The quality of the work that Zabala Innovation offers its clients when accompanying them in the technical, environmental, financial, and administrative aspects of their innovative projects is once again reflected in its results. With five projects funded in the last call of the Innovation Fund Large Scale programme (and two on the waiting list), its success rate (45%) is 2.6 times higher than the overall rate (17% or, in other words, 41 projects funded out of the 196 that were admitted). The European Commission will allocate ¤3.6 billion to these 41 clean technology projects. Overall, 236 proposals were submitted to the third Innovation Fund call for Large Scale projects.
Following this call, Zabala Innovation has successfully supported six projects in the Innovation Fund Large Scale (including Ecoplanta), while in the two Innovation Fund Small Scale calls that have been held so far, our consultancy firm has secured funding for five projects. The result for our clients is a contribution of more than 400 million euros from the European Commission.
Opened last March, the third Innovation Fund Small Scale call will close on 19 September. In addition, the 2023 calls for small, medium and large scale projects (all at the same time) are due to be published in November, and a pilot auction for renewable hydrogen production will be launched in December. All this with an increased budget of €4 billion.
“In the competitive scenario of innovation and research, having the collaboration of a reliable and experienced entity makes the difference between success and stagnation,” says Juan Sanciñena, senior consultant in European projects at Zabala Innovation. “Our consultancy firm, recognised for its technical and financial quality, is positioned as a leader in Europe in supporting companies and institutions in teamwork with our clients to obtain funding in European calls for proposals,” he adds.
“Its multidisciplinary team of experts, passionate about excellence in project management, supports its clients throughout the entire process, from conceptualisation to implementation, including financial aspects, providing personalised support that has yielded tangible results,” Sanciñena underlines.
Innovation Fund Large Scale 2022 results
As part of the REPowerEU Plan and the phasing out of European imports of Russian fossil fuels, the projects funded under the third Innovation Fund Large Scale call cover a wide range of industries, including cement, steel, advanced biofuels, sustainable aviation fuels, wind and solar energy, and renewable hydrogen and its derivatives. The funding will contribute to the greening of important sectors of the European economy, particularly those that are difficult to decarbonise. More than 40% of the eligible projects passed all assessment thresholds and could be considered for the Sovereignty Label, the new EU label to be awarded to high quality projects that contribute to the objectives of the Strategic Technology Platform for Europe (STEP).
The selected projects will be carried out in the Member States of Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Norway. All supported projects will be operational by 2030 and could avoid 221 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in their first 10 years of operation.
General decarbonisation (€1.4 billion), industrial electrification and hydrogen (€1.2 billion), clean technology manufacturing (€0.8 billion), and medium-sized pilot projects (€250 million) were the themes covered by the third Innovation Fund Large Scale call. Independent experts assessed the selected projects against five award criteria: ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional technologies; level of innovation; operational, financial, and technical maturity; scalability; and cost/effectiveness.
In addition to the 41 projects selected for funding, other promising but insufficiently mature projects will benefit from European Investment Bank (EIB) project development assistance. Those selected will be announced in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Key tool of the European Green Deal Industrial Plan
Innovation Fund is one of the world’s largest funding programmes for the deployment of innovative and net zero emission technologies. It is one of the key tools of the European Green Deal Industrial Plan. It is funded by revenues from the auctioning of allowances under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and has already held two large-scale calls in 2020 and 2021 awarding grants worth €1.1 billion and €1.8 billion in grants to seven and sixteen projects, respectively. In addition, it has held two other small-scale calls in the same two years, awarding grants of EUR 100 million and EUR 62 million to thirty and seventeen projects respectively.
Implemented by the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), the programme aims to help companies invest in clean energy and bring to market technologies that can decarbonise European industry, while promoting its competitiveness. Grants are awarded to bridge the cost gap between these innovative technologies and conventional technologies. The Innovation Fund awards grants through regular calls for proposals and, in the future, through public tendering procedures (auctions).