A team from Shanghai are working with Sunderland University
Hydrogen-powered buses are to be tested on Wearside as part of a project to develop greener public transport.
Two converted 12-seater electric buses will be put through their paces by experts from Sunderland University.
Regional development agency One North East has put more than £300,000 into the project, which centres on research into an efficient hydrogen fuel cell.
The ECO2Trans project also involves a team from Shanghai in China and vehicle engineers from Northumberland.
Dirk Kok, of the university's Institute of Automotive and Manufacturing Advanced Practice, said: "These vehicles will act as a test bed to evaluate novel hydrogen technologies in vehicles and will enhance the region's status as an important automotive research and development centre."
The buses will be tested on the university campus and also used to transport students short distances.