The Commission is launching today the second call for large-scale projects under the Innovation Fund, one of the world’s largest programmes for the demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies, financed by revenues from the auction of emission allowances from the EU’s Emissions Trading System. With a budget of €1.5 billion it will finance breakthrough technologies for renewable energy, energy-intensive industries, energy storage, and carbon capture, use and storage.
Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: ‘The Innovation Fund helps to scale up technological solutions necessary for the green transition. With this call, we will support innovative projects, speeding them up, and bringing them to the market as quickly as possible. This investment will support the decarbonisation of Europe’s economy, paving the way to climate neutrality in 2050, and reinforcing European technological leadership on a global scale.”
Taking into account the significant oversubscription in the first call and the strong project pipeline, the Commission simplified the application process, which now consists of only one stage. This will reduce significantly the lead time from application to grant award.
Projects will be evaluated according to their potential to avoid greenhouse gas emissions, their innovation potential, their financial and technical maturity, their potential for scaling up and their cost efficiency. The call is open for projects from all EU Member States, Iceland and Norway until the 3rd of March 2022.
For projects that are promising but not sufficiently mature for a grant, there will be project development assistance by the European Investment Bank.
Projects can apply via the EU Funding and Tenders portal where more details on the overall procedure are available. The deadline for submission of applications is 3 March 2022. Applicants will be informed about the results of the evaluation in the third quarter of 2022. The grant awards and signature of projects will take place in the fourth quarter of 2022.
An Info Day will be organised on 10 November to give prospective applicants and other stakeholders the opportunity to get information and ask questions on the new call.
With a revenue of more than €25 billion until 2030, depending on the carbon price, the Innovation Fund aims to create the right financial incentives for companies and public authorities to invest now in the next generation of low-carbon technologies and give EU companies a first-mover advantage to become global technology leaders.
Under the latest proposals to deliver the European Green Deal, 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 ready for full application.