LIFE - the European Programme for the Environment and Climate Action - has been financing Eco-Innovation and Circular Economy related projects since its start in 1992. It provides - among others - action grants for pilot and demonstration projects to develop, test and demonstrate a new product, a technology or a production process that could potentially end up on the market.
LIFE 2020 call for proposals has been launched with over €450 million earmarked for nature conservation, environmental protection and climate action projects. Today's key priorities of the LIFE Programme confirm the special attention devoted to promoting close-to-market projects delivering improved environmental solutions capable of being widely taken up by society in general and economy in particular. Implementation of the circular economy concept is today one of the thematic priorities of the programme.
Most LIFE projects are so-called traditional projects that can be coordinated by any legal entity registered in the EU. These include public institutions, businesses and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). A lot of traditional projects show best-practices, run pilots, raise public awareness or demonstrate breakthroughs in environmental practices.
Applications are also being accepted for bigger integrated projects. These projects run strategic EU plans on the environment and the climate and tend to have a regional, multi-regional, national or trans-national dimension.
All projects will be allowed to financially support local initiatives that may contribute to the project objective, thus hoping to also facilitate access to LIFE financing by very small local groups that do not have the capacity to act as an associated beneficiary in the project, but could play a role in reaching the project objectives.
Normally start-ups don't qualify as a coordinating beneficiary due to their limited financial capacity. They could however be a key player (as owners of know-how or knowledge) in partnership with a larger company. Therefore, larger companies are invited to consider their LIFE project as a potential incubator for start-ups.
For more information on how to apply click here.