The International Energy Agency (IEA) is an autonomous organization which works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 28 member countries and beyond. Founded in response to the 1973/4 oil crisis, the IEA’s initial role was to help countries co-ordinate a collective response to major disruptions in oil supply through the release of emergency oil stocks to the markets. While this continues to be a key aspect of its work, the IEA has evolved and expanded. It is at the heart of global dialogue on energy, providing authoritative statistics, analysis and recommendations. Today, the IEA’s four main areas of focus are: Energy security: Promoting diversity, efficiency and flexibility within all energy sectors; Economic development: Ensuring the stable supply of energy to IEA member countries and promoting free markets to foster economic growth and eliminate energy poverty; Environmental awareness: Enhancing international knowledge of options for tackling climate change; and Engagement worldwide: Working closely with non-member countries, especially major producers and consumers, to find solutions to shared energy and environmental concerns. More information can be found at: www.iea.org.


The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is the grandfather organization for many different agencies and organizations including the IEA. “The forerunner of OECD was the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC). The OEEC was formed in 1947 to administer American and Canadian aid under the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. Its headquarters were established at the Chateau de la Muette in Paris in 1949. OECD took over from OEEC in 1961. Since then, its mission has been to help its member countries to achieve sustainable economic growth and employment and to raise the standard of living in member countries while maintaining financial stability – all this in order to contribute to the development of the world economy.” More information can be found at: www.oecd.org



What is a task?

The basic unit of organization in the Hydrogen TCP is the Task, a research collaborative project that focuses on a particular facet of hydrogen. Each Task covers a different scope and has a specific framework and can be divided in Subtasks. Several members (Contracting Parties/ Sponsors) collaborate on each Task by directly funding their expert researchers according to the level of person hours agreed. Any of the members can propose a topic for a Task and submit for the final approval of the Executive Committee of the Hydrogen TCP. Typically, Tasks are allotted three years to be completed, and the Task meetings take place twice a year. The Operating Agent is the person who manages the Task and coordinates the experts to complete the work.

How are the topics decided on for the Tasks?

Any of the Hydrogen TCP ExCo Members (Contracting Parties or Sponsors) may propose a topic for a task. Topics can emerge in a number of ways such as: discoveries during research on other tasks, in annual meetings, or in the course of developing the five-year Strategic Plans. In order to get the task approved, the following steps must be undertaken: The proposal must be formally presented to the Executive Committee for approval. On approval of the proposal by the ExCo, the interested countries must conduct a “Definition” phase in which the details of the research are determined. The ExCo appoints a “Task Organizer” to lead the Task “Definition” phase. This individual is compensated directly by one of the countries interested in forming the task. After the “Definition” phase is complete, the final task proposal must be submitted for approval of the Executive Committee. If the Task is approved, participating countries nominate experts to carry out the research. Experts typically meet twice a year to discuss the progress of the research and development.

How are Tasks funded?

The participating countries for each Task are responsible for financing the research being conducted. Most often, the participating countries select and directly compensate their own national experts.

How long do the Tasks take to complete?

Tasks are typically allotted 3 years for completion. However, extensions are available upon request and approval.

How many people work on a Task?

This depends completely on the task and the nature of the research required.

Who is in charge of a Task?

Usually, one of the ExCo Members participating in a Task will oversee its progress. The ExCo Member assigns an individual to lead the Task, this role is called the “Operating Agent”.


Who are the members of the Hydrogen TCP?

There are two different types of Hydrogen TCP members: Contracting Parties (CP) and Sponsors. While CP represent their country, Sponsors only represent themselves. Unlike CP, Sponsors are unable to serve as Chair or Vice Chair and they are also unable to veto an otherwise unanimous ExCo vote that requires unanimity.

Contracting Parties are either countries or their designated entities (state agency, industry member, associations, etc.) that have signed the Hydrogen TCP Implementing Agreement. Today there are 25 Contracting Parties (CP): Autria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, the European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and UNIDO.

Sponsors can be entities from OECD member countries that are not designated by their governments as Contracting Parties and international entities that are not intergovernmental bodies. According to the policy framework formulated in the 2009-2015 term, the eligible Sponsor entities are: public-private partnerships; industry, associations (with a technical focus) and non-federated groups. Today there are 6 Sponsors: HyChico, Hydrogen Council, NOW GmbH, Reliance Industry Limited, Shell Global Solutions and Southern Company.

What is the Executive Committee?

The Executive Committee (ExCo) is comprised of one representative from each of the contracting parties and sponsor members. They act as the governing body of the Hydrogen TCP by approving Tasks, overseeing the creation and completion of the tasks, and deciding on new memberships.

What is the cost becoming a member

All members contribute to the Hydrogen TCP Common Fund, paying annual dues (currently 11.350€). The Common Fund is used for Hydrogen TCP management and promotion.

How to join the Hydrogen TCP (Accession Process)?

In order to become a Contracting Party/ Sponsor the following steps must be taken:

First, a formal request for membership must be given to the Executive Committee of the Hydrogen TCP. The Executive Committee will review the request and extend a formal invitation to the country/ legally constituted international organization/ industrial entity. The country/ legally constituted international organization/ industrial entity must choose a contracting agent who will act as a representative responsible for providing sufficient funding for any Tasks that it elects to participate in. The entity will then work with the Hydrogen TCP Technical Secretariat to complete the necessary paperwork for joining. Once they become a member, they must join at least one Task, committing to follow its scope of work and ensuring appropriate expert participation (as well as expert funding).

What are the responsibilities of a member?

Members must contribute to at least one Task, actively participate in committee meetings and planning sessions, and reliably meet their financial obligations to the Hydrogen TCP.