The French National Research Network on Hydrogen Energy (FRH2) brings together 30 laboratories with 300 leading researchers (CNRS researchers, faculty members and engineers) actively involved in the hydrogen sector. This network allows synergy benefits and states the key position held by the CNRS regarding hydrogen R&D on an international level.

The objective of the FRH2 Network is to federate and coordinate the research activities for the production of hydrogen by electrolysis, its storage, and its conversion into electricity and heat in different application areas. It mainly concentrates its efforts on supporting the industrial sector in order to increase the durability of cells or systems, their performance and to reduce their cost.

The FRH2 Network relies on well-known laboratories and platforms in the fields of materials chemistry, physical chemistry, coordination chemistry, catalysis, electrochemistry, thermics, fluidics, transformation processes, electrical energy management and energy systems for mobility and stationary.

Researchers bring their expertise in a very broad spectrum, ranging from the synthesis and characterization of materials to system diagnostics or prognostics and multi-scale modelling.


The French scientific community working in the field of hydrogen began to federate twenty years ago under the leadership of the CNRS. Successive Research Groups (GDR) brought together specialists in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), hydrogen storage and systems.

Key facts came up in the four historical axes – storage (SOPHE axis), batteries and electrolyzers operating at low (PACEEP axis) or high temperature (PACEOS axis) and systems (SEM axis) – as well as at the interaction between the different axes. The various technological resources available in the CNRS laboratories and a wide range of skills enabled excellent results in different areas: materials chemistry (synthesis, shaping and characterisation of materials), catalysis, electrochemistry, electrotechnics, thin films, fluidics, thermics, electricity, energetics, etc.

The French National Research Network on Hydrogen Energy (FRH2) started in January 2020 based on the 30 most active CNRS laboratories of the HySPàC Research Group. The FRH2 Network gathers 300 permanent researchers (without including students, PhD students and post-doctoral researchers). Olivier Joubert (Full Professor at Nantes University, Director) and Daniel Hissel (Full Professor at University of Franche-Comté, Deputy Director) manage the FRH2 Network.


The FRH2 Network’s objectives are to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge on current research through annual events, to act as an incentive for exchanges and collaborations internally and with industrials and historical partners (CEA, Mines, INRS…) and to generate innovative ideas in order to overcome scientific and technological barriers.

High quality fundamental research is also a factor of international visibility. Strengthening the influence of the French “hydrogen” community at the international level is also one of the objectives of the FRH2 in collaboration with the other international structures of the CNRS (IRN), in particular the French-Singaporean IRN SYNERGIE and the French-Australian IRN FACES.


Director: Olivier JOUBERT
IMN, UMR 6502, CNRS-Université de Nantes, 2 rue de la Houssinière, BP 32229, 44322 Nantes, CEDEX 3
phone : +33 (0)2 40 37 39 36
email : Olivier.Joubert@cnrs-imn.fr

Deputy Director: Daniel HISSEL
FEMTO-ST, UMR 6174, Rue Thierry Mieg, 90010 Belfort Cedex
phone : +33 (0)3 84 58 36 21
email : daniel.hissel@univ-fcomte.fr

Axis managers:

Production: Jean-Marc Bassat (DR CNRS-S15, ICMCB-Bordeaux) and Christophe Turpin (DR CNRS-S8, LAPLACE-Toulouse)
Storage: Fermin Cuevas (DR CNRS-S15, ICMPE-Thiais) and Patricia De Rango (DR CNRS-S15, Institut Néel-Grenoble)
Mobility: Marian Chatenet (PR CNU 31, LEPMI-Grenoble) and Nadia Yousfi Steiner (PR CNU 63, FEMTO ST-Belfort),
Stationary: Annie Le Gal La Salle (CR CNRS-S13, IMN-Nantes) and Christophe Coutanceau (PR CNU 31, IC2MP-Poitiers)
Education: Florence Druart (MC CNU 62, LEPMI-Grenoble) and Gilles Taillades (PR CNU33, ICG-Montpellier)
Technical platforms: Olivier Rallières (IR UNIV, LAPLACE-Toulouse) and César Steil (IR CNRS-INC, LEPMI-Grenoble)