Abstract Proton exchange membrane (PEM) technology is used in water electrolysers, H2/O2 fuel cells and unitized regenerative fuel cells (URFCs). Such electrochemical devices are of particular interest in view of the so-called hydrogen economy. Several prototypes (kW power range) have been developed and tested in the course of the GenHyPEM project (2005–2008), a STREP research program financially supported by the Commission of the European Communities in the frame of the sixth Framework Programme. The purpose of this communication is to report on the current status of each device in terms of performances and technological development. Current limitations and future perspectives are discussed.