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). 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 focus on a particular facet of hydrogen. Each Task covers a different scope and has a specific framework and can be divided in Subtasks. Several contracting parties/sponsor members collaborate on each task by directly funding their expert researchers according to the level of person hours agreed upon in each task. Any of the contracting parties/ sponsor 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 meeting takes place twice a year. Operating Agent is the person who manages the Tasks and coordinates the experts from contracting parties/ sponsor members to complete the work.

How are the topics decided on for the tasks?

Any of the HTCP 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. For instance, there were 8 member nations involved with Hydrogen Safety (Task 19) and 19 member nations involved with Fundamental and Applied Hydrogen Storage Materials Development Task 22.

Who is in charge of a task?

Usually, one of the ExCo Members participating in a task will oversee task progress. This ExCo Member assigns an individual to lead the task. The role of the ExCo Member and the expert manager is called the “Operating Agent”.


Who are the members of the HTCP?

The HTCP members are countries or legally constituted international organizations called “Contracting Parties.” Presently, there are 25 Contracting Parties: Autria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and UNIDO. If a prospective IEA HIA contracting party is not an IEA member, special permission is needed.

It is also possible to have sponsor members. Sponsors are defined as entities of OECD member countries or OECD non-member countries that are not designated by the governments of their respective countries to participate in a particular Implementing Agreement, or non-intergovernmental international entities in which one or more entities of OECD member countries or OECD non-member countries participate.

There are different categories of Sponsor Members. According to the policy framework formulated in the 2009-2015 term, the eligible sponsor categories are: public-private partnerships; industry, associations (with a technical focus) and non-federated groups. Interested Sponsor Members must also meet criteria of interest, willing and capability of participating in the HTCP ExCo and tasks. Presently, there are 6 Sponsor Members: HyChico, Hydrogen Council, NOW GmbH, Reliance Industry Limited, Shell Global Solutions and Southern Company.

What is the Executive Committee?

The Executive Committee is comprised of one representative from each of the contracting parties and sponsor members. They act as the governing body of the HTCP 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 HTCP Common Fund, paying dues into this fund on an annual basis. The Common Fund is used for HTCP management and promotion, 11350 euros/year.

How to join the HTCP (Accesion Process)?

In order to become a contracting party/ sponsor member the following steps must be taken:

First, a formal request for membership must be given to the Executive Committee of the HTCP. 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 for that country/ legally constituted international organization/ industrial entity and be responsible for providing sufficient funding for any tasks that it elects to participate in. The country/ legally constituted international organization/ industrial entity will then work with the HIA Secretariat to complete the necessary paperwork for joining the HTCP. Once a country/ legally constituted international organization/ industrial entity becomes a contracting party/ sponsor 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 participate in at least one task, actively participate in committee meetings and planning sessions, and reliably meet their financial obligations to the HTCP.