Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The European Commission has launched a call for small-scale green projects to be financed through the Innovation Fund. In a statement released on Thursday, the body pointed out that the Innovation Fund is one of the largest funding programs in the world for supporting innovation in the green sector.
The EC noted that the program is financed through the EU carbon tax and will help the bloc to strengthen its green push by making available €100 million in grants to small projects worth between €2.5 and €7.5 million in the green sector.
The grants are available for projects that focus on the decarbonization of industries, deployment of renewables, carbon capture and storage (CCS), and energy storage.
The Commission stressed that the Innovation Fund finances up to 60% of capital expenditure of small projects to “overcome the risks usually linked to the commercialisation and to enter the market.”
Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President of the EC for the European Green Deal, noted that “innovation is a key part of our green transition… there are many technologies under development that will help us reduce our emissions and drive jobs and growth” in the EU.
He concluded that innovative small projects of today “can revolutionise how entire industries operate tomorrow.”
Criteria for selection
Projects are to be evaluated by their potential for scaling up, technical, operational, and financial maturity, innovation, cost-efficiency, and potential to lower emissions. The EC noted that applications can be submitted by September 19 this year for projects in the EU, Iceland, and Norway.
The body reminded that the Innovation Fund was set up to provide incentives for investing in innovative green technologies and help the bloc to reach its environmental targets.
It noted that this is the third call for innovative projects, with 47 projects supported in the previous two calls and financed with grants worth more than €170 million euros.
The EC reminded that the carbon tax system is to be expanded in line with the agreement reached at the end of 2022, which will help to increase the size of the Innovation Fund and enable it to support more innovation in the green sector.