Calls for proposals

2020 LIFE call for proposals - new measures relating to COVID-19

New features relating to the COVID-19 pandemic

Please read this message carefully before starting an application. The Addendum to the guidelines for applicants is now published under the Environment and Climate Action LIFE2020 calls. Please check the documents listing the modifications brought to the guidelines for applicants and model of grant agreement in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Dear LIFE applicants,

During these times of the COVID-19 pandemic, our lives have changed significantly. Authorities have enacted mitigation strategies, such as social distancing. Just like us, many of you are working from home. We are aware that these measures may well have affected your lives. Please do all you can to protect yourselves and your families and avoid taking any unnecessary risks.

We understand that for many of you, it will be a challenge to participate in this call for proposals. We have therefore decided to immediately introduce a number of measures to lessen the impact of the restrictions we all have to live with.

Among the various measures, you will notice that some address the submission process, while others open up new possibilities in terms of project design.

New confirmed measures

All submission deadlines are being extended by one month.

Applicants may register for a one-to-one short discussion about their project concept with one of our project advisors (a registration system will be set up once the call is published).

Private entities in the 2020 call are no longer obliged to launch ‘open’ tenders for contracts above 139 000 euros’. However, when purchasing goods and services, they will need to comply with the ‘value for money’ and ‘absence of conflict of interest’ requirements (their internal procurement rules will need to be respected).  

All projects will be allowed to financially support local initiatives that may contribute to the project objective. This will take the form of grants that the beneficiary may give (within certain limits) to third parties responsible for such initiatives. In this way, we hope to also facilitate access to LIFE financing to very small local groups that do not have the capacity to act as an associated beneficiary in the project, but could play a role in reaching the project objectives.

A special section on start-up companies has been integrated into the guidelines. In this section, we invite larger companies to consider their LIFE project as a potential incubator for start-ups. Normally start-ups don't qualify as a coordinating beneficiary due to their limited financial capacity. They could however be a key player (owner of know-how or knowledge) in partnership with a larger company. In this way, the start-up may be given the chance to move to a full market development, and the larger company would gain access to the knowledge, while limiting the risk thanks to the LIFE support.

New measures being considered

We are currently considering a series of additional measures that cover many financial and administrative aspects, including percentage of pre-financing payments and payment schedule, depreciation, in kind contribution and more.

Due to the limited time available before the launch of the call, each of these measures is still being examined to check their legality, budgetary coverage, management implications etc.

For this reason, at the time of publishing the call, we could only integrate those measures for which a decision was taken.

We invite all applicants to again visit our website by the end of April at the latest to check for updates on the call and any possible changes.

A last message

We know that LIFE's key priorities are the environment and climate, yet these have undoubtedly strong links with human health. Certain projects or specific actions could directly or indirectly target problems linked with the management of this type of pandemic. Considering this global challenge we are confronted with, we believe that the LIFE programme must do its utmost to actively contribute to finding solutions.

We therefore invite each applicant to critically look at their project's objectives and activities in order to detect any element that could directly or indirectly improve our collective ability to avoid, mitigate, manage and recover in the case of similar future crisis. We believe every contribution counts and welcome proposals that, while complying with the programme's priorities, may contribute to our collective effort.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your passion, your ideas and your commitment.

With people like you, we are sure we can succeed!

Thank you,

The LIFE programme team

2020 LIFE calls for proposals

The call for proposal pages include timetables and application packages, listed by project type and sub-programme (environment or climate action). For general information on who can apply, how to apply, grant agreement templates and FAQs, please see the respective sections.

The recording and the presentation of the EU LIFE Information Day and Networking event (30 April 2020) is now available.

For more information on LIFE funding for climate change adaptation projects, watch now the recording of our dedicated webinar.

Environment sub-programme

Climate action sub-programme

Other calls

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