Innovation Fund Small Scale Projects

María Moreno December 20, 2020
European Green Deal

 This is a call for proposals in the field of demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies under the Innovation Fund (IF). The call will be managed by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA).

The funds set aside for this call are EUR 100 000 000 for grants. The grants will be provided as lump sums. In addition, project development assistance (PDA) will be provided in the form of services to some projects by the European Investment Bank.

The objectives of this call are to:

  • support small-scale projects demonstrating highly innovative technologies, processes or products, that are sufficiently mature and have a significant potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
  • offer financial support tailored to market needs and risk profiles of eligible projects, while attracting additional public and private resources;
  • complement the large-scale call by targeting smaller-scale projects, thereby offering another opportunity, in particular for small and medium-size companies to have their project

Projects must have a minimum total capital expenditure of EUR 2 500 000 for this call. In addition projects must have a total capital expenditure below EUR 7 500 000 to be eligible under this call.

Activities that can be funded

All following activities can be funded under this call:

  • activities that support innovation in low-carbon technologies and processes in sectors listed in Annex I to the ETS Directive, including environmentally-safe carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) that contributes substantially to mitigating climate change, as well as substitute products,
  • activities that help stimulate the construction and operation of projects that aim at the environmentally-safe capture and geological storage of CO2 (CCS),
  • activities that help stimulate the construction and operation of innovative renewable energy and energy storage

Carbon capture and utilisation can be funded if the capture of CO2 occurs within one of the activities listed in Annex I of the ETS Directive, or if the utilisation of CO2 results in products substituting carbon intensive ones from the sectors listed in Annex I to the ETS Directive even if carbon is captured outside the activities of Annex I.

Expected impact

Projects to be funded by this Innovation Fund call are expected to contribute to the transition to a climate-neutral economy and to achieve the policy objectives as set out in the European Commission’s communication - A Clean Planet for All - A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy long-term strategy, also referred to as the Long-term strategy the European Green Deal and 2030 Climate target plan. Projects are also expected to contribute to achieving the objectives of the Recovery Plan for Europe.


Launch of the call

1 December 2020

Deadline for submission of applications

10 March 2021 at 17:00 (CET, Brussels)

Information on evaluation results, and invitation for grant preparation

August 2021 (indicative)

>Award of the grants>

As of fourth quarter 2021 (indicative)



In order to be eligible for funding under this call, the applicants must be:

  • legal persons;
  • belong to one of the following categories: private entities, public entities, or international organisations;8
  • be directly responsible for the implementation and management of the project where relevant jointly with other applicants, i.e. not acting as an

The minimum number of applicants is one.

Applications may be submitted by a consortium of legal entities acting together. In the case of an application by a consortium of legal entities, the funding is awarded to the consortium, which is responsible for delivering the project. The entities participating in the consortium will have to sign a consortium agreement among themselves – establishing their internal arrangements and designate a project coordinator – before signing the grant agreement.

Natural persons are NOT eligible. EU bodies can NOT be part of the consortium.

The applicants will be required to demonstrate the eligibility of the projects by providing the required information on the activities in the application forms.

Only actions implemented on the territory of one (or more) of the EU Member States, Norway or Iceland are eligible for funding under this call.


Applicants should consider that the following conditions must be fulfilled in relation to the duration of their proposed actions:

  1. the project must reach financial close as soon as possible and no later than four years (48 months) after grant signature;
  2. the default monitoring and reporting period once the project has entered into operation shall be 3 years; longer periods can be accepted but these must be justified by the applicant and may not exceed 10 years. It is expected that projects enter into operation in a reasonable timeframe after financial close (e.g. 2-3 years).

Only costs incurred after the date of submission of grant application are eligible. Applicants which decide to start construction and incure costs after submitting an application, act on their own risk should the proposal ultimately not be awarded a grant.

European Green Deal

Maximum grant amount

The maximum grant amount is fixed for each project on the basis of the relevant costs calculation and covers up to 60% of the relevant costs of projects.

The grant will be paid in lump sums. Payments will not depend on the costs actually incurred but on the proper implementation of the action, achievement of the results and completion of the work packages in accordance with Annex 1 to the grant agreement during the project duration.

Applicants will indicate the requested maximum grant amount and the estimated lump- sum contributions broken down by participant and work package as part of the application. The applicants must ensure that the portion of the grant amount requested to be paid upon the financial close or upon reaching a specific milestone preceding financial close does not exceed 40% of the total grant amount requested. The lump sum breakdown will become Annex 2 to the grant agreement.

Source: EU Grants: Innovation Fund Small Scale Projects Call document: V1.0 – 01.12.2020

Do not hesitate to contact us if you are interested in our support for your participation!

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