EU announces €65m funding for 17 clean tech start-ups

The European Commission has announced it will support 17 clean tech start-ups with €65m funding through the EU Innovation Fund.

This sizable fiscal backing will enable these promising clean tech start-ups to innovate and bring transformative technologies to market in energy-intensive industries, renewable energy, and energy storage.

These clean tech start-ups are estimated to avoid more than 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions within their first ten years of operation.

With the addition of these projects, the EU Innovation Fund now boasts decarbonising initiatives across 24 countries.

Commenting on the development, EU Executive Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said: “On our path to climate neutrality, we must make the most of the EU’s investment firepower.

“The Innovation Fund is an important instrument available to support our industry in the transition, which can also help leverage much-needed private investment.

“By funding clean tech projects, we are both reducing our emissions and contributing to our competitiveness on the global stage.”

Clean tech start-ups selected for funding

The Innovation Fund has allocated €32.6m across eight projects aimed at boosting energy-intensive industries.

Italy leads with three initiatives focusing on glass, ceramics, and construction materials, while Spain contributes two projects in the refinery and cement/lime sectors.

Croatia showcases a hydrogen project, while Italy secures two more projects in iron/steel and the chemical sector.

Simultaneously, €8.4m goes to two energy storage ventures: France’s multi-energy smart grid and Denmark’s thermal energy storage initiative.

The Fund also dedicates €24.4m to seven renewable energy projects. France, Hungary, and Latvia collaborate on manufacturing components for renewables, while solar energy initiatives arise in France and Greece.

Additionally, projects targeting the use of renewable energy in maritime and flexoprinting industries are set in motion.

The Netherlands spearheads one, while Sweden, Finland, and Norway collaboratively drive the second initiative. These strategic investments demonstrate a commitment to fostering innovation and sustainability, propelling various nations toward a greener and more efficient energy landscape.

Grants from the Innovation Fund, supported by revenues from the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), will range from €1.6 to €4.5m for each of the 17 projects. The specific grant amounts will be disclosed upon the conclusion of the grant agreement preparation phase.

Notably, a third of the beneficiaries comprise small and medium-sized companies. Besides the 17 chosen projects, four promising initiatives are under consideration for project development aid from the European Investment Bank.

This tailored support aims to facilitate their financial closure and enable their smooth transition into operation.

Support from the Innovation Fund

The impact of the Innovation Fund cannot be understated in helping Europe’s clean tech start-ups to flourish.

Between 2020 and 2030, the EU Emissions Trading System is projected to generate around €40bn in revenue.

The primary objective of the Innovation Fund is to stimulate investment in advanced low-carbon and net zero technologies, as well as to aid Europe’s shift towards climate neutrality by providing financial incentives to companies and public entities.

Already, the Innovation Fund has allocated approximately €6.5bn to over 100 pioneering projects from its earlier proposal rounds.

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