Hydrogen Europe: Commission issues €3bn Innovation Fund call

The European Commission has launched its third call for large-scale projects under the EU Innovation Fund with a budget of €3 billion and a special focus on the priorities of the REPowerEU Plan.

The budget is double that of last year and is funded with increased revenue from the auctioning of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) allowances. The selected projects will boost the deployment of industrial solutions to decarbonise Europe.

The budget is split as follows:

  • €1 billion for general decarbonisation: innovative projects in renewable energy, energy-intensive industries, energy storage or carbon capture, use, and storage, as well as products substituting carbon-intensive ones (notably low-carbon transport fuels, including for maritime and aviation);
  • €1 billion for innovative electrification in industry and hydrogen: innovative projects in electrification methods to replace fossil fuel use in industry as well as renewable hydrogen production or hydrogen uptake in industry;
  • €0.7 billion for clean-tech manufacturing: innovative projects in the manufacturing of components as well as final equipment for electrolysers and fuel cells, renewable energy, energy storage and heat pumps;
  • €0.3 billion for mid-sized pilot projects: innovative projects in disruptive or breakthrough technologies in deep decarbonisation in all eligible sectors of the Innovation Fund. Projects should prove the innovation in an operational environment but would not be expected to reach large-scale demonstration or commercial production.

In order to meet REPowerEU targets and ramp up and deploy these new technologies at scale, the Commission has updated the criteria for the selection of projects. Hydrogen Europe welcomes those changes as they will facilitate its members’ access to the IF call, increase manufacturing capacities, the uptake of innovative hydrogen technologies and thus speed up the EU’s decarbonisation and energy security ambitions altogether.

Hydrogen Europe especially welcomes the introduction of a dedicated facility targeting the deployment of new electrolyser and fuel cell factories. This facility will be key to strengthening Europe’s technology leadership in those areas. Together with a dedicated call focusing on the deployment of clean hydrogen in industry, it will significantly contribute towards the achievement of REPower ambitions.

The call is open for projects located in EU Member States, Iceland, and Norway until 16 March 2023. Applicants will be informed about the results of the evaluation in the second quarter of 2023. The grant awards and signature of projects will take place in the fourth quarter of 2023. Promising projects that are not sufficiently mature for a grant may benefit from project development assistance by the European Investment Bank.

Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, CEO of Hydrogen Europe, said: “We are delighted to see the launch of this third Innovation Fund call and the extra funds that have been made available, as announced by Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans at our European Hydrogen Week. European innovators, including and especially our members, should be able to find success in securing a route to market for their exciting hydrogen-based solutions as we work together towards a sustainable and energy-secure Europe.”


For more information:

European Commission press corner: Commission invests €3 billion in innovative clean tech projects to deliver on REPowerEU and accelerate Europe’s energy independence from Russian fossil fuels