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Λογότυπος της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής
Climate Action

Overview of the second call for small-scale projects

The second call for small-scale projects was launched on 31 March 2022 with a budget of EUR 100 million. The call text and application process remained largely similar to those of the first call and applicants had five months to prepare their application (until 31 August 2022). By this deadline, 66 applications were received in all eligible categories, requesting three times more than the call budget. 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 in mid-December 2022. 17 small-scale projects were selected for grant agreement preparation and they cover a wide variety of sectors, from glass manufacturing to green hydrogen production and wind energy. The total grants allocated amount to EUR 62 million. These projects are starting grant agreement preparations with the European Climate, Environment and Infrastructure Executive Agency (CINEA) to be able to sign the grant agreements in the second quarter of 2023.

You can find all projects that were invited for grant agreement preparation on our Innovation Fund projects page.

Map of projects invited for grant agreement preparation
Map of projects invited for grant agreement preparation

Some rejected projects, which have the potential to improve their maturity, will be invited for project development assistance by the European Investment Bank. The list of projects awarded project development assistance will be announced in the second quarter of 2023.

EventTiming (expected)
Launch of the second small-scale call31 March 2022
Deadline for the submission of applications31 August 2022
Information on evaluation results and invitation for grant preparation12 December 2022
Award of the grants and PDAAs of Q2 2023

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 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 Small-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 small-scale project proposals

The first call for small-scale projects opened on 1 December 2020 with a budget of EUR 100 million for breakthrough technologies in renewable energy, energy-intensive industries, energy storage, and carbon capture, use and storage. The call closed on 10 March 2021 and we received 232 applications for innovative clean tech projects in all sectors located in all EU Member States, Iceland and Norway.

During the second quarter 2021, independent evaluators assessed the proposals which fulfilled the admissibility and eligibility conditions against the award criteria. Applicants were informed about the results of the evaluation process for the first call for small-scale projects in July 2021. 32 successful applicants were invited to start the grant preparation process.

By 10 December 2021, 30 projects selected for funding under the first call for small-scale proposals signed their grant agreements with CINEA. The first 3 projects selected for grant award signed their grant agreements on 4 November 2021, during a side-event of the COP26 conference. The rest of the selected projects signed their grant agreements in the weeks after that event. The award decisions are available in the legal framework section.

In addition, project development assistance was awarded to 10 rejected proposals which met the minimum requirements set in the call for proposals and were considered by the evaluators to have the potential to improve their maturity. The project development assistance is provided by the European Investment Bank.

Small-scale projects map

The timeline of the call is presented below:

Launch of small-scale call1 December 2020
Deadline for submission of applications10 March 2021
Information on evaluation results and invitation for grant preparationMid July 2021
PDA award decisionNovember 2021
Grant award decisionsNovember-December 2021

You will find all information and documentation about this call 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.

Questionnaire on the Innovation Fund application process

We gathered feedback on the application process of the call for small-scale projects. We are integrating the recommendations into the preparation of the future Innovation Fund calls to improve the application process. Check out the results of the survey for a complete overview.


Innovation Fund webinar 1: small-scale call application step-by-step

Key elements of first call for small-scale projects

The first call for small-scale projects will fund innovative projects in clean energy and industry to support the deployment of key technologies needed to reach climate neutrality and contribute to Europe’s green recovery.

Key elements of the first call for small-scale projects:


The emphasis was on truly innovative projects that are ready for commercial deployment, for instance delivering installations to a customer in a new market segment. Apart from the main sectors, three key activities were encouraged: products that substitute carbon-intensive ones, net carbon removal innovations and direct air capture.

Preparation of the first call for small-scale projects

The first call for small-scale projects was prepared throughout 2020 with the active involvement of the Innovation Fund Expert Group.