The European Union is investing €118 million in 32 small innovative initiatives in 14 EU Member States, Iceland, and Norway for the first time since the Innovation Fund was established. The funds will go toward projects that aim to commercialize low-carbon solutions in energy-intensive industries, hydrogen, energy storage, and renewable energy. In addition to these awards, 15 initiatives in ten EU Member States and Norway will get project development assistance worth up to €4.4 million to help them mature.
The EU is providing concrete funding to cleantech projects across Europe in order to scale up technical solutions that can help achieve climate neutrality by 2050. With the proposed increase to the Innovation Fund in the Fit for 55 Package, the EU will be able to assist even more initiatives in the future, accelerate them up, and bring them to market as soon as feasible.
Independent experts assessed the 32 projects chosen for financing for their ability to cut greenhouse gas emissions when compared to traditional technologies and to innovate beyond the state-of-the-art while remaining mature enough to be deployed quickly. Other factors considered were the projects’ scalability and cost-effectiveness. The projects chosen to decarbonize different segments of Europe’s manufacturing and energy sectors include a wide variety of relevant sectors. This request for proposals has an 18% success rate for eligible proposals.
The 15 initiatives eligible for project development support were found to be sufficiently innovative and promising in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but not yet mature enough to be considered for a grant. The support, which will be offered by the European Investment Bank in the form of tailored technical assistance, will help them advance their financial or technical maturity in preparation for future Innovation Fund requests.
Individual grant agreements are being prepared for successful proposals under the request for small-scale initiatives. These should be completed by the fourth quarter of 2021, allowing the Commission to approve the grant award decision and begin disbursing the funds. Projects can take up to four years to come to a financial conclusion.
The European Investment Bank will contact projects that received development support through the request for large-scale projects to finalize individual agreements and enable the service to begin in the fourth quarter of 2021.