Innovation Fund

European funding programme for the demonstration of innovative low carbon technologies

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Realise a reduction in CO2 emissions

Innovation Fund

The Innovation Fund is one of the world’s largest funding programmes for the demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies. The EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is providing the revenues for the Fund by auctioning emission allowances. The Innovation Fund finances breakthrough technologies for renewable energy, energy-intensive industries, energy storage, and the capture, use and storage of carbon. This fund gives impetus to the green recovery by creating local future-proof jobs, paving the way for climate neutrality and strengthening European technological leadership worldwide.

In short

Innovation Fund overview

For whom?



When to apply?

The most recent application round was open from 23 November 2023 to 9 April 2024 (17:00). This round included small-scale, medium-scale, and large-scale projects (see also below). The next round is expected to open Q3/4 2024.

NB: In addition, the Innovation Fund has initiated a series of ‘hydrogen auctions‘ for the European Hydrogen Bank (EHB). The first auction is open from 23 November 2023 to 8 February 2024.

How much?

The total budget for 2020-2030 is estimated at 38 billion euros. A grant will cover up to 60% of the project costs. The IF call of 23 November 2023 had a total grant budget of 4 billion euros.

For what?

Eligible for funding are projects that involve very innovative technologies as well as big flagship projects:

  • demonstration projects: projects that focus on bringing new, promising, innovative technologies to the market

  • advanced R&D projects: projects that are close to the commercialisation phase (pilots).

Overview of

Innovation Fund themes

  • Innovative low-carbon technologies and processes in energy-intensive industries, including products substituting carbon-intensive ones
  • Innovative renewable energy generation
  • Energy storage
  • Carbon capture and storage (CCS)
  • Carbon capture and utilisation (CCU)
plant growing from soil

Large-scale, medium-scale and Small-scale projects

Types of projects

As of November 2023, the Innovation Fund operates with three project categories:

  • Maritime and aviation technologies
  • Clean-tech manufacturing
  • Small-scale projects (i.e., with a financial scope between 2.5 million and 20 million euros)
  • Medium-sized projects (between 20 million and 100 million euros in project costs)
  • Large-scale projects (with a financial scope of 100 million euros or more).

The Innovation Fund supports various types of projects:

  • Demonstration projects: Projects focusing on bringing new, promising innovative technologies to the market.
  • Advanced R&D projects: Projects that are close to the commercialization phase (pilots).

The fund does not support:

  • Projects in the research phase: Innovation projects where there is no proven Proof of Concept yet.
  • Overly advanced projects: Projects that are already extensively rolling out an innovation. There may still be opportunities for scale-ups in some cases.

Meet the requirements

Innovation Fund conditions

To apply for the Innovation Fund, your project must meet the following criteria:

Your project is highly effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Your project is highly innovative.

Your project has reached a certain level of maturity.

Your innovation/project offers opportunities for wider application.

Your project is cost effective.

A project must be carried out in an EU member state, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, or (in some cases) Northern Ireland.

Grant application process

Apply for the Innovation Fund

Applying for the Innovation Fund involves quite some effort and specific expertise. Having a real shot in this competitive programme requires you to develop a high-quality proposal that includes at least the following items:

  • GHG emissions avoidance calculation
  • Relevant cost calculation (RCC)
  • (Technical) Feasibility Study
  • Project Implementation Plan
  • Knowledge Sharing Plan

why this grant?

Purpose of the Innovation Fund

This fund focuses on innovations that contribute to making Europe climate neutral. The Innovation Fund aims to drive innovative, breakthrough low-carbon technologies.

As an Innovation Consultant and Business Developer, I am constantly working on identifying opportunities, setting up initiatives, and shaping projects. My goal is to accelerate sustainable innovations and investments of clients.”

Contact Roy Neijland →

How can EGEN support you?

EGEN’s consultants can support you in performing the required calculations, structuring, and writing convincing documents, and managing the application process. Furthermore, they can assist you in strategically scoping and positioning your project in accordance with relevant market trends and EU policy objectives.

EGEN is part of PNO Group and has experts in the domains of environment, energy and mobility who have the mission to accelerate sustainable innovation. Did you know that PNO Group accounts for 7 of the 17 large-scale Innovation Fund applications that were recently approved by the EU?

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Want to know more about the Innovation Fund?

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+31 (0)88 838 13 81