Australia – UK Renewable Hydrogen Innovation Partnerships

The Australian Government has announced up to $10 million over 3 years for hydrogen research, development and demonstration projects in partnership with UK companies.

This grant is currently closed to applications

What do you get?

Grants of up to $2 million. The grant amount will be up to 50% of eligible expenditure.

Who is this for?

Organisations undertaking projects that support hydrogen research, development and demonstration projects in partnership with UK companies.


The Australia-UK Renewable Hydrogen Innovation Partnerships (the program) will run over 3 years from 2023-24 to 2025-26. The program is part of the Australian Government’s investment in international collaboration on clean energy and technology with key strategic partners, and delivers on Australia’s obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement. The program is the Government’s contribution to a joint funding call under our clean energy technology partnership with the United Kingdom (UK), announced on 31 July 2023. The UK Government (Innovate UK) will implement a complementary grants program, Australia-UK Renewable Hydrogen Innovation Competition, as part of this joint funding call.

The program provides support to Australian companies for up to $10 million in funding for hydrogen research, development and demonstration projects in partnership with UK companies, as part of the Government’s Strategic International Partnerships measure. Projects should support renewable hydrogen technologies needed to deliver on the Australian Government’s National Hydrogen Strategy and the State of Hydrogen 2022 report. This includes, but is not limited to, the production of renewable hydrogen and derivatives, and the use of hydrogen in hard-to-abate industry (iron and steelmaking, chemicals) and heavy transport sectors.

The objectives of the program are:

  • advance the development, innovation and application of hydrogen technologies, with goals of reducing costs associated with the development of a renewable hydrogen economy, industrial decarbonisation and accelerating the uptake of net zero technologies to reduce emissions
  • foster greater collaboration of businesses between Australia and the United Kingdom
  • leverage private and non-Commonwealth funding towards clean energy projects, technologies and their supply chains in Australia.

Information sessions

Information session video recording

Information sessions for the Australia UK Renewable Hydrogen Innovation Partnerships program were held in December 2023. The information sessions covered the program objectives, eligibility and merit criteria, how to find a UK project partner and how to apply.

Information sessions - Questions and answers

The below questions were raised during the Information Sessions for Australia-UK Renewable Hydrogen Innovation Partnerships Program that were held on 6 and 18 December 2023.

We have sought to answer relevant questions posed by participants. Should the below answers not fully answer the question, or if you have further questions, please contact us to discuss your individual circumstances.

How do project budgets work between Lead Applicants and project partners to incur the project costs. Would the university (project partner) only be able to provide in-kind contributions?

As per section 3.1 of the grant opportunity guidelines, project partners can make cash or in-kind contributions to the project, with a maximum of 20% of eligible project expenditure derived from in-kind contributions.

Project partners may also provide services to the project for a fee, for which they invoice the lead applicant.

Does the 50% co-contribution need to come solely from the lead applicant, or can it be made up of contributions from the applicant and project partners?

The 50% co-contribution can come from the applicant, the project partner(s), other non-Commonwealth grants, or a combination of these.

Please elaborate on the cash contribution requirement

Co-contributions can come from the Lead applicant or its project partners. The grant provides up to 50% of total eligible project costs, the remaining 50% must come from the Lead applicant or its project partners, as cash or in-kind contributions. At least 30% of total eligible project costs must be a cash contribution. Cash contributions can come from your partners, state territory and international government grants, but cannot include grant money from the UK-Australia Renewable Hydrogen Innovation Partnership Program or other Commonwealth government grants.

Are CRCs eligible to apply for the program?

Yes, if the CRC (Cooperative Research Centre) is incorporated in Australia and has a current ABN they are eligible to apply.

Note, this program will not support activities or projects that are already receiving Commonwealth funding. The application should be clear on the source of the cash contribution and demonstrate it is not Commonwealth funds or third party funds that are already committed to an existing Commonwealth funded project.

Can CSIRO be a lead applicant from Australia or does the lead applicant have to be an SME?

Yes, CSIRO is a Corporate Commonwealth Entity so they are eligible to apply as per section 4.1 of the grant opportunity guidelines.

Are universities eligible to apply?

No, universities are not eligible to be the lead applicant, but may participate as project partners. The program focuses on supporting commercial collaborations between Australia and the UK.

Can an Australian University be a project partner with more than one UK partnership application?

