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Cooperative R&D Projects

International collaboration on fuel cells and hydrogen R&D has a long history. Two areas of note include activities related to international codes and standards development and harmonization and United Nations fuel cell demonstrations in developing countries.

Harmonization of International Standards

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the world's largest developer of technical standards, with a network of the national standards institutes of 146 countries. ISO is a non-governmental organization that acts as a bridging organization in which a consensus can be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society, such as the needs of stakeholder groups like consumers and users.

The ISO Technical Committee ISO/TC 197 for hydrogen technologies was created in 1990. It has 15 participating countries, 15 observers and collaborates with 15 other ISO/IEC committees. Four standards have been published to date: Liquid hydrogen — Land vehicle fuelling system interface; Hydrogen fuel — Product specification; and Basic considerations for the safety of hydrogen. The Committee works closely with the United Nations' World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations.

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is the leading global organization that prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies. These serve as a basis for national standardization and as references when drafting international tenders and contracts.

Promoting Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies in Developing Countries

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) are supporting a fuel cell bus initiative that plans to introduce up to 46 fuel cell buses in six cities in developing countries: Beijing, Cairo, Mexico City, New Delhi, Sao Paulo, and Shanghai.