For the first time since the creation of the Innovation Fund, the European Union is investing €118 million into 32 small innovative projects located in 14 EU Member States, Iceland and Norway. The grants will support projects aiming to bring low-carbon technologies to the market in energy intensive industries, hydrogen, energy storage and renewable energy. In addition to these grants, 15 projects located in 10 EU Member States and Norway will benefit from project development assistance worth up to €4.4 million, with the aim of advancing their maturity.
Executive Vice-President Timmermans said: “With today's investment, the EU is giving concrete support to clean tech projects all over Europe to scale up technological solutions that can help reach climate neutrality by 2050. The increase of the Innovation Fund proposed in the Fit for 55 Package will enable the EU to support even more projects in the future, speed them up, and bring them to the market as quickly as possible.”
The 32 projects selected for funding were evaluated by independent experts for their ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional technologies and to innovate beyond the state-of-the-art while being sufficiently mature to enable their quick deployment. Other criteria included the projects' potential for scalability and cost effectiveness. The selected projects cover a wide range of relevant sectors to decarbonise different parts of Europe's industry and energy sectors. The success rate of eligible proposals to this call for proposals is 18%.
Innovation Fund will provide around EUR 20 billion of support over 2020-2030, depending on the carbon price, for the commercial demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies, aiming to bring to the market industrial solutions to decarbonise Europe and support its transition to climate neutrality. ECOPNET (European Cooperation and Partnership Network) appreciates the role of the Innovation Fund as a key funding instrument for delivering the EU’s economy-wide commitments under the Paris Agreement and its objective to be climate neutral by 2050, as recognised in the European Green Deal Investment Plan.
The 15 projects that can benefit from project development assistance were assessed to be sufficiently innovative and promising in terms of their ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but not yet mature enough to be considered for a grant. The support, to be provided as tailor-made technical assistance by the European Investment Bank, aims to advance their financial or technical maturity, with a view to potential re-submission under future Innovation Fund calls.
Successful projects under the call for small-scale projects are starting to prepare individual grant agreements. These should be finalised in the fourth quarter of 2021, allowing the Commission to adopt the corresponding grant award decision and start disbursing the grants. Projects have up to four years to reach financial closure.
Projects offered development assistance under the call for large-scale projects will be contacted by the European Investment Bank to conclude individual agreements and enable the start of the service in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Source: European Commission Press Corner