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European Climate Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency

LIFE close-to-market projects

As well as supporting public authorities, NGOs, universities and institutes, the LIFE programme helps companies bring their green products, technologies, services and processes to the market. 

These so-called close-to-market projects launch innovative, demonstrative solutions that offer clear environmental and/or climate benefits. Examples could be in waste management, the circular economy, resource efficiency, water, air or climate change mitigation.

These projects also have a high level of technical and business readiness. This means that solutions could be implemented in close-to-market conditions (at industrial or commercial scale) during the course of the project or shortly after its completion.

Project examples

Find more examples of finalised close-to-market LIFE projects here.

How LIFE helps close-to-market projects

The LIFE programme has been instrumental in supporting green innovations and cleantech solutions across Europe. As well as funding up to 55% of each project, the LIFE financial instrument helps with the commercialisation of innovative solutions, easing their entry into the market. A dedicated team with extensive business and financial experience is on hand to support close-to-market projects via a variety of services such as: 

  • Business plan development advice
  • Business coaching - project strategy and business set-up with emphasis on the project’s commercial development and sustainability post-LIFE funding
  • Presentation guidance - training on how to communicate with potential investors
  • Expert connections – e.g. connecting projects with intellectual property rights (IPR) specialists
  • External debt financing – identifying debt financing options (loans, guarantees) and financing institutions

How to apply for funding

Every year, the European Commission publishes LIFE calls for proposals. Applicants for close-to-market projects can apply in the areas of climate change mitigation and adaptation and circular economy and quality of life.

Tips for applicants