Public-Private Innovation Partnerships are increasingly used by the EU to address societal and environmental long-term policy goals, but alsoas an economic recovery tool directly supporting research in marketable technological innovations in a Europe recovering from economiccrisis. These partnerships and joint technology initiatives rely heavily on private industry input and often have been initiated under theleadership of industrial research interests. One of the earliest such collaborations, the European Joint Technology Initiative Fuel Cells andHydrogen. This paper tracks this initiative’s origin, sheds light onto the early stages of policy network formation and examines theconsequences of early policy network membership for policy success. It does so by examining three major early policy players in this processthat are revisited ten years later, based on empirical evidence of data on funding beneficiaries and qualitative research interviews withactors involved in the joint technology initiative. It will show that a research organisation with its role as central knowledge-broker hasbeen the most successful actor in this policy. While examining to what extent a core of influential network members from both industry andresearch have managed to maintain central positions throughout the entire process of setting up the technology initiative, the paperdiscovers that such privileged network positions did not automatically result in policy-success in terms of attracted EU research funding.
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