Reducing emissions with your project: the third Innovation Fund call for large scale projects is open

On 3 November, the European Commission launched the third call for large scale projects of the Innovation Fund. Highly innovative technologies and big flagship projects that aim at significant emission reductions can be eligible for funding. The goal is to finance a varied project pipeline for innovative technologies in the sectors of energy intensive industries, renewable energy, energy storage, carbon capture storage and use (CCS and CCU). Here’s what you need to know about this Innovation Fund call!

The budget for the third Innovation Fund call

Because of the increased revenue of the EU Emission Trading System (ETS), the budget for the Innovation Fund has doubled since the last call to the stunning amount of € 3 billion. Seen the increasing relevance of the ETS and the EU latest preliminary agreement to extend the ETS for shipping as well, starting from 2024, the Innovation Fund will only become bigger. For this call, the fund is divided into four topics with each an individual budget, namely:

  1. General Decarbonisation, which is the general overarching topic of the fund (€ 1 billion)
  2. Innovative electrification in industry and hydrogen (€ 1 billion)
  3. Clean tech manufacturing, such as electrolysers and fuel cells, innovative renewable equipment, energy storage and heat pumps (€ 0.7 billion)
  4. Mid-Size pilots that focus on validating, testing and optimising highly innovative solutions (€ 0.3 billion)

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The third Innovation Fund call for large scale projects

Innovative organisations from all EU member states, Norway and Iceland can apply for this call of the Innovation Fund when the project proposal has a capital expenditure of more than € 7.5 million. Important to note here is that the fund supports cross-cutting projects on innovative low-carbon solutions that lead to reduction of emissions in multiple sectors through, for example, industrial symbiosis.

You can receive up to 60% of the additional capital and operational costs. Up to 40% of the grant can be disbursed until financial close. Financial close is a term of the EU used to pinpoint the turning point for a project when all the relevant financing contracts for the project are in place. The projects have to reach the financial close moment within four years after the signing of the grant agreement. In general at least 10% of the fund will be disbursed after the entry into operation of the project.

Lessons Learned

Last week, the European Climate Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) presented the key findings of the last call for large scale projects, namely:

  • The most critical criterion in the application has been Project Maturity (in particular Financial Maturity). A project needs to be sufficiently mature in terms of planning, business model as well as financial and legal structure.
  • The description of the degree of innovation of projects (ranging from incremental innovation to very strong or breakthrough innovations) should be better and more robust.
  • Consistency in the data/information is key to a qualifiable application.

More on the call and our services

Interested in submitting an Innovation Fund proposal? Applications for the third call for large scale projects can be submitted until 16 March 2023! The success of your proposal will be defined by the right skills and expertise as well as timely preparations. Are you in need of a specialist who can guide you throughout the entire process? Our specialists will be pleased to support you with drawing up a strong proposal with the highest chance of success! Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information on our services or the Innovation Fund.

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