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Innovation Fund

The third call of the Innovation Fund Small Scale is here!

Innovation Fund Small Scale 2023

Do you have an investment project whose implementation would significantly reduce CO2 emissions in energy-intensive industries, or CO2 capture, transport and sequestration, or renewable energy production or energy storage? You may be interested in the third call for small scale projects of the Innovation Fund programme.

The Innovation Fund Small Scale 2023 call will only support investment projects in these areas with a very high level of innovation and a CAPEX between €2.5 million and €7.5 million. Funding may be up to 60% of the CAPEX in the form of a lump sum grant, i.e., a global grant to the project, not linked to its specific costs. The deadline for submission of projects is 19 September 2023.

Innovation Fund Small Scale 2023 funds small-scale projects that have not yet reached commercialisation and that present highly innovative and pioneering technologies in their relevant markets, and whose potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions is very high. These projects often face high barriers to attracting public and private investment, as they present high levels of technological risk due to their high innovative value.

Keys to success in Innovation Fund Small Scale 2023

The two key aspects of success in the assessment of Innovation Fund Small Scale 2023 are:

  • operational, technical and financial maturity, which consists of ensuring that the investment and start-up of the projects will be carried out without any doubt and as soon as possible, without suffering delays (caused, for example, by permits, authorisations or social acceptance); the technology on which it is based must guarantee operability during the years of the project’s life; the business plan must be realistic and sufficiently attractive, and the financing plan must be solid;
  • the innovation, which must be very significant (in production process, product, service, or business model); although it can be exclusively national in scope, if the innovation reaches a European or global level, it would be better valued.

Other relevant aspects of success are:

  • the emission reductions that the project will achieve during its period of operation, both absolute and relative. This aspect significantly affects another important evaluation criterion: the ratio of subsidy requested per tonne of CO2 avoided;
  • the potential for scalability, and efficiency gains, so that future replication of the project or its technology in other sectors can have maximum impact.

With a budget of €100 million, it is estimated that this call could fund around 25-30 projects, to be installed and commissioned in any EU country, Norway or Iceland (or Northern Ireland in the case of electricity generation, transmission, distribution and supply projects). Among the projects not selected for reasons of low maturity, the EIB will also offer Project Development Assistance (PDA) to up to 20 of them, to help them in this respect and thus increase their chances of success in future calls for proposals.

Our experience in Innovation Fund

At Zabala Innovation we have extensive experience in supporting our clients in the presentation of projects to this programme. On the one hand, in the first Innovation Fund call for large-scale projects (Large Scale), we helped Ecoplanta, one of the seven projects chosen throughout Europe on that occasion, to succeed. On the other hand, in the first Innovation Fund Small Scale call, we helped our customers to get the support to implement three of the 30 selected projects: AGGREGACO2, SUN2HY and SKFOAAS.

As for the second Small Scale call, 67% of the projects that were able to count on the support of Zabala Innovation for their development have been successful and have been selected to receive a grant. All this consolidates our position as a benchmark in European programmes as competitive as Innovation Fund.

The extensive experience in past calls for proposals acquired by our team of experts, made up of multidisciplinary profiles and led from the knowledge area of Energy, endorses us and allows us to offer a complete service in all the required aspects of Innovation Fund.

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