Since the launch of the European Innovation Fund in 2020 we have been supporting our clients with project scoping, proposal writing and calculations up to grant agreement negotiations. In the last large-scale call which ended in March, the portfolio of our clients’ projects included more than 500M € of grants in total.
The Innovation Fund is one of the largest funding programs, with more than €30 billion to be allocated until 2030 to support the first commercial-scale demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies in Europe.
The program aims to support development of green technologies and share the risk of innovation, thus helping European companies to innovate and reach low-emission goals. The grant to be obtained is significant, reaching above 100 million euros for large-scale projects. Until now, projects in the following four main categories were expected.
However, Innovation Fund is going through some changes, with additional sectors, such as maritime, to be added to the scope.
Innovation Fund projects need to balance a high level of innovation with sufficient technical maturity. The projects should be advanced from the R&D phase as the technology is expected to be proven on pilot scale before the submission of the proposal. The core result of the project should be reduction of GHG emissions – it is expected that your project will replace the currently available technology with a more efficient one. The setup of the project is flexible, with the possibility to apply as a single applicant or with collaboration partners.
With several calls for both, large-scale and small-scale projects behind us, we can share our lessons learned on preparing high-quality and competitive applications. When making the decision to seize the opportunity of Innovation Fund, you need to know what you are getting into. The application package is very complex and requires dedication and resources. So, what to keep in mind?
The supported projects are all about innovation. The technology should be novel at its core, used in a completely different sector, or have a strong business model innovation behind it. Be ready to prove innovativeness by providing detailed technical data and comparisons to the current state of the art. You should make the evaluators believe that your project is better, beyond today’s solutions and for that generic statements will not be enough.
Implementation and scale-up
Before submission, make sure that the information in all application documents is coherent. As the application package is large, mistakes might come easily, thus leave enough time to review the data and assumptions highlighted in different parts of the proposal.
Our consultants can help you with shaping the project idea and making sure it fits the expectations of the Innovation Fund. During the proposal preparation, we help you to structure and write the relevant documents to have a convincing and high-quality proposal. We have dedicated experts that support you in performing the relevant calculations (GHG emissions, project budget and grant) according to the methodologies provided by the European Commission. We have experience in the whole cycle of Innovation Fund – from preparing the proposal up to support during the grant agreement signature, and thus can guide you within the full project lifetime. Did you know that we also have deep insights on the evaluation of Innovation Fund proposals?
If you are interested in the funding opportunity, would like to get more insights, and test your project idea, contact us.