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  • FAQ: Innovation Fund – Find out if your company and project are eligible

    by Amy Murphy | Jul 4, 2024 | Reading time: 3 minutes | Blog

    FAQ: Innovation Fund

    The Innovation Fund is a funding program dedicated to demonstrating innovative low-carbon technologies that significantly reduce emissions. It plays a crucial role in fulfilling the EU’s commitments under various environmental agreements, like the Green Deal and the Paris Agreement.


    Innovation Fund

    Who can apply for the Innovation Fund?

    The Innovation Fund is open to international single applicants (SMEs and large corporates) and consortiums aiming to implement projects in EU Member States, Norway, or Iceland.


    Which projects are eligible?

    • Projects should focus on breakthrough technology for energy-intensive industries, renewable energy, energy storage, carbon capture/utilization/storage, and net-zero mobility
    • Projects  with a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) between 6-9

    How much funding can projects receive from the Innovation Fund?

    • Funding up to 60% of eligible costs
    • You can receive from 2.5 Million to +100 Million depending on the size of the company:  Small scale: 2.5 M€ – 20M€, Medium scale: 20M€ -100M€, Large scale: + 100M€


    How does the application process work?

    The application process involves various documents, including application forms, detailed budget tables, participant information, feasibility studies, business plans, and more. 

    Key tools in the application process are the GHG Calculator, which evaluates greenhouse gas emissions and the Relevant Cost Calculator, used to determine the relevant costs of projects. 

    Amongst the changes in this new call, five GHG calculator models have been introduced, each designed for a specific type of industry, such as energy, storage, maritime, and aviation.

    Moreover, the Relevant Cost Calculator now simplifies the methodology for all projects, eliminating the “levelised cost” approach. There are now two methods: “no reference plant” (default for all projects) and “reference plant” (an option when a reference plant exists).

    Additionally, the new IF Grant Call simplified the Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC) computation. 



    Evaluation Criteria

    The five primary evaluation criteria and the cascade evaluation process remain consistent, but there are noteworthy adjustments in some criteria and scoring. The comments provided below are pertinent to the General Decarbonization topics:

    Degree of Innovation (max. 15 points)

    No changes for this criteria.

    GHG Emission Avoidance Potential (max. 12 points)

    Remains, but with sub-criteria adjustments emphasizing the importance of clear explanations for GHG evaluators: Absolute Avoidance (2 points), Relative Avoidance (5 points), and Quality of Calculation (5 points)

    Maturity (max. 15 points)

    No changes; still assessing technical, financial, and implementation maturity.

    Replicability (max. 15 points)

    Renamed from “scalability” and expanded to include the resilience of the EU industrial system and potential for multiple environmental impacts.

    Cost Efficiency (max. 15 points)

    Introducing a revised formula, 12 – (12 x (cost efficiency ratio / 200), the evaluation now employs a more rigorous threshold for the cost efficiency ratio. Proposals exceeding 200 EUR/t CO2-eq (2000 for Pilots) will receive zero points.

    Bonus Points (max. 4 points)

    Increased from 3 to 4 for Small, Medium, and Large projects, with an additional point specifically for maritime sector proposals demonstrating potential for decarbonization and reduced climate impacts.

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