Currently at its second edition, the European Fuel Cell Technology & Applications Conference (EFC) created a forum with the main aim of integrating several disciplines pertinent to fuel cells, spanning from basic research to applied engineering. The forum meets regularly every two years. The first two editions took place in Rome, Italy, and the third is scheduled again in Rome for December 2009.
The year 2007 was characterized by structural changes in the European Union's fuel cell funding scheme. The setup of the Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) on Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (FCH) and the definition of the New Industrial Grouping and Research Grouping, were the main points of discussion of the opening plenary session. Representatives of the European Commission and the JTI FCH illustrated how the novel structure is shaping up, and how research in the European Union is expecting to evolve in the near future.
The technical papers, presented in three parallel sessions, opened the ground for discussing the progress of fuel cell research toward long awaited commercialization. Researchers, engineers, policy makers, and educators mainly from Europe, North and South America, Japan, Korea, India, and China actively participated in the technical sessions. All the studies presented are collected in the conference book of extended abstracts. However, some of them required a more accurate description, and a more rigorous peer-review process. Hence, the need for the present ASME Journal of Fuel Cell Science and Technology special issue. We believe that in this way EFC can better contribute to constructing a solid knowledge in fuel cell basic research and applications.
To this aim, the scientific committee of EFC07 selected a limited number of papers, now presented here, after the journal peer-review process.