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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency
News article4 November 20212 min read

Commission awards first three grants under the Innovation Fund

IF first signature SSC

At a dedicated event during the COP26, the first three projects to be financed since the creation of the Innovation Fund signed their grant agreement with the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), the implementing body of the Fund. They will benefit from a total grant of EUR 12.7 million. In addition, the Commission adopted a decision on the award of EUR 1.7 million for project development assistance to 10 projects.

The successful projects were selected for funding under the first Innovation Fund call for small-scale projects (projects with a total capital costs below EUR 7.5 million) worth EUR 100 million. Project promoters took center stage at today’s event to present their objectives, expected outcomes and explain how these will contribute to Europe’s green transition.  

Director General for DG Climate Action Mauro Petriccione said: "With today’s signature of the very first grants ever awarded under the Innovation Fund, the EU is showing that it is walking the talk towards net-zero. Supporting the deployment of innovative, low-carbon technologies is a very concrete contribution to a decarbonised Europe and to the continent’s climate leadership."

Director of CINEA Dirk Beckers said: "I am very proud to have witnessed the conclusion of the three very first Innovation Fund small-scale project grant agreements, at today’s ceremonial signature. More small-scale projects will join them in the coming weeks, demonstrating how these pioneering companies will bring low-carbon solutions to the market across various countries in Europe in the coming years. CINEA is already playing a crucial role in supporting the implementation of the EU Green Deal and showing the impact the projects managed by the Agency can bring to decarbonise Europe by 2050."

The three projects will focus on the decarbonisation of flat glass production, the provision of innovative renewable heating in industrial application and the direct capture of CO2 through water in France, Croatia and Iceland respectively. The remaining projects that were selected for a grant under the call are currently finalising their grant agreement in collaboration with CINEA. Their grant will be awarded before the end of the year.  

The 10 projects to benefit from project development assistance aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in different energy-intensive industries and energy storage. The European Investment Bank (EIB), which provides the service, will help them advance their maturity through tailored assistance, such as improving their technical documentation and financial models.     

The next call dedicated to small-scale projects will open in March 2022.

Map of successful small-scale projects

Innovation Fund infographics - small scale projects


Funded by revenues from the auction of emission allowances from the EU’s Emissions Trading System, the Innovation Fund aims to create the right financial incentives for companies and public authorities to invest now in the next generation of low-carbon technologies and give EU companies a first-mover advantage to become global technology leaders.

The Innovation Fund is implemented by the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), while the European Investment Bank provides the project development assistance to promising projects that are not ready for full application.

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Publication date
4 November 2021