First published in Cleantech Infocus: UK Innovation in Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (in partnership with the Technology Strategy Board), October 2012
“We have been able to take on projects with new partners that would have been too risky otherwise.”
Dr Jonathan Frost, Director, Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells
Technology Strategy Board support has enabled Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells to take on projects with new partners, including small businesses and universities, that would have been too risky otherwise. These partnerships have led to new international business opportunities for the company and its supply chain partners and have helped position Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells well in the global market for the components at the heart of proton exchange membrane fuel cells.
Background: Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells develops fuel cell components and has constructed the world’s first dedicated manufacturing facility for membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for hydrogen and methanol fuelled systems, in Swindon in the UK, which also has a rapid prototyping capability for customers requiring pre commercial volumes. Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells is a division of Johnson Matthey, which in its own right is also involved with related Technology Strategy Board projects.
Technology Strategy Board Funding Highlights
2009: £0.98m for a £2m project for novel processes and designs for high volume MEA/manufacture (in partnership with HumiSeal Europe, Marlin Precision Manufacturing and the University of Bradford); 2009: £1m for a £2m project for component development for improved MEA and stack stability (in partnership with Carlcarb, Intelligent Energy, Loughborough University, NPL Management, Technical Fibre Products and the University of Birmingham); 2009: funding for high performance low temperature direct ethanol fuel cells (in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast).
2008: £0.54m of funding for a £1.1m project for Nano-Engineered Platinum Catalyst Layers for Fuel Cells: a partnership between Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells (project leader), Qudos Technology, Teer Coatings and Thomas Swan. The aim was to develop micro-and nano-structured materials to enable a significantly increased oxygen reduction mass activity of platinum within fuel cell catalyst layers. 2007: £0.69m for a £1.6m ‘Novel Direct Methanol Fuel Cell MEA Technology for Electronics Applications’, aiming for breakthroughs in MEA component technology for DMFC applications in electronics, with Mantis Deposition, Technical Fibre Products and Reading University, 2007: £0.38m of a £1.5m project awarded to Johnson Matthey Fuels Cells and Technical Fibre Products for the development of advanced electrode technology offering performance and cost savings for medium-temperature fuel cells for stationary power generation markets.
2005: £0.47m for a £0.96m project managed by Johnson Matthey Fuels Cells, ICI Imagedata and the University of Surrey principally to develop a novel durable membrane for automotive applications, with the development of analytical techniques to characterise them as a secondary objective.
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