Yes, a project partner can be a partner for more than one project.

Can universities participate as non-lead participants?

Yes, universities can be project partners rather than the lead applicant.

Is the UK project partner’s requested grant amount (within 10% variation) based on grant amounts or project costs? (see section 4.3 of the grant opportunity guidelines)

Grant amounts. The Australian grant amount must be matched within 10% of the UK grant amount in Australian dollar equivalent.

As joint projects, we expect the Australian and UK grants to closely match in grant amounts. This would ensure roughly equal Government support for both Australian and UK project leads through the joint project. We acknowledge that there can be difficulties in framing project activities, aligning UK/Australian activities and respective project budgeting, as well as variation in currency exchange rates. As such a 10% variation between requested grant amounts will still be acceptable.

For example. If you are applying for a AU$2 million grant, your UK project partner should apply for a grant amount ranging between £1.0 to £1.2 million or AU$1.8 to 2.3 million equivalent.

Note the UK Government has limits on funding requests based on project and entity type. It is up to you and your UK partner to discuss the joint project and respective eligibility requirements. It is key to communicate who will do what, what your project budgets would look like and frame your project activities/expenditures appropriately, ensuring compliance with respective grant programs.

Example of a scenario that doesn’t meet the eligibility criteria at section 4.3 of the grant opportunity guidelines:

Where your UK partner is requesting a grant amount that exceeds the value of your grant request by more than 10%. For example, a UK project of £2 million (total costs) involving an SME, a medium/large organisation and a Catapult (that is acting non commercially and is treated as an RTO) propose a project to undertake a feasibility study. Neither the SME nor the Catapult can take more than 60% of the project costs (i.e. £1.2 million) and the Catapult cannot take more than 30% of the total costs as an RTO. The financial breakdown is as follows:

  • SME costs of £1.2 million, intervention rate of 70% grant = £840,000
  • Large organisation costs of £300,000, intervention rate of 50% grant = £150,000
  • Catapult (RTO) costs of £500,000, intervention rate of 100% grant = £1,490,000

In this example the grant request of £1.49 million (AU$2.83 million) far exceeds the maximum grant of AU$2 million the Australian lead applicant can apply for and the Australian application would not meet the eligibility criteria at section 4.3 as the UK grant request is not within 10% of the Australian grant request.

Are there other UK initiatives that are complementary to this program in a similar way to the complementary Australian programs?

Innovate UK response: there are domestic UK programs that aren’t open to overseas participants, however some are open to having international project partners.

How do you describe clean hydrogen? How about projects involving pyrolysis or methane cracking?

The program focuses on clean or low carbon hydrogen, such as renewable hydrogen. Eligible activities include technologies to produce clean hydrogen via electrolysis, pyrolysis, methane or biogas reforming. Please see section 5 of the grant opportunity guidelines for a full list of eligible and ineligible projects.

Are PhD Scholarships and post-doc salaries considered eligible project expenditure?

As per Appendix A, section A.2 of the grant opportunity guidelines, labour expenditure is eligible for the direct labour costs of salaried/wage employees working on the project, with maximum claimable salaries per financial year, and exclusions of leadership and administrative staff.

Scholarships may be eligible if the costs incurred are a direct cost of the project and are eligible expenditure.

See Appendix A of the grant opportunity guidelines for more information.

Applications currently close mid-January 2024, can the end date for submissions be extended to mid-February 2024?

This is highly unlikely to occur. Extending the application period will reduce successful applicants’ project periods as the program end date will not change. Please do your best to get applications in by the closing date 19 January 2024.

In accordance with section 7.3 of the grant opportunity guidelines, we cannot accept late applications.

How do applicants access B2Match online marketplace?

Access the B2Match online marketplace through the link under Find partners for your Australia-UK renewable hydrogen project.

Would the Department consider multiple applications from one organisation?

Yes, as long as each submitted application is for a different project.

Are there templates for budgets and project plans?


Who owns the third party equipment we get through this project funding and how is the depreciation calculated after the funding ends?

Plant and equipment will be owned by whoever is incurring the costs. The Commonwealth will not own any plant or equipment purchased through this grant.

Only depreciation of plant/equipment during the project period is considered eligible expenditure. Depreciation beyond the project period will be the plant owner’s expense. See Appendix A of the grant opportunity guidelines.

