Innovation Fund launches call to boost Europe’s green transition


Last week, the European Commission  launched a new Innovation Fund call for projects that will help to boost Europe’s green transition. The call is specifically looking for large-scale projects, to demonstrate breakthrough low-carbon technologies for renewable energy, energy-intensive industries, energy storage, and carbon capture, use and storage. Proposals can be submitted until 3 March 2022. 

About the Innovation Fund for Climate

The European ‘Innovation Fund’ (IF) is a relatively recent fund for the demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies. With an overall budget of 10 billion euro, it is one of the world’s largest funding programs in the field. In 2020, the fund published its first call (resulting in 311 applications for large-scale demonstration projects). And on 26 October, a brand new second call for large-scale projects was published, with a budget of 1.5 billion euro.

The earlier two-stage application system of the previous call has now been abandoned: the new call has just one single stage (and therefore only one deadline: 3 March 2022). This simplification reduces the processing time from application to grant significantly – an important factor for a fund that wants to speed up promising new innovations and bring them to the market as quickly as possible!

Second call for large-scale projects

The new IF call is open for projects from all EU Member States, plus Iceland and Norway. Projects must be:

  • both highly innovative and highly effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • cost effective and ‘mature’ in a financial and technical sense
  • offering opportunities for wider application and replication (scaling up, close to market).

Please note that only ‘large-scale’ innovation projects may apply (i.e. larger than 7.5 million euro). For smaller-scale projects (between 2.5 and 7.5 million euro) there will be a another separate IF call, expected in March 2022.

Climate plans – how can we help?

We are proud to say that no less than 13 of the best 70 proposals of the first IF call were supported by EGEN and PNO Consultants (both subsidiaries of the PNO Group). The experience gained gives us a head start in the new IF call round. We know what is expected and what is important. This includes a ‘flawless’ and distinctive project plan, but also important annexes such as Green House Gas Emission calculations, a sound business plan and a detailed project implementation plan with clear milestones.

Our experts are very enthusiastic about the new opportunities, and welcome plans for new proposals (completely new or resubmissions). With their experience, they can help you to prepare and write a project proposal/grant application with optimal substantiation and an above-average chance of success! And of course, we will also look at other subsidy schemes (current or in preparation) that might better suit your project, such as the Dutch plans for a Nationale Investeringsregeling Klimaatprojecten Industrie (NIKI), a kind of Dutch variant of the Innovation Fund.

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