10 Billion Euros for Low Carbon Tech - The Innovation Fund
The Innovation Fund is one of the world’s largest funding programmes for the demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies. With a goal to of financinge low carbon technologies, the Innovation Fund holds around 10 billion euros over 2020- 2030.
On April 7th, 2021, The Hague Business Agency along together with Simona Trpovska, the founder and a CEO of a I-DS Coaching & Consulting has organized the 2nd part of the Access to EU Funding part two webinar, specifically focusing on The Innovation Fund. Watch the full recording below:
- The goal of the Innovation Fund
The Innovation Fund aims to bring to market industrial solutions that will support a climate neutral Europe - that is one of the major goals of the green deal. With a goal to help businesses invest in clean energy and industry to boost economic growth, The Innovation Fund focuses on the following sectors: energy intensive industries like refineries, biofuels, iron & steel; renewables such as solar, wind, hydro, ocean, geothermal energy as well as bio-combines electricity and energy storage which include intraday electricity storage as well as other sectors. Lastly, carbon capture, utilisation, and storage sector focuses on CO2 in one of the intensive energy industries. Projects that deal with CO2 utilisation are also applicable if they they the resulting products that are used in products which substitute carbon intensive industries.
- Criteria for the Innovation Fund
In order to successfully proceed with The Innovation Fund, you need to score minimum 3/5 points in each section of the following award criteria:
- The effectiveness of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions avoidance: absolute and relative GHG emission avoidance.
- The degree of innovation: ground-breaking concept, beyond incremental innovation and impact on EU policy objectives.
- Project maturity: ready to reach final close within 4 years?
- Scalability: ready to reach financial close within 4 years.
- Cost-efficiency: requested support per ton of CO2.
- What is required to be eligible for the Innovation Fund
- You, as well as your business projects must be based in an EU member state, Norway, or Lichtenstein.
- Eligible institutions are private entities, public entities, international organisations, and SMEs.
- Although individual applications are accepted, it is highly recommended to work in partnerships for the application, especially regarding larger scale projects. That is to expand the financial and operational capacity.
- Co-financing rate: The Innovation Fund covers 60% of the project and it is own responsibility to match the rest.
- In regard to financing, small scale projects can receive 2.5-7.5 million euros CAPEX, large-scale projects – 7.5 and above million euros CAPEX.
- The grants will be disbursed in a flexible way based on project financing needs, taking into account the milestones achieved during the project lifetime. Overall, the execution of all financial agreements can take up to 48 months. 2-3 years after financial closure for small scale; 3-10 years after financial closure for large scale.
- Small- and Large-scale projects:
Both small- and large-scale projects work within the same selection criteria. Along the award criteria, grant disbursement is the same with 40% at financial close and 60% dependent on delivery of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions avoidance. Furthermore, both scales of projects can receive project development assistance (PDA). More importantly, regardless of the project size, activities should be focusing in one of the previously mentioned sectors – energy intensive industries, renewables, emergency storage, or carbon capture.
- Small-scale calls:
Small-scale projects applications are single-stage, focusing on GHG (greenhouse gas) emission avoidance, and can receive between 2.5 and 7.5 million euros. Small-scale projects are eligible for project development assistance.
- Large-scale calls:
Larger scale projects require a two-stage process: stage one is Expression of interest and stage two is Full application. The duration between the stages can take up to 3-4 months. After full application is submitted, project development and the decision for funding can take up to 6 months. Receiving PDA support is also possible for larger projects. Overall, one billion euros is available for funding the projects and additional eight million euros are available for project developments.
To submit a larger scale project, you need to have the following documents verified by a third party:
- An administrative form within the application.
- A technical description which can demonstrate measurable indications.
- An excel sheet providing GHG emissions avoidance potential.
Furthermore, a detailed business and project implementation plan is required. In addition, cost calculations should be provided and approved by auditors. once you submit and you receive the application and the grant is awarded, you can start the basic activities and you need also to secure your part of the financing.