Innovation Fund Small Scale Projects

Call for proposals for EU action grants in the field of demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies under the Innovation Fund. Projects aiming at commercial deployment of innovative low-carbon technologies, with the objective of bringing to the market industrial solutions to decarbonise Europe and support its transition to climate neutrality.


A project may consist of a first-of-a-kind commercialisation or commercial size demonstration of technologies, processes or business models previously proven at pilot or smaller scale demonstration plants. Smaller demonstrations or pilot plants are also eligible for support, especially if this is the right scale at which technology needs to be proven before moving to a larger scale demonstration.

Funding agency

European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA)

Type of funding

60%. lump sum grant.

Call opening date

31 March 2022

Deadline for submission

31 August 2022


September – December 2022

Project duration

Projects normally range between 3 and 10 years.
Project financial close within four years after grant signature. Operate at least 3 years after entry into operation.

IDConsortium Program Horizon Europe 01

Call budget for grants

for project development assistance (PDA) support

(European Investment Bank – EIB)

Only projects with a total capital expenditure
between 2,5 M€ and 7,5 M€ will be eligible under this call.

(a) Support projects demonstrating highly innovative technologies, processes, business models or products/services, which are sufficiently mature and have a significant potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

(b) Offer financial support tailored to market needs and risk profiles of eligible projects, while attracting additional public and private resources.

Activities that support innovation in low-carbon technologies and processes in sectors listed in Annex I to the EU ETS Directive 2003/873 , including environmentally safe carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) that contributes substantially to mitigating climate change, as well as products substituting carbon-intensive ones produced in sectors listed in Annex I to the EU ETS Directive.

Activities that help stimulate the construction and operation of projects that aim at the environmentally safe capture and geological storage of CO2 (CCS).

Activities that help stimulate the construction and operation of innovative renewable energy and energy storage technologies.

Legal entities (public or private bodies) established in one of the eligible countries: EU Member States, Norway or Iceland.

Projects may also be located in Northern Ireland on the condition that the project concerns the generation, transmission, distribution or supply of electricity.

*Financial support to third parties is not allowed.

1) Check for formal requirements (admissibility and eligibility)

2) Evaluation against the operational capacity and award criteria, according to the following cascade:

a) ‘Degree of innovation’. If a proposal scores less than the minimum threshold under this criterion, the evaluation is stopped (the remaining criteria are neither evaluated nor scored)

b) ‘GHG emission avoidance potential’ and ‘Project maturity’. If a proposal scores less than 50% of total points under any of the Project maturity subcriteria or if it scores less than the minimum threshold under the GHG emission avoidance potential criterion, the evaluation is stopped (the remaining criteria are neither evaluated nor scored)

c) ‘Scalability’ and ‘Cost efficiency’

Proposals that fail to reach the threshold for any of the project maturity sub-criteria may be proposed for project development assistance (PDA) support to the European Investment Bank (EIB), if they:

− reach at least the minimum threshold for ‘GHG emission avoidance’ and ‘Degree of innovation’

− are awarded at least 50% of points under each of the ‘Project maturity’ subcriteria and

 − are considered by the evaluators as having the potential for improving their maturity through specific project development assistance.

CINEA will propose up to 40 proposals for the PDA support to the European Investment Bank (EIB). The EIB will examine the proposals and provide a short-list of up to 20 proposals. The awarded proposals will be invited to sign a project development support agreement with the EIB.

a) Application Form Part A — contains administrative information about the participants (future coordinator, beneficiaries and affiliated entities) and the summarised budget for the project (to be filled in directly online)

b) Application Form Part B — contains the technical description of the project (to be downloaded from the Portal Submission System, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded) Máx. 70 pages.

c) Part C (to be filled in directly online) containing additional project data.

Mandatory annexes and supporting documents (to be uploaded):

  • detailed budget table/relevant cost calculator (‘financial information file’; template available in the Submission System) − participant information (including CVs and previous projects, if any)
  • timetable/Gantt chart
  • GHG emissions calculator
  • feasibility study — including at least: project description (background information, objectives, expected project outputs, innovation); location analysis and strategic overlook (site, site plans, stakeholders involvement and acceptance); technical maturity assessment (technology readiness, feasibility of achieving project outputs; GHG avoidance and key consumptions figures; sustainability of the proposed solution; techno-economic feasibility; risks and mitigation measures (including heat map) Max. 60 pages
  • business plan — including at least: executive summary; main project counterparties (description of who they are and overview of key financials; diagram showing the relationship between the different project parties and the project including shareholders, lenders, offtakers, other contractors, advisors, and insurers; products and services including assumptions on price, volumes, inflation used to derive project revenues; market analysis (market potential, trends, competitors’ overview, market uptake strategy…)); SWOT /Porter 5 Forces analysis; marketing strategy; financing plan: table with uses and sources, details of financing sources with key terms, projected financial close and main steps to achieve it; allocation of financing including IF grant across the project milestones; budget CAPEX, OPEX underlying assumptions; economical and other assumptions; WACC (with the details) and value creation (comparison WACC with IRR), table of IRR computation; financial Projections (Profit and Loss account, cash flow statement, and ideally balance sheet); risks and mitigation (heat map) including sensitivity analysis; cash flow statements, profit and loss account and balance sheet for the last three years (consolidated or social accounts) of project shareholders Max. 60 pages
  • detailed financial model sheets — with detailed information on model assumptions and calculations to derive the financial projections
  • audit statement on relevant costs (during GAP, for projects invited to grant preparation)

 Other Annexes:

  • documents indicating support for the project, including, e.g. heads of terms (if already available), letters of interest, letters of support, letters of approval from funders, shareholders, board of directors, suppliers, off-takers, construction/O&M companies (as available) (if any)
  • main terms of supply, construction and off-take agreements and other key commercial contracts for construction, operation phase and its state of development (if any)
  • due diligence reports (if any)

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