Life, the European instrument dedicated to the enviroment

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The LIFE program is the only European R&D&I funding program dedicated exclusively to financing activities with environmental and climate objectives. Since 1992, more than 900 LIFE projects have been approved in Spain and 5,400 throughout the European Union.

On May 17, 2022, CINEA made public the new LIFE 2022 Call for Proposals. Compared to previous calls, LIFE 2021 includes some new features:

  • Use of the “Funding & tender opportunities” portal for submission of applications.
  • Submission of proposals from the Environment area in a single stage.
  • Disappearance of the 2% rule that previously applied to personnel costs.
  • All projects will be allowed to financially support local initiatives that can contribute to the project objective.

The LIFE program aims to favor the innovation and commercialization of solutions and products developed by Start-Ups in a risk-free incubation context that allows companies to bring their solution to market safely, and backed by adequate financial, technical and commercial means. The LIFE program welcomes proposals whose partnership combines the knowledge and experience of consolidated players in the market, together with the impulse of emerging companies or Start-Ups wishing to commercialize their solution or product.

It is very important to stress that all projects that apply must present quantified and credible key impact indicators (KPIs) to measure the expected impacts of the project in the different sub-programs and areas.

To be published

Scope: Europe

Organization: European Commission

Nature of project: Energy Efficiency, Renewables, Mobility and Environment.

Priorities of program

  • Support the objectives established in the EU Birds and Habitats Directives and the Invasive Alien Species Regulation.
  • Contribute to the objectives of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030 for a Trans-European Nature Network and the EU Restoration Plan.

In addition, there are two areas of intervention:

  • Space for nature: area-based conservation and restoration measures.
  • Safeguarding our species: measures targeting specific species
  • Resource recovery from waste: innovative solutions for value-added recycled materials, components or products.
  • Circular economy and environment: supporting the value chains set out in the EU Circular Economy Action Plan.
  • Air: helping to implement air quality legislation and address urban, industrial and rural environmental problems.
  • Water: improving water quality and quantity, as well as marine and coastal water management. Innovative technologies and tools for drinking water and urban wastewater treatment systems.
  • Soil: protecting the quality of EU soil.
  • Noise: reduce noise in densely populated urban areas.
  • Chemicals: reducing the impact of hazardous substances on the environment or human health.
  • Environmental governance: supporting government decision-making and alternative methods, ensuring environmental compliance and access to justice, promoting behavioral change and awareness.
  • Climate change mitigation: reducing fluorinated greenhouse gases, improving the functioning of the Emissions Trading System, better managing land and sea to reduce emissions, enhancing natural carbon sinks.
  • Adaptation to climate change: implementing adaptation plans, developing state-of-the-art adaptation tools, climate proofing, preparing cities and regions for climate change and extreme weather events.
  • Climate governance and information: supporting the European Climate Pact, promoting behavioral change, raising awareness, monitoring greenhouse gas emissions, analyzing climate policy.
  • Build a national, regional and local policy framework that supports the clean energy transition.
  • Accelerate the deployment of technology, digitalization, new services and business models, as well as improve skills.
  • Attract private financing for sustainable energy projects.
  • Support local and regional investment projects.
  • Involve and empower citizens in the clean energy transition


  • Contribute to the shift towards a sustainable, circular, energy-efficient, renewable energy-based, climate-neutral and resilient economy.
  • Protect, restore and improve the quality of the environment, including air, water and soil.
  • Halting and reversing biodiversity loss
  • Address ecosystem degradation, including through support for the implementation and management of the Natura 2000 network, thereby contributing to sustainable development

Types of Projects

Pilot projects: a technique or method that has not been applied or tested before, or elsewhere, that offers potential environmental or climatic advantages compared to current best practices and that can be applied on a larger scale to similar situations.

Demonstration projects: to implement, test, evaluate and disseminate actions, methodologies or approaches that are new or unknown in the specific context of the project (geographical, ecological, socioeconomic context) and that could be applied elsewhere under similar circumstances.

Best practice projects: applying appropriate, cost-effective and state-of-the-art techniques, methods and approaches, taking into account the specific context of the project.

Information, awareness and dissemination projects: support communication, information dissemination and awareness raising in the areas of the environment and climate action sub-programs.

Regarding the eligibility of applicants, it applies to all countries of the European Union including eventually associated countries such as the United Kingdom. Applicants can be public bodies, private commercial organizations and private non-profit organizations (including NGOs).

In general, the funding rate is 60% grant on eligible non-repayable costs, with the possibility of reaching up to 75% for nature and biodiversity actions.

Personnel, equipment, materials and consumables, and external collaborations.