These are the main EU funding calls we're currently looking at:
- Horizon 2020 - the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever, focusing on getting great ideas from lab to market.
- SME instrument - EU funding and support for SMEs with innovation projects that will help them grow and expand their activities into other countries, both in Europe and beyond.
- ERANET - a part of Horizon 2020 dealing with public-public partnerships
- European Regional Development Fund - strengthening economic and social cohesion throughout Europe, with a focus on moving towards low-carbon economies
Other sources of project funding:
We've also got our eyes on these:
Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (JESSICA) - providing loans for urban regeneration projects in the context of energy efficiency and renewable energy. The initial pot of £48m must be invested by the end of 2015. Applications can come from any public or private organisation, however, money can only be invested in projects taking place in one of the following 13 Scottish local authority areas: Clackmannanshire, Dundee, East Ayrshire, Edinburgh, Fife, Glasgow, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian.
Main priorities for project type are business properties, renewable energy installations and energy efficiency. Loans will be at competitive rates but these will be decided on a case-by-case basis. There is no official limit on the percentage of project costs that can be covered by a JESSICA loan. The fund managers hope to split the £48m between approximately 30 projects with an average of around £1.5m per project. It is likely that the fund managers will not invest anything less than £0.5m in any one project.
Energy Infrastructure Package & Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) - In October 2011, the European Commission proposed the Energy Infrastructure Package which will fund €50 billion worth of investment to improve Europe's transport, energy and digital networks from 2014 to 2020 under the Connecting Europe Facility.
A budget of €9.1 billion has been allocated to energy for grants and investment in trans-European infrastructure. It will also use a Europe 2020 Project Bond Initiative as a number of risk-sharing instruments which the facility may draw upon to attract private finance in projects.
The aim of the CEF is to ensure strategic energy networks and storage facilities are completed by 2020. Thus 12 priority corridors and areas have been identified, covering electricity, gas, oil and carbon dioxide transport networks. Projects implementing these priorities should also match the same 'common interest' priority as TEN-E.
Project Bonds - an Initiative set up as a means to reduce the risk for third party investors seeking long-term investment opportunities, thus acting as a catalyst to rejuvenate the debt capital market as a significant source of financing in the infrastructure sector. The Commission aims to launch a pilot phase in 2012-2013 of 5-10 projects, prioritising those that are at a relatively developed stage of the bidding and financing process or require refinancing after the construction phase. The pilot phase would be managed by the EIB.
The scheme will draw on the budget lines of the existing TEN-E and Competitiveness and Innovation Framework programmes up to a total of €230 million. Similar to a Risk Sharing Finance Facility and Loan Guarantee, the EU budget will be used to provide capital contributions to the EIB in order to cover a portion of the risk the EIB is taking when it finances the eligible projects. It is anticipated this will mobilise investments of up to €4.6 billion.