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Innovation Fund


Companies and partnerships working on innovative low-carbon technologies can apply for funding from the Innovation Fund. The Innovation Fund is a financing programme from the European Commission. We expect the programme to run from 2020 until 2030. The total budget is 10 billion euros.

The budget is from the European Emissions Trading System’s income (ETS). The European Commission published further details of the scheme on 3 July 2020.


Companies and partnerships can apply with their projects. An applicant must belong to one of the sectors mentioned in the text of the call. The Innovation Fund has calls for 2 types of projects: large scale and small scale.

The Innovation Fund focuses on:

  • Innovative low-carbon technologies and processes in energy-intensive industries
  • Products that replace carbon-intensive products
  • Carbon capture and utilisation (CCU)
  • Carbon capture and storage (CCS)
  • Renewable energy generation
  • Energy storage

Applications for large-scale projects (closed)

You can no longer apply for large-scale projects.
The first call focused on large-scale projects, in which the criterion 'business maturity' was very important. The other criteria are: greenhouse gas emission avoidance potential and degree of innovation. The application process has 2 steps:

  1. An open round with shortened applications. This round opened on 7 July 2020 and had a deadline of 29 October 2020 17:00 CET. The budget for this round is 1 billion euros.
  2. The second round. After the selection of the first round applications (expected in the first quarter of 2021), an invitation will follow to submit a complete application.

The European Union agency INEA will carry out the evaluation process. External experts will help INEA with this process.

Applications for small-scale projects (open)

You can apply via the EU Funding and Tenders portal.
This round opened on 1 December 2020 and has a deadline on 10 March 2021. The budget for this round is 100 million euros.
Demonstration projects with a CAPEX between 2.5 and 7.5 million euros can apply. The subsidy is a maximum of 60%. This call is open to applications from all economic sectors that fit the Innovation Fund. In particular, proposals aimed at direct air capture, net carbon removals or substitute products are welcomed. The assessment criteria are (subject to change):

  • Innovativeness
  • Degree of CO2-reduction
  • Market maturity
  • Possibilities for repetition within the EU

The EU-agency INEA will carry out the evaluation process. External experts will help INEA with this process.

Role of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency

If you have serious plans to apply, please contact us. We can help you with your questions, such as combining subsidies. For example, an application for the Innovation Fund and a national scheme such as SDE ++. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency has, however, no role in the preparation or the assessment of an application for the Innovation Fund.

You can contact us via Companies working on initiatives that contribute to a sustainable industry or large companies subject to ETS in the Netherlands have a contact person at the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. You can also contact this regular contact person. We will treat all information as confidential.