EU Funding beyond H2020

EU funding beyond H2020 in the energy field:

CEF Programme – Connecting Europe Facility Programme

An amount of €4.7 billion* will be made available for improving the trans-European energy infrastructure under the CEF Programme for the period 2014-2020. The majority of the funding under the CEF is expected to be made in the form of grants allocated following competitive calls for proposals. Innovative financial instruments will be available until a 10% cap (with possible flexibility up to 20%) of the budget.

*subject to final approval of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (in 2015)

COSME Programme

COSME is the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) running from 2014 to 2020 with a planned budget of €2.3bn. COSME will support SMEs in better access to finance; access to markets; supporting entrepreneurs; and more favourable conditions for business creation and growth.

As for access to finance, COSME Programme can provide:

  • Guarantees to small and medium-sized enterprises for loans mainly up to EUR 150 000;
  • Equity (growth and expansion stage).

In order to find your closest COSME financial intermediaries, please visit the following website:

COST – Cooperation in Science and Technology

COST is an intergovernmental framework, allowing the coordination of nationally-funded research on a European level. In the framework of Horizon 2020, COST supports bottom-up, open science and technology networks involving researchers across the continent. COST is expected to contribute in particular to the ‘Societal Challenges’ and ‘Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation’ pillars of the Horizon 2020 strategy.

EEEF – European Energy Efficiency Fund

The European Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF) therefore aims to support the goals of the European Union to promote a sustainable energy market and climate protection. The EEEF provides financing (loans and equities) for projects on municipal, local and regional level.

EIB Group – European Investment Bank Group

EIB – European Investment Bank

The EIB is the European Union’s bank. It’s the only bank owned by and representing the interests of the European Union Member States. They work closely with other EU institutions to implement EU policy.
As the largest multilateral borrower and lender by volume, they provide finance and expertise for sound and sustainable investment projects which contribute to furthering EU policy objectives. More than 90% of its activity is focused on Europe but we also support the EU’s external and development policies. The EIB provides directly or via financial intermediaries a number of financial products (loans, guarantees, venture capital, equity investments, project bonds) to innovative entrepreneur and project developers. The Bank also provides technical and financial assistance in key areas such as infrastructure financing, climate change mitigation and adaptation, urban development and SME support.

EIF – European Investment Fund

EIF, part of the EIB Group, is a specialist provider of risk finance to benefit small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) across Europe. The shareholders are the European Investment Bank, the European Union, represented by the European Commission, and a wide range of public and private banks and financial institutions.

The EIB Group can provide business loans, microfinance, guarantees and venture capital.

EIT – European Institute of Technology – Kknowledge & Innovation Community – InnoEnergy (EIT KIC InnoEnergy)

KIC InnoEnergy SE is a European company investing in education, innovation and new businesses in the field of sustainable energy. Established in 2010 by leading European industry companies, research and education institutes, it has successfully launched its activities in 8 countries. KIC InnoEnergy receives funding from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).
The KIC helps organisations to create public-private consortia that have the ability to take high-potential ideas to the market faster and more effectively, and offers significant financing schemes to innovative businesses. Besides, two times a year KIC InnoEnergy selects a number of innovation projects to fund by launching open calls.

EFSI – European Fund for Strategic Investments

Launched by the new European Commission “Juncker” in November 2014, the EFSI aims at investing in European-added value project falling under the following domains: strategic infrastructure including energy interconnections and urban development, education and R&I, environmentally sustainable projects such as expansion of renewable energy and resource efficiency, smaller businesses. A steering board made up by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank will oversee the fund, while an eight-member investment committee will choose the projects.

ERA-Net Actions

Launched in the FP6, the ERA-NET scheme has the objective to develop and strengthen the coordination of public research programmes conducted at national or regional level by, among other things, launching joint calls. It provides a framework to network and mutually open national or regional research programmes, leading to concrete cooperations such as the development and implementation of joint programmes or activities. The ERA-NET scheme is expected to reduce the fragmentation of the European Research Area (ERA) by improving the coherence and coordination of national and regional research programmes carried out in the EU Member States or Associated countries.

