Innovation fund: Low carbon innovation

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The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), the world’s largest carbon pricing system, will provide revenue to the IF program by auctioning €450 million from emission allowances from 2020 to 2030, as well as any unused funds from the NER300 program. For the 2020-2030 period, funding may amount to around €20 billion, depending on the price of carbon credits issued.

Innovation Fund aims to contribute to the EU’s economic recovery in an environmentally sustainable way, helping companies to invest in clean energy and industries and boost their economic growth, create new local jobs and generate a competitive advantage for the EU’s industrial sector.

The second call for small-scale projects is scheduled to be launched in March 2022 with a planned budget of €100 million and will remain open for five months. The call text and application process will remain largely similar to those of the first call.

Innovation Fund focuses on the following initiatives and type of projects:

  • Innovative low-carbon technologies and processes in energy-intensive industries, including carbon-intensive product substitutes.
  • Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU).
  • Construction and operation of carbon capture and storage (CCS) systems.
  • Innovative renewable energy generation
  • Energy storage


The Innovation Fund (IF) program is one of the world’s leading funding initiatives for the development of innovative low-carbon technologies. IF focuses on truly innovative technologies and large flagship projects with European added value that can deliver significant CO2 emission reductions. It involves sharing the risk with project promoters to assist them in the demonstration phase of first-of-a-kind highly innovative projects.
Successor to the NER 300 program (2012-2014) funded by the EU Emissions Trading System includes the following improvements:

Open to projects in energy-intensive industries.
Better risk sharing of projects (higher subsidies).
More flexible support, following the cash flow needs of projects (up to 40% grant prepayment).
Simplified governance and simplified decision making.


Opening date

Next deadline

Deadline model


Innovation Fund Large Scale Projects – General decarbonisation

03 November 2022

16 March 2023


Innovation Fund Large Scale Projects – Innovative electrification in industry and hydrogen

03 November 2022

16 March 2023


Innovation Fund Large Scale Projects – Clean-tech manufacturing

03 November 2022

16 March 2023


Innovation Fund Large Scale Projects – Mid-sized pilots

3 November 2022

16 March 2023


Scope: Europe

Budget: 600.000 €

Organization: European Commission

Nature of project : Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Mobility and Environment

  • Applicants must be legal entities: private, public entities or international organizations.
  • Applicants must be directly responsible for the implementation and management of the project (no intermediaries).
  • Applicants may apply on their own or within a consortium.
This call for proposals has two types of financing, depending on the volume of expenditure of the project:  

Large-scale projects

Small-scale projects

Size of the project 

<7.5 M€ CAPEX

Eligible Activities

energy intenmsive industry renewables , Storage, Carbon capture, use and storage 

Aplication process 

One phase 

One phase 

Volume of support

Up to 60% of the adittional cost 

Up to 60% os total CAPEX 

  • Actividades de apoyo a la innovación en tecnologías de bajo carbono y procesos en los sectores enumerados en el Anexo I de la Directiva ETS, incluyendo
    captura y utilización de carbono ambientalmente segura (CCU) que contribuye sustancialmente a la mitigación del cambio climático, así como a los productos de sustitución.
  • Las actividades que ayudan a estimular la construcción y el funcionamiento de proyectos que tienen como objetivo la captura y el almacenamiento geológico del CO2 de forma segura para el medio ambiente (CCS).
  • Actividades que ayudan a estimular la construcción y el funcionamiento de las energía renovable y tecnologías de almacenamiento de energía.

Las posibles solicitudes admisibles para los proyectos son muy variadas:

  • Nuevas plantas
  • Modificaciones de las plantas existentes
  • Sustitución de productos
  • Combustibles innovadores / electro-combustibles / uso de biomasa / electrificación de plantas existentes
  • Nuevos productos que ahorran emisiones en su uso
  • Nuevos productos que ahorran emisiones en su tratamiento al final de la vida útil
  • Cualquier combinación de lo anterior