Your close-to-market proposals: tips for applying

Close-to-market projects

These are projects which

  • propose a new, demonstrative solution able to bring clear environmental and/or climate benefits e.g. in the fields of waste management, circular economy, resource efficiency, climate change mitigation, and water and
  • have a level of technical and business readiness allowing them to implement their solution in close-to-market conditions (i.e. at industrial or commercial scale) during the project duration 

The LIFE programme can provide up to 55% co-financing to such projects.

8 tips to help you apply

1. Show the impact
Clearly explain how your project will serve the environment. Make sure that its benefits are ambitious, credible and well quantified in the key project level indicators for environment and climate action projects detailed in your application pack.  

2. Think sustainable
To help us assess the technical coherence and quality of your application, tell us how your project’s objective will outlast its funding. How will the products or services that you develop thrive on the open market? LIFE’s close-to-market projects must also produce a business plan as part of their compulsory deliverables. 

3. Transfer and replicate
Outline how you will help replicate and transfer your results, notably to other sectors, regions or countries, beyond the duration of the project. Clarity will help your proposal meet the award criterion on sustainability, continuation, replication and transfer potential outlined in the evaluation guide for environment and climate action projects.

4. Follow guidelines
Refer to the application guide for environment and climate action projects when detailing the problem you address, the solution you propose, the team you pitch and why your project is worth funding. It spells out the criteria by which your proposal will be evaluated.

5. Pick your team 
Describe the staff involved in each action and demonstrate that your partners are capable of taking on the challenges ahead and motivated to overcome them.

6. Plan ahead
Before writing, start budgeting. Make sure that each expense reflects market prices and that it is justified given its impact on sustainability and your business potential.

7. Get writing
Start writing your business plan as soon as possible for the duration of the project and the 12 months following its conclusion. A good business plan will help you and investors grasp your market, competitors, costs and sources of income, offering tangible milestones to follow your progress.

8. Read up
Read through the 2019 application guide, evaluation guide and other resources in the LIFE application package. For further tips, explore the work of existing LIFE projects, join our LIFE Information and Networking Day online and contact your national contact point with any questions.

Share this page: