Info Session on Third Innovation Fund Call with DG CLIMA

On the 3rd of November 2022, the European Commission’s Directorate for Climate Action (DG CLIMA) announced a new open call for applications under the EU’s Innovation Fund. The new call for large-scale projects makes €3 billion in grants available to decarbonisation projects, with a new focus on policy priorities related to energy security, The call breaks into four envelopes:

  1. Electrification & hydrogen in industry (€1 billion)
  1. Clean tech manufacturing (€700 million)
  1. Mid-sized pilots (€300 million)
  1. General decarbonisation window (€1 billion)

A week after this announcement, Cleantech for Europe hosted a discussion with DG CLIMA on  the ”Mid-sized pilots” call, to help the cleantech community better understand how to successfully apply to this call. We were thrilled to be joined by Ewelina Daniel (DG CLIMA) and Quentin Nerincx (European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency). The session was moderated by Cleantech for Europe’s Executive Director, Mr. Jules Besnainou. Watch the recording below to learn more about how to apply to this new open call:

Key learnings from the session:

  • The Mid-sized Pilots call assigns an increased weight in the evaluation criteria to projects which display a higher degree of innovation.  
  • The amount granted will be of maximum € 40 million per project, covering both construction and operation; .
  • The projects will have to demonstrate that they deliver 75% GHG abatement compared to the current benchmarks.
  • Deadline for applications is March 16, 2023
  • Financial maturity criteria in the Innovation Fund remain the biggest barrier for cleantech companies applying. Speakers explained in detail how the evaluation is made in that regard.

Cleantech for Europe has been a strong advocate of the Innovation Fund, while recommending to make it more easily accessible to SMEs and scale-ups. Read our detailed recommendations here.

1: grantees of the large-scale call covered a range of sectors, namely: steel, chemicals (ammonia, methanol, ethylene oxide), hydrogen (green and blue), PV cells production, cement, CCU concrete, electricity, heating and cooling. Out of the small-scale call's 30 grantees, almost half were related to energy storage, a third of the projects dealt with hydrogen, and another third pertained to renewable energy. Beyond that, grantees were found working on recycling, CCUS, different bio-based technologies and other EII.

About the Speakers

Ewelina has been working in the European Commission, across it’s Directorates since 2009 and who is currently a Policy Officer in DG CLIMA responsible for coordinating the call for proposals for large scale projects. She is alsoworking on the development of a new Contract for Difference scheme inside the Innovation Fund. Additionally, Ewelina covers the InvestEU programme.

Quentin is a Senior Financial Engineer at CINEA and working on providing advice and support for the financial structuring of projects presented to the Innovation Fund, as well as to the others programmes managed by the agency.)

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