Today, the European Commission is launching the third call for large-scale projects under the EU Innovation Fund. With a budget doubled to €3 billion thanks to increased revenue from the auctioning of EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) allowances, this 2022 call for large-scale projects will boost the deployment of industrial solutions to decarbonise Europe. With a special focus on the priorities of the REPowerEU Plan, the call will provide additional support towards ending the EU’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels.
The call will fund projects covering the following topics:
- General decarbonisation (budget: €1 billion) seeking innovative projects in renewable energy, energy-intensive industries, energy storage or carbon capture, use, and storage, as well as products substituting carbon-intensive ones (notably low-carbon transport fuels, including for maritime and aviation);
- Innovative electrification in industry and hydrogen (budget: €1 billion) seeking innovative projects in electrification methods to replace fossil fuel use in industry as well as renewable hydrogen production or hydrogen uptake in industry;
- Clean tech manufacturing (budget: €0.7 billion) seeking innovative projects in manufacturing of components as well as final equipment for electrolysers and fuel cells, renewable energy, energy storage and heat pumps;
- Mid-sized pilots (budget: €0.3 billion) seeking highly innovative projects in disruptive or breakthrough technologies in deep decarbonisation in all eligible sectors of the Fund. Projects should prove the innovation in an operational environment but would not be expected to reach large-scale demonstration or commercial production.
Projects will be assessed by independent evaluators according to their level of innovation, potential to avoid greenhouse gas emissions, operational, financial and technical maturity, scaling up potential and cost efficiency. The call is open for projects located in EU Member States, Iceland and Norway until 16 March 2023.
Promising projects that are not sufficiently mature for a grant may benefit from project development assistance by the European Investment Bank.
Projects can apply via the EU Funding and Tenders portal where information on the overall procedure is available. Applicants will be informed about the results of the evaluation in the second quarter of 2023. The grant awards and signature of projects will take place in the fourth quarter of 2023.
A webinar on lessons learned from the previous call and an Info Day will be organised on 29 and 30 November 2022 respectively to give prospective applicants the opportunity to get information and ask questions on the new call.
The Innovation Fund is one of the world’s largest funding programmes for the demonstration and commercialisation of innovative low-carbon technologies. Financed by revenues from the auctioning of allowances from the EU’s EU ETS, it has already held two large-scale calls awarding €1.1 billion and €1.8 billion in grants to 7 and 17 projects respectively (see the Innovation Fund Project Portfolio Dashboard).
With a currently estimated revenue of approximately €38 billion until 2030, the Innovation Fund aims to create the right financial incentives for companies and public bodies to invest now in the next generation of low-carbon technologies and give EU companies a first-mover advantage to become global technology leaders. As proposed under the Fit for 55 package currently being negotiated by the co-legislators, the Fund would be substantially increased to channel even more investments in breakthrough green technologies.
The Innovation Fund is implemented by the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), while the European Investment Bank provides the project development assistance to promising projects that are not sufficiently mature.
Source: European Commission