Year 2020 has featured the starting point of a remarkable 10-year European investment into innovative low carbon projects. The European Commission has successfully launched the Innovation Fund, which is expected to provide over 10 B€ of grants between 2020-2030 for upscaling innovative clean technologies. The funding comes from revenues from the auction of emission allowances within the EU’s Emissions Trading System.
With this funding programme, the EC aims to create the right financial incentives for new investments in the next generation of technologies needed for the EU's low-carbon transition and boosting sustainable economic growth. The first pioneering Innovation Fund call, targeting large-scale industrial projects, was launched in July 2020 and had its first-stage deadline at the end of October. There were altogether 311 applications submitted to the call from around Europe. That shows that the European industry has a clear need for public support and risk sharing for the first industrial deployment of their innovations.
First call for small-scale projects is now open
As the next step in this funding scheme, the first call for small-scale projects is open 1 Dec 2020 – 10 Mar 2021 with a budget of 100 M€. Evaluation results and invitation to grant preparation are expected in August 2021. ‘Small-scale’ means projects with total capital costs between 2.5 and 7.5 M€. The grants cover up to 60% of the capital costs of the projects.
The call will fund breakthrough technologies for renewable energy, energy-intensive industries, energy storage, and carbon capture, use and storage. Three key activities are especially encouraged: products that substitute carbon-intensive ones, net carbon removal innovations, and direct air capture.
The emphasis is on truly innovative projects yet mature technologies that are ready to reach the market, for instance delivering installations to a customer in a new market segment. The commission welcomes both partnership projects as well as single-applicant projects taking place in EU countries, Norway or Iceland.
Do you have an innovative project that fits the call scope? If you are interested in funding expert support to put together an application for the call, do not hesitate to get in touch with our funding experts for a free 30-minute consultation session.