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Climate Action

Third call for large-scale projects

The Innovation Fund’s third call for large-scale projects was launched on 3 November 2022. The REPowerEU  Plan announced the contribution of the Innovation Fund to further support the EU’s independence from Russian fossil fuels and accelerate Europe’s green transition.

With a budget doubled to EUR 3 billion thanks to increased revenue from the auctioning of EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) allowances, this third call counts four topics, three of which are part of REPowerEU:

  • Innovative electrification in industry and hydrogen (budget: EUR 1 billion)
  • Clean tech manufacturing (supporting manufacturing of components and final equipment such as electrolysers and fuel cells, innovative renewable equipment, energy storage, or heat pumps), (budget: EUR 700 million)
  • “Mid-sized pilots” projects for validating, testing and optimising highly innovative solutions (budget: EUR 300 million)
  • General decarbonisation, which isavailable to all projects eligible for the Innovation Fund except those which fall under dedicated RePowerEU topics (budget: EUR 1 billion).

Project applicants, please use the EU Funding and Tenders portal, where you can find further information on the overall procedure.

Press release

Timeline

Event

Timing (expected)

Launch of the third large-scale call 

3 November 2022

Deadline for submission of applications

16 March 2023 – 17:00 CET

Information on evaluation results

Q2 2023

Award of the grants and project development assistance

Q4 2023

The Commission has consulted the stakeholders on the scoping of the topics and conducted a survey to gauge the industry’s interest and readiness to apply for funding in specific thematic areas under the Innovation Fund in “clean-tech manufacturing” and for “mid-sized pilots”. The outcome of consultations and the survey were presented at the 10th meeting of the Innovation Fund Expert Group (Presentation by DG CLIMA)

Overview of the second call for large-scale project proposals

The second call for large-scale projects was launched on 26 October 2021. With a budget of EUR 1.5 billion, which constitutes a 50% increase compared to the previous call, it aimed to finance breakthrough technologies for renewable energy, energy-intensive industries, energy storage, and carbon capture, use and storage.

The deadline to submit an application was 3 March 2022 and the Commission received 139 applications in all eligible categories. They were evaluated by external evaluators against the award criteria: potential for greenhouse gases emission avoidance, degree of innovation, project maturity, scalability, and cost efficiency.

The evaluation results  were communicated to applicants on 11 July 2022. 17 projects were selected for grant agreement preparation, covering a wide range of relevant sectors to decarbonise different parts of Europe's industry and energy. The total grants amount to more than EUR 1.8 billion and will support projects aiming to bring breakthrough technologies to the market in energy-intensive industries, hydrogen, renewable energy, carbon capture and storage infrastructure, and manufacturing of key components for energy storage and renewables.

Innovation Fund - Second call for large-scale projects map

In addition, rejected proposals which met minimum requirements and have the strongest potential to improve their maturity will be offered project development assistance (PDA) by the European Investment Bank. The list of projects awarded project development assistance will be announced in autumn 2022.

Event

Timing (expected)

Launch of the second large-scale call

26 October 2021

Deadline for submission of applications

3 March 2022

Information on evaluation results

11 July 2022

Award of the grants and project development assistance

Q4 2022

The call text and supporting documents are available on the Funding and Tender Portal. For any question related to the call, please contact the dedicated helpdesk.

Best practices and statistics from previous Calls for Proposals

This set of documents aims to support applicants to the Innovation Fund in preparing successful bids. The first document consolidates best practices and mistakes to avoid, following an analysis of the 2020 calls for large- and small-scale proposals. The second document presents the most relevant statistics on proposals submitted in the First Call for Large-Scale Projects.

Disclaimer! The documents do not represent guidance to future applicants. Future applicants are invited to consult the Funding and Tender Portal and all documents available there.

Overview of the first call for large-scale project proposals & next steps

The first call for large-scale projects opened on 3 July 2020 with a budget of EUR 1 billion for breakthrough technologies for renewable energy, energy-intensive industries, energy storage, and carbon capture, use and storage. The call closed on 29 October 2020. We received 311 applications for innovative clean tech projects, promising to reduce around 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 during their operating period within the Innovation Fund. Further analysis shows the main technological pathways employed in the proposed projects.

The proposals that fulfilled the admissibility and eligibility conditions have been assessed against the award criteria of the first stage by independent external evaluators. In March 2021, the best-ranked 70 applicants were invited to submit full project proposals for the second stage of the call, which closed on 23 June 2021. We have received 66 applications which were evaluated by external evaluators against all the 5 Innovation Fund award criteria: potential for greenhouse gases emission avoidance, degree of innovation, project maturity, scalability and cost efficiency.

In addition, rejected proposals which met some minimum requirements and have the strongest potential to improve their maturity were offered project development assistance (PDA) provided by the European Investment Bank. The Commission has adopted the first PDA award decision in July 2021, and it was followed by signature of individual PDA agreements by the EIB and implementation of the PDA services.

15 large-scale projects were selected to receive PDA for the 1st call. The support, provided as a tailor-made technical assistance by the European Investment Bank aims to advance their financial, technical or operational maturity, with a view of potential re-submission under future Innovation Fund calls.

The information on the evaluation results from the second stage was communicated to applicants on 16 November 2021. 7 projects were selected for funding under the first Innovation Fund call for large-scale projects and cover a wide range of relevant sectors to decarbonise different parts of Europe's industry and energy sectors, such as chemicals, steel, cement, refineries, and power and heat.

Innovation Fund - Large-scale projects

These successful projects are invited to start their grant agreement preparations with CINEA. Grants will be awarded in the first quarter of 2022.

EventTiming
Launch of the first large-scale call3 July 2020
Deadline for submission of applications to 1st stage29 October 2020
Information on evaluation results and invitation for the 2nd stageMarch 2021
Deadline for submission of applications to 2nd stage23 June 2021
PDA award decision27 July 2021
Information on 2nd stage evaluation results16 November 2021
Award of the grantsMarch 2022

You will find all information and documentation needed at the Funding and Tenders Portal, including the call text, application forms, Frequently Asked Questions and the helpdesk for additional questions.

More information is also available on CINEA website.

The first call is funding clean energy and clean industry innovative investments to contribute to the green recovery of EU economy and maintain the momentum in EU journey to climate neutrality.

Key elements of the first call for proposals for large-scale projects:

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