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Bewölkter Berg

the project

next-generation fuel cells

ENABLER aims at demonstrating a next-generation fuel cell short stack with reduced platinum content and free of perfluorinated sulfonic acid (PFSA) compounds without compromising performance. The technology development is complemented by a set of business development activities to ensure market readiness for the technologies at the earliest possible time. 

enabler value chain.bmp

Project methodology

The project will lay the foundation for more widespread exploitation of hydrogen power by enabling more efficient use of platinum  as a critical raw material and exploiting the potential of innovative hydrocarbon materials.

PEM: Proton Exchange Membrane



Advance next-generation catalyst technology and PFSA-free ionomers and membranes that will improve commercial viability of fuel cells to decarbonize heavy-duty transport


Integrate catalyst and hydrocarbon material components using novel MEA production processes to fabricate next-gen PFSA-free fuel cells with reduced platinum content


Demonstrate the technology in a fuel cell short stack intended for the heavy-duty vehicle application and study the adaptation to other transportation applications

supported by Europe's flagship innovation program

ENABLER is funded by the European Innovation Council - Europe’s flagship innovation programme to support game changing innovations from start-ups and SMEs. Only the most innovative companies get selected - project ENABLER is one of 27 projects selected among 181 eligible submissions in the September 2022 EIC Transition cut-off.

EIC transition

​EIC Transition funds innovation activities that go beyond the experimental proof of principle to support both the maturation and validation of novel technology in the lab and in relevant application environments, as well as the development of a business case and (business) model towards the innovation’s future commercialization.



stack KPIs

  • Reduced fuel cell stack cost (<75 €/kW)

  • Fuel cell stack durability (20 000hrs)

material KPIs

  • Reduced plating loading (0.3g/kW)

  • PFSA-free MEAs

  • Operating temperature at 105°C

project partners


ReCatalyst, d.o.o. is a spin-out company from the National Institute of Chemistry (Ljubljana, Slovenia) founded in early 2021. The company's mission is to provide customizable next-generation platinum-alloy catalyst solutions, enabling its customers' massive scalability of high power proton exchange membrane fuel cells with an optimized usage of platinum group metals. The aim is to validate the technical feasibility of ReCatalyst’s innovative patent pending nanotechnological platform for production of platinum-alloy catalysts at scale, as well as to demonstrate their effectiveness at thrifting of platinum within the fuel cell. Since inception, the company has received multiple awards and has recently secured seed funding. The foundations of the start-up have been developed within the frameworks of publicly funded projects such as the ERC ‘Proof of Concept’ StableCat as well as the EIT Raw Materials Accelerator.


ionysis develops highly efficient, emission-free and sustainable core components for fuel cells. This includes the so-called "membrane electrode assemblies" with a significantly reduced content of perfluorinated substances - a problematic component that is increasingly being banned worldwide due to its negative impact on humans and the environment. The aim is to further develop novel, more environmentally friendly membrane electrode assemblies and to demonstrate their technical feasibility on a large scale. ionysis started operations in September 2022 and currently has a team of fifteen people. The foundation for the spin-off from Hahn-Schickard and University of Freiburg was laid within the framework of several publicly funded research projects. The company secured seed financing by two strategic partners in mid-2022.  



EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies (EKPO) is a leading joint venture of ElringKlinger and Plastic Omnium that focuses on the development and large-scale production of fuel cell stacks and components for CO2-neutral mobility.
EKPO has many years of experience in research and development. The main target is to build up competence in the mass production of PEM fuel cell stack components. The new NM12 stack platform was developed as part of the VOLUMETRIQ funding project. This has been used, for instance, in funded projects such as Keytech4EV to build up further know-how in the field of operating strategy for hybrid fuel cell/battery electric vehicles. Fundamental investigations into degradation were also carried out here. With HySnow as another funding project, experience was also gained regarding the sensitivity of fuel cell operation to various operating parameters and environmental conditions, with a particular focus on frost start and cold ambient conditions. But also the application of diagnostic and control strategies, operation management of fuel cells in buses could be deepened with the help of the funding project GiantLeap.
Based on its experience, EKPO is a full-service supplier for fuel cell stacks and components used in cars, light commercial vehicles, trucks, buses, but also in trains and ships.


ENABLER accelerates the decarbonization of the transport sector with novel catalyst technology and innovative PFSA-free MEAs for fuel cells.


Project coordinator/ReCatalyst

Tomaž Bizjak,


Lisa Langer,

This project has received funding from the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA) under project number 101112991.


© 2023 enabler project

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