Climate Action

Second Innovation Fund call for projects: Commission to invest €100 million in innovative small-scale clean technologies

01/12/2020

Today, the European Commission is launching the second call for projects under the Innovation Fund, one of the world’s largest funding programmes for the deployment of innovative low-carbon technologies.

Today, the European Commission is launching the second call for projects under the Innovation Fund, one of the world’s largest funding programmes for the deployment of innovative low-carbon technologies.

The new call makes available grant funding of €100 million for small-scale projects, with a capital expenditure between €2.5 and 7.5 million, in renewable energy, energy-intensive industries, including substitute products, energy storage, and carbon capture, use and storage. It has a strong focus on innovation, aiming to encourage pioneer customers. For example, a supplier of an innovative technology and a customer willing to buy and implement it can team up and apply together.

Our goal is to give a boost to Europe’s green recovery by supporting companies in bringing their clean tech innovations to the market, creating local future-proof jobs and paving the way to climate neutrality.

Director General for DG Climate Action Mauro Petriccione said: "The need for innovation and clean energy technologies has never been greater. We need them to reach our targets and become climate neutral by 2050. We need them to modernise our economy and remain competitive and create green jobs. And we have many innovators in Europe who deserve to be supported in bringing their ideas and their projects to the market. With this call for proposals we are giving an opportunity to small clean tech projects to scale up, contribute to Europe’s green recovery and play their part in the green transition."

The call is open for projects located in all EU Member States, Iceland and Norway. The funds can be used in cooperation with other public funding initiatives, such as State aid or other EU funding programmes, as well as combined with private investments.

Projects will be evaluated according to their potential to avoid greenhouse gases emissions, innovation potential, financial and technical maturity, and potential for scaling up and cost efficiency. The application process has only one stage and the selection procedure will be simpler.

Next steps

Projects can apply via the EU Funding and Tenders portal where more details on the overall procedure are available. The deadline for submission of applications is 10 March 2021.

Applicants will be informed about the results of the evaluation and invited for the grant preparation in August 2021. The grants will be awarded indicatively in the fourth quarter of 2021.

In the meantime, the Commission will continue its active engagement with stakeholders with dedicated webinars to facilitate the application process and answer applicants’ questions while the call is open.

Background

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.

For the period 2020-2030, the Innovation Fund will allocate around €10 billion from the auctioning of allowances under the EU Emissions Trading System, in addition to undisbursed revenues from the Innovation Fund’s predecessor, the NER 300 programme.

The Innovation Fund will be implemented by the Executive Agency for Networks and Innovation (INEA).

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