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CEF Transport 2022, new call for proposals to modernise transport infrastructure

CEF Transport 2022

Decarbonising and digitising the trans-European transport network is the objective of the recently published CEF Transport 2022 call with a budget of €5,120 million. This opportunity with five funding priorities will remain open until 18 January 2023 and is part of the CEF Transport programme, a key funding instrument to boost infrastructure modernisation in the trans-European transport network.

The European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Agency (CINEA) has organised an information day on 5 October to explain CEF Transport 2022 and the CEF Transport programme, but if you are unable to attend, we will analyse in detail what this important programme for European transport consists of.

What is CEF Transport?

It is a funding instrument that seeks to develop European transport infrastructure policy towards an efficient and interconnected multimodal transport system for both passengers and freight. It does so by supporting investment in the construction of new transport infrastructure in Europe or the rehabilitation and modernisation of existing infrastructure.

Its origins go back to the TEN-T programme, developed during the period 2007-2013. Then came the first edition of the CEF Transport programme (2014-2020), and the current CEF 2 Transport 2021-2027 has a budget of €25,800 million.

Which projects and entities are eligible for funding under the CEF Transport 2022 call?

The call for proposals proposes to fund projects in 41 priorities (topics) organised in five thematic areas (core network, secondary network, sustainable mobility, safe mobility and connected mobility).

“Broadly speaking, it is aimed at funding projects that contribute to achieving an affordable, reliable and high-performance rail network; improved inland waterway navigation and seaport infrastructure; a balanced interconnection between the different modes of transport and greater automation and interoperability for greater efficiency and safety of the transport network,” explains Sergio Úbeda, head of the Transport and Mobility Area at Zabala Innovation.

This programme is aimed at public and private entities (both individually and in consortium) that are going to make investments in transport infrastructures (Works) and/or studies prior to undertaking such investments (Studies). It is very important to note that R&D&I projects are not financed.

Generally, works receive funding of up to 30% of the eligible costs, while studies can be up to 50%. However, in some special cases these rates can be increased up to 70% in cross-border actions or in disconnected territories, and up to 85% for actions in countries with cohesion funds.

Why is it important to count on Zabala Innovation in the preparation of proposals in this call?

CEF Transport 2022 is a complex call with a high volume of documentation to be submitted, where the maturity, quality and impact of the proposed actions are paramount.

Among other things, in order to submit proposals, it is necessary to ensure that the action is planned within the Ten-T network; a detailed work plan and business plan must be available; and approval must be obtained both from the Member States where it is planned to be carried out and from the regional environmental departments to ensure that the action does not affect protected natural areas.

Zabala Innovation is an expert consultant in this strategic programme, as demonstrated by the more than 40 projects presented in the last 10 years, mainly in Spain, France and Portugal. Among others, we can highlight LNGHIVE2, ISM, SLAIN, SEC_PARK, LAST MILE, ECO-GATE, AUTOGAS, CLEANPORT,  CONSTANTI or GARNET.

AFIF, another CEF Transport call for proposals open

AFIF (Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Facility) is another priority of the CEF Transport programme that remains open, since its publication in the 2021 call. Three additional closing dates are still foreseen: November 2022, May 2023 and October 2023.

The objective of the AFIF call for proposals is to support the deployment of alternative fuel supply infrastructures, contributing to the decarbonisation of transport along the TEN-T network. To achieve this, it focuses on three key areas: green hydrogen, electromobility and liquefied natural gas.

“In this great challenge of green transition, those who plan to deploy recharging infrastructure in the following areas can receive a grant: electromobility on roads and port/airport logistics; green hydrogen on roads, railways and ports and liquefied natural gas in ports”, details Sergio Úbeda.

Forthcoming publication of European transport and mobility R&D&I programmes

The European Commission is expected to publish the 2023-2024 work programme for Cluster 5 (Climate, Energy and Mobility) in December 2022.

In Mobility, the European Commission is expected to publish 62 funding opportunities (topics) with a budget of more than 600 million euros to finance at least 110 projects organised in two areas: sustainable mobility and safe and connected mobility.

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