Estonian Government to fund fuel cell R&D

On August 26, 2002, the Estonian Technology Agency (ESTAG) and Elcogen AS signed a contract under which the Estonian government will be funding the development of fuel cell technology.

In the first phase, Elcogen will receive a grant in the amount of EUR 218,000 earmarked for co-financing R&D. At present, Elcogen has invested over EUR 300,000 of own funds in the project.

For developing fuel cell technology, Elcogen has signed exclusive agreements with Estonia's two leading research institutions, the National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics and the Institute of Physical Chemistry of University of Tartu. At present more than twenty Estonian top scientists are involved in fuel cell research in these institutions.

The objective of R&D is to develop proprietary technology for intermediate temperature SOFC to form a basis for Elcogen to continue developing a modular SOFC system. The system that is being developed by Elcogen is a scalable power generation plant based on 1 kW fuel cell stack operated on natural gas.

The main target group for the new Elcogen product is residential and small size commercial and industrial consumers.

Elcogen is a company based on Estonian capital that was founded in 2001 with the objective to develop technological solutions for a SOFC system application.

ESTAG is a publicly funded organization that provides loans and grants to technological and innovative projects of Estonian research institutions and companies. For the year 2002, ESTAG has allocated EUR 6.2 million for loans and grants.