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Innovation Fund

How to finance small projects based on clean technologies

With a budget of 38 billion euros for the period between 2020 and 2030, the Innovation Fund is the European programme created expressly to finance demonstration clean technology projects. These funds will be considerably increased to realise the ambitious strategic objectives defined in the EU’s REPowerEU Plan. In this regard, the European Commission will double the funding available for this autumn’s call for large-scale projects to around €3 billion.

This bid to pave the way towards energy independence for Member States represents a major milestone under the REPowerEU smart investment target which, together with other initiatives, envisages mobilising additional investment of around EUR 210 billion by 2027.

In any case, the Innovation Fund already offers opportunities to finance small-scale pre-commercial projects based on highly innovative technologies that are pioneering in their markets of application and have a significant potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This call offers lump sum grants to support 60% of the capital costs (CAPEX) of projects that have difficulties in attracting public and private investment due to the technological risks associated with their high innovative value.

Clean technology projects in the Innovation Fund programme

The Innovation Fund Small Scale 2021 supports four types of clean tech projects with a CAPEX of between 2.5 million euros and 7.5 million euros. These are projects for the production and use of renewable energy, energy intensive industry, storage and projects based on carbon capture, use and storage technologies. It has a budget of €100 million and will close on 31 August 2022.

In the first call of the Innovation Fund Small Scale, 30 projects were selected as grant recipients and 10 were awarded Project development assistance, as they met the minimum requirements of the call and were interesting in terms of potential maturity improvement.

At Zabala Innovation we have forged a great experience in supporting our clients in the presentation of projects to this programme. Led from the area of knowledge of Energy, our team of experts composed of multidisciplinary profiles has achieved great results in past calls.

Excellent results and a few keys

On the one hand, in the first large-scale call, we contributed to the selection of the Ecoplanta project, one of the seven Innovation Fund unicorn projects chosen from all over Europe. On the other hand, in the first small-scale call, we helped our clients to get the support to implement three of the 30 selected projects: AGGREGACO2, SUN2HY and SKFOAAS. These results demonstrate the strong positioning of Zabala Innovation as a reference consultant in European programmes as competitive as Innovation Fund.

Innovation Fund is one of the largest funds in the world focused on bringing innovative clean technology projects to the market. Thanks to the professionals and experience we have at Zabala Innovation, we can cover the wide range of sectors and technologies targeted by this programme.

Seeking help

We are therefore aware of the work involved in preparing projects that are submitted to such powerful calls for proposals. Therefore, we recommend having a strong team of experts in the study of greenhouse gas emission reduction, visionaries in innovative technologies. Rigour in determining the financial impact of the project both now and in the future should also not be overlooked.

Of particular importance is also the balance between the subsidy required and the emission reductions envisaged in the project, to be as competitive as possible. The goal will be to provide Europe with a sustainable and long-lasting solution to current problems, projecting novel technologies over different timeframes.

The extensive experience acquired by Zabala Innovation in the presentation of proposals to the European Commission in various calls for proposals allows us to offer a complete service in all the required aspects of Innovation Fund.

Expert person

Rocío Fernández

Brussels Office


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