Climate Action

First Innovation Fund call for large-scale projects: 70 projects invited to submit full application


Following the evaluation of the first stage of the application process, 70 projects are invited to continue on the second stage and submit full applications for the first Innovation Fund call for large-scale projects, while all applicants have been informed about the results.

After the admissibility and eligibility checks of all 311 proposals received, independent external evaluators assessed the proposals against the award criteria of the first stage: greenhouse gas emission avoidance, innovation potential, financial, technical and operational maturity of the project.

The best ranked 70 projects are invited to submit a full application for the second stage of the call, where they will be assessed on all the criteria, including scalability and cost efficiency, by 23 June 2021. The second stage remains very competitive as the projects may request up to EUR 7 billion of grants, based on the information provided in their applications for the first stage.

Projects not invited to the second stage that have the potential to improve their maturity through Project Development Assistance (PDA) have been informed that the European Investment Bank (EIB) is currently assessing their proposal and might be invited to sign a PDA agreement with them.

Mauro Petriccione, Director-General for DG Climate Action, said: ‘I would like to warmly thank all applicants for submitting their projects to the first Innovation Fund call for large-scale projects. It was great to see so many and so interesting clean tech projects. I am very pleased that the projects invited to the second stage of the call represent a good and varied mix of technologies, locations and sectors. The call is very competitive, so I would like to encourage the projects that did not make it to the second stage to keep their interest in the Innovation Fund and apply again for the upcoming calls, including one later this year. Also, let’s not forget that other EU and national funding instruments are geared towards supporting the EU’s green transition. The Recovery and Resilience Facility and other EU funds are very well suited to finance clean tech innovation too, so applicants could engage with their respective Member States.”

To facilitate the preparation of full applications, we are planning a webinar on the application process and award criteria on 15 April.

We are also planning an online event on 28 April to share lessons learnt from the first stage of the application process of the first large-scale call, as well as to present a deeper analysis of the applications received for the first small scale call under the Innovation Fund. More information will follow soon.

Two more calls – one for large-scale and one for small-scale projects - will be launched before the end of 2021.

Next steps

The results of the evaluation of the second stage will be announced in the fourth quarter of 2021. Grants will be awarded in the end of 2021.


Funded by revenues from the auction of emission allowances from the EU’s Emissions Trading System, the Innovation Fund aims to create the right financial incentives for companies and public authorities to invest now in the next generation of low-carbon technologies and give EU companies a first-mover advantage to become global technology leaders.

The Innovation Fund will be implemented by the Executive Agency for Networks and Innovation (INEA), while the European Investment Bank will provide the project development assistance to promising projects that are not ready for full application.

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