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Other Funding

The LIFE III and LIFE+ programmes are designed to complement other EU funding programmes which target investment in the environment. You will find below some practical information and links to other EU funding programmes which are currently available.

NGO operating grants

The LIFE+ Regulation provides for funding of "operational activities of NGOs that are primarily active in protecting and enhancing the environment at European level and involved in the development and implementation of Community policy and legislation" (Annex 1 to the Regulation).

The operating grants are awarded on a yearly basis. Calls for proposals are published once a year on the DG Environment web page. The applications are evaluated and ranked according to a number of award criteria. These criteria relate to the extent to which the organisations can contribute to EU policy development and implementation in the priority areas of the 6 th Environmental Action Plan. Organisations that wish to apply for funding under this programme must be non-profit making and independent environmental non-governmental organisations. They must also be active at a European level (have activities and members in at least three EU Member States).

The number of NGOs funded each year varies depending on the quality of the applications, the amounts applied for and the total budget available. In 2008, 33 organisations received funding. Further details can be found at: Operating grants to European environmental NGOs.

Interreg IVC

The INTERREG IVC Programme is financed through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It promotes interregional co-operation, which amongst others funds the exchange and transfer of experience and knowledge between regions in the EU (+ Norway and Switzerland). This is interesting for LIFE beneficiaries who have experiences and knowledge to share - and proposals on the exchange of environmental best practice and knowledge are particularly welcomed.

Priority 2 of the programme includes the following sub-themes: natural and technological risks (including climate change); water management; waste management; biodiversity and preservation of natural heritage (including air quality); energy and sustainable transport; cultural heritage and landscape. Priority 1 includes as a sub-theme innovation, research and technological development.

For more information and for the application, please visit the INTERREG IVC website.

Natura 2000

The "Financing Natura 2000" Guidance Handbook, presents the EU funding options for Natura 2000 sites in the period 2007-2013. Many LIFE projects are located within the Natura 2000 areas.

An interactive IT financing tool, which was piloted in Austria, Italy and Latvia, provides information on sources of funding for Natura 2000 sites. Read more >>

For further information on financing the Natura 2000 network, please consult the Financing Natura 2000 page of the DG Environment.

Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7)

The FP7 supports specific environmental projects predominately in the co-operation (collaborative research) programme. Relevant thematic areas include: Food, Agriculture and Fisheries and Biotechnology (theme 2) and Environment, including climate change (theme 6).

For further information about the FP7, we would recommend the CORDIS FP7 Service and the European Commission FP7 website.

Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP)

With small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as its main target group, the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) supports innovation activities (including eco-innovation), provides better access to finance and delivers business support services in the regions. The programme runs from 2007 to 2013 with an overall budget of €3 621 million.

The eco-innovation market replication projects support the market uptake of innovative products, services and technologies that can make a better use of Europe's natural resources and reduce our ecological footprint. This year's funding priorities are materials recycling, food & drink, sustainable building materials and greening business with a focus on resource efficiency . €35 million worth of funding will be available covering up to 50% of the eligible costs. You can send your application until the 9 of September 2010.

Visit the Eco-Innovation in Europe website.

European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument

Projects in Third Countries (similar to LIFE Third Country capacity building projects) may be funded through a new European neighbourhood funding instrument.

Structural Funds

The Structural Funds are designed to reduce disparities in the development of regions, and to promote economic and social cohesion within the European Union. They are intended to be used to support projects which will directly address locally identified needs (e.g. to help train people with new skills, or help set-up new businesses). These projects can link in with environmental topics.

The programmes are managed and the projects selected at national and/or regional level. For more information, visit the DG Regional Policy website.

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