The ERA-Net actions currently active in the field of energy are the following ones:

ERA-Net Cofund Projects (H2020)

  • DemoWind– DemoWind ERA-NET Cofund action – delivering cost reduction in offshore wind (Coordinator: DECC – UK)
  • ERA-Net Smart Cities– ERA-Net Smart Cities (Coordinator: BMVIT – Austria)
  • ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus-ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus: support deep knowledge sharing between regional and European Smart Grids initiatives (Coordinator: BMVIT – Austria)

 ERA-Net Plus (FP7)

  • BESTF – BioEnergy Sustaining the Future : Joint Strategic Planning and Programming to Enable the Implementation of Bioenergy Demonstrations (Coordinator: InnovateUK – UK)
  • BESTF2 – Bioenergy Sustaining the Future 2 (Coordinator: InnovateUK – UK)
  • FACCE-ERA-NET+ Food security, Agriculture, Climate Change ERA-NET plus (Coordinator: INRA – France)
  • NEWA-New European Wind Atlas Joint Programme (Coordinator:)

 ERA-Net (FP7)

  • CAPITA – Catalytic Processes for Innovative Technology Applications (Coordinator: NOW – the Netherlands)
  • ERA-MBT – Marine Biotechnology ERA-Net (Coordinator: RCN – Norway)
  • ERA-MIN – European Research Area – Network on the Industrial Handling of Raw Materials for European Industries (Coordinator: CNRS – France)
  • ERANet-LAC – Network of the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean Countries on Joint Innovation and Research Activities (Coordinator: DLR – Germany)
  • ERA-Net Med – Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation through ERANET joint activities and beyond (Coordinator: IAMB – Italy)
  • Geothermal ERA NET – Geothermal ERA NET (Coordinator: NEA – Iceland)
  • INNO INDIGO – Innovation driven Initiative for the Development and Integration of Indian and European Research (Coordinator: DLR – Germany)
  • OCEANERA-NET – The coordination of national research activities of Member States and Associated States in the field of Ocean Energy (Coordinator: Scottish Enterprise – UK)
  • PV-ERANET 2 -Networking and Integrat. of National and Regional Programmes in the Field of Photovoltaic Solar En. (Coordinator: NET- CH)
  • SOLAR-ERA.NET  –  ERA-NET on Solar Electricity for the Implementation of the Solar Europe Industry Initiative (Coordinator: NET – CH)


In the current financing programming period 2014-2020 the European Commission earmarked €38 billion from the ERDF and Cohesion Fund to be invested in the low-carbon economy (twice the amount spent in this area during the previous funding period). For the first time, the rules on the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for 2014-2020 stipulate a mandatory minimum spending for the low-carbon economy: 20% of national ERDF resources in more developed regions, 15% in transition regions and 12% in less developed regions. Besides, promotion of research in, innovation in and adoption of low-carbon technologies are included in the eligible activities of the ERDF under the Energy Thematic Objective. Finally, for the first time Managing Authorities have the possibility to make synergies with Horizon 2020 Programme.

Support from ESIF is provided from multi-annual programmes co-financed by the EU by different instruments: loans, guarantees, equity financing or business grants.


EUROGIA2020, the Eureka Cluster for low carbon technologies, does not fund projects. Funding is granted via Eureka Countries’ national programmes. With the assistance of EUROGIA2020 Public Authorities Committee, Project Proposers are informed about the funding possibilities from the beginning of submission process.


Eurostars 2 aims at promoting market-oriented transnational research activities in any fields of research-performing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Programme co-finances SMEs’ market oriented energy research projects. As such, and in combination with the activities under the ‘Leading and Enabling Technology’ objective set out in Horizon 2020, it will contribute to the goals of the Industrial Leadership pillar.

InnovFin (H2020)

“InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators” is a joint initiative launched by the European Investment Bank Group (EIB and EIF) in cooperation with the European Commission under Horizon 2020.

InnovFin consists of a series of integrated and complementary financing tools and advisory services offered by the EIB Group, covering the entire value chain of research and innovation (R&I) in order to support investments from the smallest to the largest enterprise.

As for InnovFin financial instruments, they encompass:

  • Loans and guarantees to innovative businesses.
  • Financing of research & development projects.
  • Equity (early and start-up phase).

