Innovation Fund

The Innovation Fund (IF) for climate is an EU funding programme for the demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies. During the period 2020-2030, the fund will invest over 38 billion euros in the EU’s climate neutral future, making it one of the world’s largest funding programmes in this field. This page contains a short introduction to the fund’s focuses, criteria and procedures.

Focuses – which projects are supported?

The Innovation Fund finances breakthrough technologies in the fields of:

  • innovative low-carbon technologies and processes in energy-intensive industries, including products substituting carbon-intensive ones
  • carbon capture and utilisation (CCU)
  • construction and operation of carbon capture and storage (CCS)
  • innovative renewable energy generation
  • energy storage.

Within these fields, the fund supports technologies and projects in the later stages of technological development. The grants are mainly for demonstration projects (of new and highly innovative, impactful technologies, products or processes). In some cases, also pilot projects (with more advanced R&D) may apply for a grant. The same goes for scale-ups of earlier successful demonstrations. However, projects consisting of a full Roll-Out are considered too mature and will not be supported by the fund.

Who can apply for IF funding?

Funding is available for companies and public authorities in all EU member states, Iceland or Norway. Possible sectors include: Energy storage, Wind energy, Solar energy, Hydro/Ocean energy, Geothermal energy, Bio-electricity, Renewable Heating/Cooling, Refineries, Biofuels and biorefineries, Iron & steel, Non-ferrous metals, Cement & lime, Glass, Ceramics & construction material, Pulp & paper, Chemicals, Hydrogen, CO₂ Transport and Storage. Projects may be submitted by a single applicant or a consortium.

Main requirements

To be able to apply for a grant, a project must at least:

  • involve the demonstration of a new and highly innovative technology, product or process;
  • have significant potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions;
  • have a capital expenditure between 2,5 million and 7,5 million euros (small scale projects) of above (large scale projects);
  • score sufficiently on criteria like maturity, scalability and cost efficiency.

More detailed requirements may be added with each specific call for proposals.

Budget, grants and calls for proposals

The total IF budget for 2020-2030 is estimated at 38 billion euros. Projects can be submitted only within specific ‘calls for proposals’. Grants will cover up to 60% of the project costs. The grants are provided in a flexible way, based on a project’s cash flow needs. Up to 40% can be paid based on pre-defined milestones during the project lifetime.

What does PNO offer?

Applying for IF funding involves quite some effort and expertise. Having a real shot in this competitive programme requires you to develop a high-quality proposal. The experts of PNO Consultants, EGEN and PNO Chemistry (part of PNO Group) can support you in performing the required calculations, 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.

Did you know that 13 out of 70 Innovation Fund applications that passed the first stage in the 2020 call for large scale projects were supported by PNO Group? And did you also know that we take credit for 7 out of 17 approved Innovation Fund applications in the second large-scale call?

Is your organisation working on innovative low-carbon technologies? And are you interested in submitting an Innovation Fund application and in the services of PNO? Call +31 (0)88 838 13 81 or send us a message:

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