Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here you can find frequently asked questions concerning the PDA-regions programme and the application process. The page will be updated when new questions arise.
Please note that we are unable to comment on specific applications until the EOI call is closed, unless relating to a specific legal reason.

 

Successful applicants will receive assistance from project consultanciesin the form of time from a dedicated consultant and project manager, to enable them to develop detailed work plans for their hydrogen project.  They will not receive any money from the project.

In order to be considered for the selection process, the applicants and EOI responses must meet the following criteria:

  • EOI application forms must be completed in English
  • EOI must be submitted before the deadline via the web interface
  • EOI must be submitted by, or on behalf of, a public authority located within EU member states or associated countries
  • The applicant region must be in a Cohesion Country, Outermost Region, or island
  • The applicant region must have a pre-existing concept for a Hydrogen project
  • The proposed Hydrogen project must use mostly either green hydrogen production, or hydrogen production using bio-feedstocks
  • A personal contact responsible for communication with the Clean Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, Spilett and consultancy subcontractors must be named on the application
  • The local authority must be willing and able to co-finance the project
  • The applicant region must be willing to share findings and learnings with the Clean Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, to share with the observer network.

If an application does not meet all the above requirements, it will not be considered for PDA support.

Our online application process will take place over two stages. The first stage application form asks several “short answer” and “tick box” questions, alongside three short “free text” questions (up to 1,000 characters). This will allow us to understand your project and determine if it meets our eligibility criteria, while being quick and simple for you to complete. After this application stage closes, up to 30 eligible regions will be shortlisted and invited to apply for the second application stage.

The second stage application form will ask four longer “free text” questions (up to 5,000 characters each) that will allow us to understand your project in more detail, and how the proposal could grow from an idea to a real project deployment. These questions will ask you to describe:

  • The planned hydrogen technology deployment for your project
  • The support required for your project
  • The motivations and regional context for your project
  • The plans and activities already in place for project delivery

These long answer questions will help us determine how your project meets our selection criteria.

The deadline for Stage 1 applications passed on 21st October 2022, so is no longer open to new applications. A shortlist of applicant regions from Stage 1 have been invited to complete Stage 2 of the application process. Stage 2 applications should be submitted by 23:59:59 p.m. (CET) on 5th December 2022 through our website (www.h2regions.eu).

General queries regarding the application and evaluation process, or selection and eligibility criteria should be directed to application@h2regions.eu. Please note that in the interest of fairness Spilett and the consultancy subcontractors will not be able to respond to queries relating to a specific application, unless for a specific legal reason.

 

Application and supporting documents may only be submitted through the project website. Following submission in each application stage, the applicant will receive a dated email response confirming that their application has been received and giving the details of their application. If you don’t receive an email confirming the reception of your application within one working day, please contact the project team by sending an email to application@h2regions.eu.

If you encounter technical problems, please contact our project team by sending an email to application@h2regions.eu. Be aware that only technical advice may be provided and no answers to questions concerning the content of your application will be possible.

The assessors will only consider information included in the application in their evaluation; additional information outside of the specified questions and character counts will not be considered. The only additional information that is allowed is the mandate letter that applicants have been authorized by public authorities to send the application, as part of Stage 1 of the EOI call.

The following criteria will be used to evaluate each application. Evidence to support a regions ability to meet these criteria should be discussed in the application form free text answers.

  • Level of ambition and scale of the project
  • Strategic drivers for the project
  • Level of project maturity
  • Extent to which the project is realistically deliverable
  • Local impacts of the project (e.g. positive impact on local policy in favour of green hydrogen, development of local hydrogen expertise)
  • Level of commitment to delivering the project
  • Replicability and wider impact of the project for the progress of Hydrogen technologies in Europe

Full evaluation criteria can be found here: https://www.h2regions.eu/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/PDA-II_Selectrion-criteria_20220901.pdf    

Only public authorities, representing regions in EU Cohesion Countries, Outermost Regions and islands of EU member states or associated countries, are allowed to submit an application for PDA II. Public authorities may mandate a public body to submit the application. In this case, the public body must upload a copy of the mandate of the public authority as part of the Stage 1 application.

Public authorities in the understanding of this project are defined as:

  1. any government or other public administration, including public advisory bodies, at national, regional or local level
  2. any natural or legal person performing public administrative functions under national law, including specific duties.

This interpretation follows the definition offered by the Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE) glossary (https://inspire.ec.europa.eu/glossary/PublicAuthority).

Cohesion countries in the 2021-2027 period are Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. For more details, see https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/funding/cohesion-fund/.

Outermost Regions included as part of the EU are:

  • France – French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, Reunion Island and Saint-Martin
  • Portugal – Azores and Madeira
  • Spain – the Canary Islands.

For more details, see https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/policy/themes/outermost-regions/.

