs with respect to refuelling efficiency and ease of use
  • ensure dispensing of hydrogen that meets the UK’s draft low carbon hydrogen standard once available, such as that produced using renewable electricity
  • ensure infrastructure funded through the programme is accessible to other operators outside the consortia by appointment or separate agreement
  • ensure infrastructure is located in a accessible and strategically viable location or locations
  • utilise a proportion of state of the art infrastructure, capable of refuelling multiple vehicles rapidly and back-to-back
  • describe any decommissioning that is required at the conclusion of the demonstration (infrastructure which can viably be repurposed does not require decommissioning)

Innovate UK reserves the right to drive cost efficiencies in its funding of refuelling infrastructure by requesting the projects make use of suitable alternative refuelling capacity within the Tees Valley. You may be invited to discuss efficiencies if your project application is successful.

The cost of supplied hydrogen should be provided at no less than the cost of diesel within that period. Projects are expected to be engaged with the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation scheme.

If you would like to check your project is in scope you must email a short overview of your project to at least 10 working days before the competition closes.

Portfolio approach

We want to fund a variety of projects across different technologies and markets. We call this a portfolio approach.

Specific Themes

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

  • hydrogen fuel-cell transport of any size or designation
  • hydrogen combustion transport – please refer to the ‘Projects we will not fund' section
  • road, maritime, rail, aviation transport
  • non-road mobile machinery, such as forklift trucks and construction machinery
  • agricultural and Forestry tractors
  • emergency and rapid response vehicles
  • special purpose vehicles

Interested in this call? Book a free consultation with our team
Book a Consultation
+44 (0) 1925 506 100
Contact Us
Thank you! We will be in touch shortly.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.