This thesis is an investigation of innovation in fuel cells and related hydrogen technology in Norway from 1990-2002. The main focus is an analysis of the innovation activities that took place in Norway within the area of fuel cells and related hydrogen technology. Were they a result of cooperation among different actors in sharing and developing knowledge, or rather a result of in-house R&D efforts, conducted independently by the firms?
The point of departure for the thesis was an analysis of patents undertaken by at least one Norwegian inventor in the field of fuel cells and related hydrogen technology in the period 1990-2002 in Norway, EU or USA. This patent analysis resulted in 83 patents and involved by 14 assignees (firms). The firms were specialised in semi-fuel cells for use in unmanned submarines, fuel cells for heat and energy production, in production of hydrogen, storage of hydrogenin carbon material, and in membranes that can be used in fuel cells. This analysis was supplemented by 14 interviews of key actors identified by the patent analysis. The analytical framework used in this thesis comes from the Systems of Innovation approaches and we make use of the National innovation systems approach and thetechnological systems approach as these are complimentary and together provide a good theoretical fundament for the thesis. The results showed that the patents were a result of cooperation between firms, but in-house R&D was also seen as an important source of knowledge for innovation. The actors were internationally oriented, especially towards EU and the frameworks programmes. Even so, there was still a strong commitment towards building a Norwegian environment through cooperation and national competence building.