Any proposal from one of, or a group of, the inhabited islands in the EU or associated countries will be considered eligible for PDA II support. The list of Associated Countries of Horizon Europe can be found here: https://research-and-innovation.ec.europa.eu/news/all-research-and-innovation-news/updates-association-third-countries-horizon-europe-2021-12-21_en

Applications from neighbouring regions with similar goals and timeframes, governed by more than one public authority will be considered. Clusters of neighbouring islands or archipelagos are also invited to apply under a single application. However, islands with a wide geographical spread are unsuitable to receive PDA services as a single project and will therefore be considered ineligible. Such proposals are encouraged to consider submitting separate applications for each individual island, or group of neighbouring islands.

 

All applications will be assessed according to the following procedure. Firstly, the “short answer” and “tick box” questions in the application form for stage 1 of the EOI call will be evaluated anonymously, to determine if all eligibility criteria are met. Eligible applications will then be further evaluated against the project selection criteria to give an overall score for stage 1. All applications will be ranked by total score, with up to 30 of the highest scoring regions shortlisted and invited to apply to stage 2 of the EOI call.

Evaluation of stage 2 EOI call responses will again be scored against the selection criteria. These will be moderated between multiple assessors to ensure as fair a selection process as possible. Taking into account (i) the highest scores, (ii) the widest geographic coverage (regions from at least 5 countries and regions from at least 3 cohesion countries) and (iii) sufficient diversity in end-use applications, up to 15 regions will be selected to receive support as part of PDA II, with up to three regions placed on a reserve list.

Regions from the reserve list may receive PDA II support should any of the selected regions withdraw or be unable to fulfil its obligation, or should sufficient budget remain to support additional regions. Decisions on which reserve project will receive support, should budget become available, will be made based on level of support required and value for money, rather than ranking.

The contracting authority, the Clean Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, reserves the right to advise on final selections, for reasons of improved geographical coverage or end-use application diversity in the final project portfolio.

 

Once the final list of up to 15 projects to receive PDA services has been decided, the amount of time allocated to each project will be based on the needs of the individual project, rather than the ranking. Time allocated to each project is expected to not extend 50 person-days. The budget for this will be set out at the PDA support inception meeting.

 

The assessors will not contact any of the applicants during the assessment process unless for a specific legal reason. An automated email confirming the receipt of the application will be sent to each applicant.

Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application after the assessment process is complete, with relevant information about next stages of the process updated on the programme website.

Once the final list of successful projects, reserve projects and unsuccessful projects has been confirmed, applicants will be informed of the status of their application. Applicants will not be informed of their ranking or details of their evaluation.

Successful applicants will be sent a support offer, naming the responsible consultant and summarizing the kind and extent of services to expect from the PDA project team. After accepting this free-of-charge offer, the successful region will be invited by the Clean Hydrogen Joint Undertaking to the PDA support inception meeting with the other selected projects and the project consultancies, to kick-off the PDA process. Due to uncertainty surrounding any future travel restrictions, this meeting is currently planned to be held online.

Unsuccessful applicants will be invited to observe the results of PDA through our observers network, and will be provided with materials to assist them in project development.

In the event that one of the selected projects is unable to fill their obligation, one of the reserve regions will be selected for PDA. This will not be based on ranking but instead on fitting the expected timeframe and budget of the project with the time and budget available.

The observers network will be a group of local authorities across Europe who are interested in developing strategy and work plans for the deployment of hydrogen technologies in their region.  Members of the network will benefit from regular updates and lessons learnt from PDA support, as well as connections to similar projects in various stages of development and suppliers of FCH equipment.

Any questions that have not been previously answered can be submitted to application@h2regions.eu. We will aim to get back to you within ten working days. Please note that we are unable to comment on specific applications until the EOI call is closed, unless relating to a specific legal reason.

Every applicant must provide:

  • Completed application form in English
  • Agreement to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Terms and Conditions
  • Confirmation that the applicant is or may speak for a public authority

 

We will only accept applications written in English.

Eligibility with regard to the country of establishment will be considered at the moment of the deadline for submission of applications; as such should the Association Agreement of the country in question not be signed at that time of the deadline, then such entities shall be considered ineligible. A contrario, should the Association Agreement be signed by that date, the entity shall be considered as eligible.

A recording of the presentation section of the EOI call launch webinar can be accessed under the “Home” tab. The accompanying slides can also be accessed alongside this recording.

The Q&A section of the webinar was not recorded, for GDPR reasons. However, all relevant questions raised in the webinar are included under the “FAQ” tab.

The Clean Hydrogen Partnership has launched a public procurement to select the consultants that will provide the Project Development Assistance (PDA) services. The contract has been awarded and therefore the consultants selected will deliver the required services to all the regions effectively selected under the Call for Expression of Interest.

The consultant team is led by Spilett, assisted also by further subcontractors for specific tasks and possibly full PDAs, namely Element Energy, Reform Institute, Trezors and Ariema. The regions will be assigned a consultant as described in the “Services Supplied” section of the “Terms and Conditions” tab.