LIFE call 2023 will open in mid-April

Are you working on a project focused on the environment or climate? Such as preventing noise pollution or stimulating biodiversity? The EU grant programme LIFE 2021-2027 can support you in this regard. This grant programme is an important instrument to boost the development and implementation of European nature and climate policy. The LIFE call 2023 will open in mid-April. This article lists the grant opportunities LIFE can provide for your project(s).

LIFE sub-programmes

The LIFE grant programme consists of four sub-programmes:

1. Environment;
2. Circular economy and quality of life;
3. Climate mitigation and adaptation;
4. Clean Energy Transition (CET).

LIFE can be considered a broad / ‘bottom-up’ programme, with the exception of the CET sub-programme. This is because within this sub-programme there are specific call topics (in other words, a ‘top-down’ approach is applied here). Although the exact content of the LIFE call 2023 has not been announced yet, the European Commission announced the LIFE work programme for the period 2021-2024 in July 2021. This multi-annual work programme forms the basis for the 2023 call (and the call in 2024).

Types of projects within the LIFE programme

Within LIFE, a distinction is made between a number of types of projects, including:

  • ‘Standard Action Projects’ (SAPs)
  • ‘Other Actions Grants’ (OAGs)

Standard Action Projects (SAPs)

SAPs are, with regard to the first three sub-programmes, the most common projects within LIFE. These projects relate to: pilots, demonstrations or best practices. The minimum project size is € 1 million and project implementation is limited to 10 years. In addition, your project may only start after the Grant Agreement has been signed. Please note that you are not obliged to cooperate with foreign parties, but this is an advantage.

Other Action Grants (OAGs)

Within the fourth sub-programme CET, which has been transferred from the Horizon programme, the call topics concern so-called ‘Coordination & Support Actions’ (CSA), which falls under the project type ‘Other Actions Grants’ (OAGs) within LIFE. Within CET, you are required to have a cooperation with at least three foreign parties from different EU Member States.

LIFE grant contribution

For the period 2021-2027, the total budget for LIFE is around € 5.4 billion. For SAPs, the grant rate is typically up to 60%. Within the environment sub-programme, this can go up to 67% or 75%. The grant contribution per project averages € 1.5-2.5 million.

Within the CET sub-programme, the maximum grant percentage is higher, up to 95%. The grant contribution per project is between € 0.5 – 2.5 million within this subprogramme.

LIFE applications in 2023

The 2023 LIFE call will open in mid-April (including publication of the call texts). The deadline for SAPs is in September. The call topics within CET open slightly later, namely in mid-May. Here, the deadline is mid-November. In both cases, there is a ‘single stage deadline model’. This means that you draw up a complete application immediately and submit it digitally.

Considerations for a LIFE grant application

Within LIFE, great importance is given to the quantification of the problem definition. It is also important that the intended impact of your project is (scientifically) substantiated. In addition, your project results & impact should be monitored during the implementation period. Moreover, applicants should demonstrate that the project will be continued (after the LIFE period / grant contribution). Finally, wide sharing of your project results is also an important aspect within LIFE.

LIFE information meeting

You can attend information meetings on the LIFE call 2023 organised by both RVO and CINEA in April. RVO’s meeting will take place physically on 18 April. CINEA’s meeting will consist of several online sessions on 25 & 26 April. In addition, CINEA will hold another separate online information session on CET in early June.

Experience with LIFE applications

Hezelburcht has extensive experience in preparing LIFE applications. Would you like to know more about the LIFE call 2023? Contact us at or call us directly on 088 495 20 00. Our specialists will be happy to assist you.

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