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Innovation Fund: Zabala triples overall approval rating

Innovation Fund

Small-scale projects submitted through Zabala under the Innovation Fund, the European funding program for low-carbon technologies, have been approved at almost three times the overall rate. Of the 10 projects submitted by clients supported by us last March, three were selected by the European Commission, equivalent to 30%, compared to an overall ratio of 13% (i.e. 32 projects selected out of 232 submitted). This means that almost half of the seven Spanish projects approved in this call for proposals bear Zabala’s signature.

Through the Innovation Fund and CINEA, the agency that manages this program, the European Commission is distributing support worth around €20 billion until 2030, with the aim of bringing innovative technologies to the market that boost the green economy.

To this end, it finances small and large-scale projects focused on technologies and processes that reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the industry; that enable their capture for later use, and the construction and management of capture systems; that promote new ways of generating renewable energy; and that favor energy storage.

Innovation Fund’s next calls for proposals

The innovation fund, which in turn is financed through the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, grants up to 60% of the additional capital and operating costs of large-scale projects, i.e. those with a capital expenditure (capex) exceeding EUR 7.5 million. Below this threshold are small-scale projects, whose capital costs can be financed up to 60%. In both cases, up to 40% of the grants can be disbursed in the preparatory phase as part of the pre-financing.

The next call for large-scale project submissions is expected to open on 26 October and close on 1 March 2022. Results are expected in July 2022. Small-scale projects will have to wait until March next year, with an expected closure in August and publication of results in the first quarter of 2023.

“Considering the minimum and maximum grant values that could be applied for in the first call for small-scale projects (i.e. €1.5 million and €4.5 million respectively), Innovation Fund is a good alternative for innovative and near-market projects that, due to their size, do not fit into the LIFE or Horizon Europe programmes,” underlines Leonardo Casado, area leader and Innovation Fund expert at Zabala Innovation. “It is also an excellent opportunity for the first commercial application of the most innovative technologies, because of the weight that innovation receives in the evaluation,” he adds.

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