The International Energy Agency (IEA) provides a mechanism for member countries to task- and cost-share research activities through two agreements—one supporting hydrogen activities and another supporting fuel cell activities.

The Hydrogen Implementing Agreement (HIA) focuses on facilitating, coordinating, and maintaining innovative research, development, and demonstration activities through international cooperation and information exchange. There are currently eight annexes—technology, energy security, environmental, economic, market, deployment, safety, and outreach. The HIA recently expanded its tasks to include hydrogen from biomass, hydrogen storage materials, hydrogen production from wind energy, and hydrogen from steam reformation.

The Advanced Fuel Cells Implementing Agreement, signed in Paris on April 2, 1990, seeks to advance understanding of fuel cell technologies through a coordinated program of research, technology development, and system analysis on molten carbonate (MCFC), solid oxide (SOFC), and polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) systems. Participating countries include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and USA.

The current phase of the IEA Advanced Fuel Cells Program, which runs from 2009 to 2014, comprises the following annexes.

22Polymer electrolyte fuel cellsTo reduce the cost and improve the performance of PEFCs, DMFCs, and corresponding fuel cell systems
23Molten carbonateTo assist the commercialization of MCFC systems through collaborative research and development
24Solid oxide fuel cellsTo assist, through international cooperation, the development of SOFC technologies
25Fuel cells for stationary applicationsTo better understand how stationary fuel cell systems may be deployed in energy systems
26Fuel cells for transportationTo understand better how fuel cells may be deployed in transportation applications
27Fuel cells for portable applicationsTo assist, through international cooperation, with the development of portable fuel cells toward commercialization