For further information on the above-listed tools:

InnovFin is available across all eligible sectors under Horizon 2020, in EU Member States  and Associated Countries.

By 2020, InnovFin is expected to make over EUR 24bn of debt and equity financing available to innovative companies to support EUR 48bn of final R&I investments.

In order to find your closest InnovFin financial intermediaries, please visit the following website:



International cooperation and development in the energy sector

The EU supports actions in all segments of the energy sector. In the framework of development cooperation, these activities aim at improving access to sustainable energy, enhancing energy efficiency and increasing the use of renewable energy sources.

JPIs – Joint Programming Initiatives

It is a structured and strategic process whereby Member States agree, on a voluntary basis and in a partnership approach, on common visions and Strategic Research Agendas (SRA) to address major societal challenges. JPIs may launch joint calls.

JTIs – Joint Technology Initiatives

Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs) are means to implement the Strategic Research Agendas of a limited number of European Technology Platforms (ETPs).In these few ETPs, the scale and scope of the objectives is such that loose co-ordination through ETPs and support through the regular instruments of the EU R&I Framework Programme are not sufficient. JTIs are indeed implemented by structures called “Joint Undertakings” in an independent way from (even if in line with) Horizon 2020.

LIFE Programme

LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental, nature conservation and climate action (including energy) projects throughout the EU. LIFE Programme’s budget for the next funding period, 2014–2020, consists of €3.4 billion to be spent via grants and innovative financial instruments, including the Pilot Facility For Energy Efficiency (PF4EE) managed by the EIB.

Marguerite Fund

The 2020 European Fund for Energy, Climate Change and Infrastructure (“Marguerite”) was established with the backing of six major European financial institutions to make capital-intensive infrastructure investments and will target attractive long-term and stable risk-adjusted returns. Each of the six Core Sponsors has committed €100 million to the Fund. In addition, three further investors (including the European Commission) have committed an incremental €110 million to the Fund, bringing current commitments to €710 million. The fund provides equity and quasi-equity investments.

Mission Innovation

Mission Innovation (MI) is a global initiative of 22 countries and the European Union to dramatically accelerate global clean energy innovation. As part of the initiative, participating countries have committed to double their governments’ clean energy research and development (R&D) investments over five years, while encouraging greater levels of private sector investment in transformative clean energy technologies. These additional resources will dramatically accelerate the availability of the advanced technologies that will define a future global energy mix that is clean, affordable, and reliable.

Mission Innovation was announced on November 30, 2015, as world leaders came together in Paris to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change.

For more information on the initiative:

In December 2016, the Breakthrough Energy Coalition (BEC)  —a group of entrepreneurs, business leaders, and institutional investors committed to help bring promising new zero-emissions energy technologies to market— has announced a commitment to invest more than US$ 1 billion in a fund called Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV).

The BEV fund focuses its investments in Mission Innovation countries, knowing that the foundation of many energy innovations will likely come through government research pipelines.

The BEV fund invests patient capital, having a 20-year horizon, and utilizes scientific research and market priorities to take advantage of huge opportunities. The fund focuses on companies and technologies that show sizeable promise for moving the world toward an emission-free future. The fund is not operational yet.

For more information on the BEV:

NER300 Programme

NER 300 is one of the world’s largest funding programmes for innovative low-carbon energy demonstration projects. The programme is conceived as a catalyst for the demonstration of environmentally safe carbon capture and storage (CCS) and innovative renewable energy (RES) technologies on a commercial scale within the European Union. After an initial eligibility test carried out by Member States, applications are submitted to the European Investment Bank (EIB) which performs an in-depth technical and financial assessment of the project proposals. The EIB in collaboration with the Member States draws the final ranking list for the projects, whilst the funding decision is adopted by the European Commission. and

RFCS – Research Fund for Coal & Steel

The Research Fund for Coal & Steel (RFCS) gives funding of over €50 million every year to innovative projects to enhance the safety, efficiency and competitive edge of the EU coal and steel industries. The fund is independent from Horizon 2020 and is managed by DG RTD. It follows a bottom-up logic: enterprises or researchers may present projects in the field of coal-based power generation or energy efficiency in steel production.