Innovation Fund 2023 Small-scale: What you need to know to get funding

Learn more about the Innovation Fund 2023 Small-scale grant for your company. See eligibility, how to apply, funding requirements & how Arbor can help.
Updated on
June 7, 2024
Innovation Fund 2023 Small-scale: What you need to know to get funding
Table of Contents

Understanding and obtaining funding for innovative small-scale projects can be a turning point for companies working towards net-zero emissions. The Innovation Fund 2023 Net Zero Technologies – General decarbonisation – Small-Scale Projects (INNOVFUND-2023-NZT-GENERAL-SSP) program is a golden opportunity for such enterprises. Here’s a detailed walkthrough of what you need to know to secure this funding.

What is the Innovation Fund 2023 Small-scale grant?

The Innovation Fund 2023 is an ambitious European Union initiative designed to foster the development and deployment of innovative low-carbon technologies across various sectors. It seeks to accelerate the EU's transition to a climate-neutral economy by 2050, in line with the European Green Deal's objectives. This fund targets a wide array of projects, including advancements in carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS), the development of novel renewable energy sources, and the creation of cutting-edge energy storage solutions. By supporting these initiatives, the Innovation Fund 2023 aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, stimulate economic growth, and enhance Europe's technological leadership in sustainable solutions.

Financially backed by the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), the Innovation Fund 2023 Small-scale is crucial for companies aiming to implement pioneering technologies that can significantly reduce carbon footprints. The fund not only provides vital financial support but also encourages collaboration and knowledge sharing among innovators, thereby amplifying the impact of sustainable technologies. Through this initiative, the EU demonstrates its commitment to driving forward environmental sustainability, energy security, and industrial competitiveness on a global scale, making it a key component of Europe's strategy to achieve its long-term climate goals.

How does the Innovation Fund 2023 program work?

The Innovation Fund 2023 program allocates financial support through a competitive selection process, targeting projects that can demonstrate significant innovation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Applicants submit proposals outlining their technology's potential impact, scalability, and contribution to the EU's climate goals. These proposals are then evaluated based on criteria such as innovation level, cost efficiency, and potential for GHG reduction. Selected projects receive funding to help cover the investment gap between existing technologies and their innovative solutions, facilitating the demonstration and market uptake of new technologies. This approach ensures that the fund directly contributes to the EU's transition to a climate-neutral economy by supporting the development and deployment of key innovative technologies.

Who’s eligible for Innovation Fund 2023 Small-scale?

The Innovation Fund 2023 Small-scale is designed for projects that push the boundaries in low-carbon technologies and processes, making a substantial impact on climate change mitigation.

Here's a brief on who's in the running for this transformative opportunity:


Projects must be implemented in EU Member States, EEA countries, or Northern Ireland, aligning with the EU's focus on supporting innovation within its territories and associated regions for substantial climate action impact.


Your project must be within the sectors outlined in Annex I and Annex III of the EU ETS Directive 2003/87. This includes a broad range of industries from manufacturing to energy, focusing on those with the potential for significant emission reductions.

Project Focus Areas:

  • Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU): Projects aimed at capturing CO2 from emission sources and transforming it into useful products, especially those tackling unavoidable process emissions.
  • Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS): Initiatives focused on the capture and geological storage of CO2 to prevent it from reaching the atmosphere.
  • Renewable Energy and Energy Storage: Innovative projects developing new renewable energy sources or enhancing energy storage capabilities.

Financial Requirements:

Your project's total capital expenditure should fall between EUR 2.5 million and EUR 20 million. This criterion ensures the fund is accessible to a range of projects, from emerging innovations to more established developments ready for scaling.

Each of these criteria is crucial in determining eligibility for the Innovation Fund 2023 Small-scale, ensuring that the fund supports projects with the greatest potential for innovation and impact on climate change mitigation.

How do you apply for the Innovation Fund 2023 for your company?

To apply for the Innovation Fund 2023 Small-scale, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure your project aligns with the scope defined under the topic description.
  2. Check your eligibility in terms of countries and entities allowed.
  3. Prepare your proposal, adhering to the page limits and layout provided in the Application Form Part B.
  4. Utilize the updated GHG calculators for your project's domain, ensuring accurate reporting of greenhouse gas emission reduction potential.
  5. Submit your proposal before the deadline through the European Commission's Funding and Tender Opportunities portal.

How Arbor help you to get funding from the Small-scale Innovation Fund 2023

Arbor can assist your company in applying for the Innovation Fund 2023 Small-scale by:

  • Providing accurate carbon impact calculations for your proposal.
  • Utilizing our tools to present a compelling case for your project's potential for innovation and carbon reduction impact.

When to apply & the deadline for Innovation Fund 2023?

The opening date for submissions is 23 November 2023. The deadline for submitting proposals is on 09 April 2024, 17:00:00 Brussels time. Mark your calendars to avoid missing this critical funding opportunity.

What are the benefits of the Small-scale Innovation Fund for your company?

Securing funding from the Innovation Fund 2023 can provide a multitude of benefits to your company, significantly impacting your journey towards sustainable innovation and climate action.

Here’s an expanded look at how your company stands to gain:

  • Financial Support for Innovation: The most direct benefit is financial assistance to develop and scale innovative technologies. This funding can cover a significant portion of the project costs, reducing financial barriers and enabling your company to take bold steps in developing or implementing new technologies.
  • Boost to Market Competitiveness: By supporting the development of cutting-edge low-carbon technologies, the Innovation Fund can help position your company as a leader in sustainable innovation. This competitive edge is invaluable in today’s market, where sustainability is increasingly becoming a determining factor for business success.
  • Enhanced Visibility and Credibility: Being a recipient of the Innovation Fund 2023 can enhance your company's visibility within the industry and with consumers. It signals your commitment to tackling climate change and can increase your credibility, not just with potential customers but also with investors looking for sustainable investment opportunities.
  • Access to a Network of Innovation: Funding recipients become part of a community of innovators and leaders in climate action. This network can provide valuable opportunities for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and partnerships that can further enhance the impact of your project and open up new avenues for growth.
  • Catalyst for Further Investment: Securing funding from a prestigious program like the Innovation Fund can act as a catalyst for attracting additional investment. It demonstrates confidence in your project’s viability and impact, making it easier to secure further funding from other sources.

Summary of Innovation Fund 2023 Small-scale

The Innovation Fund 2023 Small-scale is an EU initiative targeting small-scale projects that contribute to the EU's climate goals. With a clear focus on innovation and sustainability, the program offers financial support to eligible companies looking to make a substantial impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Remember, the key to a successful application lies in understanding the eligibility criteria, using the provided tools for accurate emissions calculation, and submitting a well-structured proposal within the deadline.

Strengthen your grant application with Arbor’s help. Chat with experts from Arbor

Thanks for reading!
Innovation Fund 2023 Small-scale: What you need to know to get funding