Does the UK partner have to be a company?

Your UK project partner must apply for a grant with Innovate UK, through the UK-Australia Renewable Hydrogen Innovation Partnership Programme. To be eligible for the UK grant, your project partner must be a UK registered business of any size, be or involve a UK registered micro or SME.

It is the UK organisation’s responsibility to make sure that they are complying with the UK guidelines and grant processes.

Are Catapults eligible to apply for the UK grant? If yes, what is the maximum grant amount they can claim?

Pending response from Innovate UK.

According to the UK funding rules and the UK Program’s eligibility. Does it mean that the UK side will never be able to request the full £2 million project cost for grant funding?

A UK consortium can have total project costs up to £2 million. Grant rates vary depending on organisation type, size and project type. An eligible consortium will not be able to claim £2 million in grants but can have project costs up to this amount.

Why does the UK Competition date close 1 week before ours on 12 January 2024?

Innovate UK is looking into extending this, but please note the closing date for the UK- Australia Renewable Hydrogen Innovation Partnership Program as they stand for now.

What type of formal arrangement needs to be in place with a project partner?

If you are successful, we would request that you enter a formal arrangement with your project partner prior to executing a funding agreement. This is typically an agreement where both parties agree to responsibilities, activities, contributions, project roles, etc.

How does the UK define company size; micro, medium and large?

Please refer to Companies House accounts guidance - GOV.UK ( for definitions.

Is there a UK contact we can engage for queries about the UK competition?

Please contact for queries regarding the UK-Australia Renewable Hydrogen Innovation Partnerships Program.

When the UK partner applies for a UK grant, are they going to share the same project title and details with us? We are not required to work on the same project together?

While we do not require project titles to be the same, it must still be a joint project undertaken in collaboration with the UK partner. There should be dependencies and interactions between Australian and UK project activities. As part of your application for the Australian grant, you must include a letter of support from your Project Partner and an application reference number for their UK grant application. We will use this when checking for eligibility.

The UK project partner will have their own project activities and budget that they will undertake as part of the joint project, and you will have your project activities and budget that you will undertake as your part of the joint project. You’ll each be responsible for your own expenditure for which the respective grants would be applied to.

Do we need to include partner organisations from Australia?

No. It is up to you if you wish to engage further project partners, whether in Australia or overseas.

Who owns the IP?

This is to be resolved between you and your project partner/s. IP arrangements should also be included in the risk management framework to be included in your application.

How will DCCEEW and Innovate UK jointly assess these collaboration projects?

Australian and UK applications will undergo separate processes for the most part, and discuss joint projects suitable for funding prior to finalising recommended applications. Project eligibility and merit assessment criteria have been designed to align as much as possible between the Australian and UK programs to promote complementarity between assessment processes.

Australian applications will undergo an eligibility and merit assessment by Business Grants Hub and an appointed Program Committee. As part of the eligibility assessment, Business Grants Hub will liaise with Innovate UK to match up Australian and UK applications, using the UK reference number you provided.

A Program Committee comprising of departmental officers and industry or technical experts will be formed to undertake the merit assessment process. This will score eligible applications based on merit against the assessment criteria listed in the grant opportunity guidelines. DCCEEW will then meet with Innovate UK to compare respective scores of Australian and UK applicants and adopt a portfolio approach in finalising applications to be recommended to the Decision Maker.

How will applications be managed if one partner’s application becomes ineligible?

If either the Australian or UK lead applicant is found to be ineligible, then the partner’s application would also result as ineligible. The program supports joint projects and requires grantees to undertake a joint project with at least one UK partner, who would also receive matched funding from the UK-Australia Renewable Hydrogen Innovation Program.

Find partners for your Australia-UK renewable hydrogen project

A virtual networking space has been created to connect Australian and UK organisations who are interested in applying for this program.

Join the network


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Key documents

Grant opportunity guidelines

pdf · 0.52 MB docx · 0.40 MB

Sample application form

pdf · 0.42 MB docx · 0.13 MB

Sample grant agreement

pdf · 0.54 MB docx · 0.15 MB

Accountant declaration

pdf · 0.07 MB docx · 0.04 MB

Letter of contribution from third party (non-consortia)

pdf · 0.05 MB docx · 0.03 MB

Letter of support from Board or CEO or equivalent

pdf · 0.05 MB docx · 0.03 MB

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