Innovation Fund: 18 cleantech projects to receive €173 million in EU funding


The Innovation Fund, financed through the EU Emissions Trading System, will support 15 projects selected under the third small-scale call and 3 projects selected under the third large-scale call for proposals. These projects have now signed their grant agreements, amounting to a total of €173 million in EU funding. With this support, the Innovation Fund will help companies in Europe bring innovative technologies to the market in renewable energy, energy storage, and energy-intensive industries. 

All awarded projects have the potential to contribute to Europe’s decarbonisation and clean energy transition. During their first 10 years of operation, the 15 small-scale projects could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, while for the 3 large-scale projects, this potential could rise to 2.9 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. They will receive EU funding ranging from €1.6 million to €4.5 million for the small-scale projects and from €13 to €62 million for the large-scale projects. 

For the first time, the Innovation Fund will support Latvian and Hungarian projects, expanding its geographical reach to 24 countries. Furthermore, 9 out of 21 beneficiaries of the small-scale projects and 1 out of 4 beneficiaries of the large-scale projects, are small and medium-sized enterprises. 

These new Innovation Fund projects will cover a wide range of sectors, with a particular focus on manufacturing of components for renewable energy and hydrogen production. The projects also cover the areas of energy storage, solar energy, renewables, glass, ceramics, construction materials, iron and steel, refineries, chemicals, cement and lime, and hydrogen. 


A total of 72 project proposals were submitted for the Innovation Fund’s third small-scale call. They were evaluated by independent experts against five criteria: degree of innovation, potential for greenhouse gas avoidance, project maturity, scalability, and cost efficiency. In addition, the three large-scale projects took part in past large-scale calls and have now finalised the Grant Agreements.   

Furthermore, another four small-scale projects from the third small-scale call were awarded Project Development Assistance (PDA) to improve their technical and/or financial maturity with support from the European Investment Bank

With an estimated revenue of €40 billion (calculated with a carbon price of €75 per tonne of CO2) from the EU Emissions Trading System between 2020 and 2030, the Innovation Fund aims to create financial incentives for companies and public authorities to invest in cutting-edge, low-carbon and net zero technologies and to support Europe’s transition to climate neutrality.  

The Innovation Fund has already awarded around €6.5 billion to over 100 innovative projects through its previous calls for proposals. In case of regular grants, the programme supports up to 60% of the relevant costs calculated according to the methodology indicated in the call for proposals. Up to 40% of the grant can be given at financial close or based pre-defined milestones before financial close. The European Executive Agency for Climate, Infrastructure and Environment (CINEA) is the implementing Agency of the Fund. 

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