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.

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