The EU ETS Innovation Fund is one of the world's largest funding programmes for introducing highly innovative, zero-emission technologies. It plays a particularly important role in the implementation of the Green Deal. The Innovation Fund is funded by auctioning revenues from the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). Since the launch of the programme, CINEA (the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Agency), which is mandated by the EU Commission to implement the Innovation Fund, has launched two major calls for proposals. Funding of €1.1 billion and €1.8 billion has been awarded to 7 and 16 projects respectively.


Commenting on the third call for projects under the Innovation Fund, which closed this spring, Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal, said: "Today, the European Union is investing an unprecedented €3.6 billion in 41 green technology projects across Europe. By investing in innovative solutions like these, we are meeting Europe's goals for a green energy transition, supporting our industry and securing energy supply, security and prosperity for future generations. Putting a price on CO2 emissions will provide Europe with additional funding for these transformative investments.


The selected project applications come from 15 EU member states, with project proposals to be implemented within the next few years and operational before 2030. Remarkably, the selected projects collectively have the potential to avoid up to 221 million tons of CO2 emissions in the first 10 years of operation.

Successful applicants were selected in the third call for large-scale projects, which focused on four topics: general decarbonization, electrification and hydrogen for industry, clean technology manufacturing, and medium-scale pilot projects.

Project selection at a glance

In the first thematic area of general decarbonization, 8 projects have been selected for a total of €1.4 billion, of which 3 are refineries and 5 are in the cement and lime sector. The applicants come from Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden.


In the "Electrification of Industry and Hydrogen" theme, no less than 13 projects have made it into the running and will receive a total of €1.2 billion. 6 projects are dedicated to the production of renewable hydrogen and 7 applications deal with the use of hydrogen in chemicals, refineries and steel. The grantees come from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Norway.


The production of clean technologies formed the third thematic area in the last call. Here, 11 projects are among the winners and the EU is investing a total of about €800 million. Among them are 4 projects on the production of electrolyzers, 4 projects on batteries (including battery recycling) and 3 projects on photovoltaic panels or modules. The applicants are distributed throughout the EU and come from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Spain, Sweden and Norway.


Among the selected "medium-sized pilots", 9 applicants have made it through with a total funding of €250 million. Among them are 2 projects in wind energy, 2 in ocean energy, 2 in chemicals and others in glass industry, carbon capture and e-fuels. The applicants are from the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Norway.


Click here for the complete overview of the project selection.

How are Innovation Fund projects evaluated?

All submitted applications were evaluated by independent experts based on five criteria:

  1. ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional technologies
  2. degree of innovation
  3. operational, financial and technical maturity
  4. scalability, and
  5. cost effectiveness.

At the end of the year, the EU Commission plans to publish the next call for large-scale projects. A budget of €4 billion has been earmarked for this.


For more information about the Innovation Fund, click here. Do you have a project idea and are interested in the application evaluation and reviewers' recommendations? Click here to read our latest blog post!

You are interested in the Innovation Fund and want to find out more? Then simply get in touch with us!

Stefan Durm

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Stefan Durm

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I have been successfully involved in international projects for about 10 years. I have designed and coordinated international research consortia as well as (co-)developed and successfully implemented more than 50 business plans for highly innovative deep-tech start-ups. To keep sharpening my knowledge, I am a founding member of the European Association of Innovation Consultants (EAIC) and represent EurA there.This makes me a very good first point of contact for questions about international funding projects.

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