The Innovation Fund is one of the world's largest funding programmes for the demonstration and commercialisation of highly innovative low-carbon technologies.

What is the European Commission’s Innovation Fund

The Innovation Fund supports highly innovative technologies and big flagship projects with European added value that can bring about significant emission reductions. The aim of the Fund is to share the risk of innovation with project promoters, to help with the demonstration of first-of-a-kind highly innovative projects.

With an approximate value of €40 billion (Based on a carbon price of 75 €/tonne) until 2030, the Innovation Fund aims to:

  • Create the right financial incentives for companies and public bodies to invest now in the next generation of low-carbon technologies
  • Give EU companies a first-mover advantage to become global technology leaders
  • Help businesses and industry to invest in clean energy and boost economic growth
  • Create and future-proof jobs
  • Reinforce European technological leadership on a global scale.

The Innovation Fund derives its budget from the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), the world’s largest carbon pricing system, and unspent funds from the NER300 programme.

The Innovation Fund supports highly innovative and flagship projects across the following different priorities:

  • Energy-intensive industries
  • Energy storage
  • Carbon capture and utilisation
  • Carbon capture and storage
  • Renewable energy generation
  • Cross cutting

Funding Call

The Innovation Fund has announced two upcoming calls for proposals on with a total budget of up to €4.8 billion to accelerate the deployment of innovative technologies in Europe.

These calls, in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal and the Net-Zero Industry Act, include:

 BudgetAimDeadlineInfo days
The Innovation Fund 2023 Call Up to €4 billion

To support projects across various sectors including decarbonisation, clean tech manufacturing, maritime and energy-intensive industries.

The application window will be open until early April 2024.

Recording available here.

The Innovation Fund 2023 Auction €800 million To support renewable hydrogen production. Bids can be placed until early February 2024.

Recording available here.

The Innovation Fund, funded by €40 billion from the EU ETS, seeks to create financial incentives for investments in low-carbon technologies, having already allocated about €6.5 billion for clean tech projects through previous calls. The introduction of auctions (also called competitive bidding) as a new support mechanism aims to foster a faster and more cost-efficient rollout of low-carbon technologies.

For more information, please visit the European Commission website.

What can be funded?

The Innovation Fund is designed to assist highly innovative projects focused on creating low-carbon solutions that lead to significant emission reductions in multiple sectors.

Projects need to be sufficiently mature in terms of planning, business model, and financial and legal structure in order to be funded. They will be selected based on the following criteria:

  1. Effectiveness of greenhouse gas emissions avoidance
  2. Degree of innovation
  3. Project viability and maturity
  4. Scalability
  5. Cost efficiency (cost per unit of performance)

The selection criteria are weighted according to their relative importance. The final ranking of projects will be established based on comparing the scores across and within different sectors. The calls for proposals set the detailed scoring and ranking methodology, as well as possible additional criteria for geographical and sectoral balance. The document detailing the ongoing call is available here.

Contact Point

The Environment and Climate Research and Advisory Unit in the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) is the National Contact Point (NCP) for the IF and is represented on the DG CLIMA Expert Group. The NCP retains a distribution list to provide updates to prospective applicants. To be added to the distribution list, email

For more information on the Innovation Fund and events, from an Irish perspective, please go to the page on the Innovation Fund.

Further Information

Further information about the Innovation fund can be found on the European Commission website: