The European Commission has today approved a €5.4 billion hydrogen project jointly funded by France, Germany and 13 other EU countries, its latest measure aimed at boosting the bloc's competitiveness and economy.

Called IPCEI Hy2Tech, the project hopes to attract another €8.8 billion in private investments.

The 27-country bloc has in recent years given the green light to jointly funded projects in batteries, microelectronics and infrastructure, labelling such schemes as Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI).

35 companies, including Alstom, Ansaldo, Bosch, Daimler, Enel, Fincantieri Orsted and Plastic Omnium will take part in 41 projects in the hydrogen project.

The scheme will cover the generation of hydrogen, fuel cells, storage, transportation and distribution of hydrogen and end-users applications, in particular in the mobility sector.