Project Development

Published on 30.06.2020

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European Structural and Investment Funds

european social fund


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The European Social Fund supports EU stakeholders in improving education, developing new skills, creating new job opportunities, supporting bussinesses, promoting entrepreneutship and investing in better public services. ESF funding is available through the Member States and regions.

Who can apply
Local authorities and administrative bodies, Social, cultural and educational institutions, NGOs, Companies, SMEs and associations

→ Select your country on this link for more specific information

European Funding Programmes


Connecting Europe Facility


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The Connecting Europe Facility is a key EU funding instrument to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investment. It supports the development of projects in sectors of energy, digital services and transport.

Who can apply
Public authorities
Private companies
Private non-commercial organisations, NGOs only in coordination or the agreement with national government.

→ More information on how to apply and open calls here

Horizon 2020


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Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation programme. It is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness.

Who can apply
Any legal entities based in the EU and other participating countries
Usually, H2020 asks for the participation of at least 3 partners from 3 participated countries. Special conditions might apply to specific calls.

→ Learn more about how to apply for Horizon 2020 funding



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The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. It helps companies bring their green products, technologies, services and  processes to the market These projects launch innovative solutions that offer clear environmental and /or climate benefits.

Who can apply
Public authorities (local, regional, national)
Private commercial organisations
Private non-commercial organisation, such as NGOs

→ More information on how to apply here

Urban Innovative Action


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Urban Innovative Action provides urban areas throughout Europe with resources to test new and unproven solutions to address urban challenges.

Who can apply
Public authorities or associations or groupings of public authorities representing a population of at least 50 000 inhabitants. This can include cross-border associations or groupings, associations or groupings in different regions and/or Member States.

→ Learn more about the initiative here



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URBACT’s mission is to enable cities to work together and develop integrated solutions to common urban challenges by networking, learning from one another’s experiences, drawing lessons and identifying good practices to improve urban policies. It developes 3 types of interventions: transnational exchanges, capacity-building, 
capitalisation & dissemination.

Who can apply
Local authorities:

  • Cities, municipalities, towns
  • Infra-municipal tiers of government such as city districts and boroughs in cases where they are represented by a politico-administrative institution having competences for policy-making and implementation in the policy area covered by the URBACT network concerned in which they are willing to get involved
  • Metropolitan authorities and organised agglomerations in cases where they are represented by a politico-administrative institution having delegated competences for policy-making and implementation in the policy area covered by the URBACT network concerned.

Non city partners (only in phase II):

  • Provincial, regional and national authorities, as far as urban issues are concerned
  • Local agencies defined as public or semi-public organisations set up by a city, partially or fully owned by the city authority, responsible for the design and implementation of specific policies (economic development, energy supply, health services, transport, etc.)
  • Universities and research centres, as far as urban issues are concerned
  • Public equivalent body

→ Learn more about the fund and how to apply


Project Development Assistance


European Energy Efficiency Fund


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The European Energy Efficiency Fund aims to support the goals of the EU to promote a sustainable energy market and climate protection. Maximizing its impact, EEEF facilitates investments in the public sector offering funding for energy efficiency and small scale renewable energy projects.

Who can apply
City Councils
Public hospitals
Other public entities

→ Learn more about the fund and how to apply here

ELENA fund


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ELENA provides technical assistance for energy efficiency and renewable energy investments targeting buildings and innovative urban transport. It provides support to three different sectors: energy efficiency, sustainable residential, urban transport and mobility.

Who can apply
Public and private project promoters such as local, regional or national authorities
Transport authorities and operators
Social housing operators
Other companies (e.g. estate managers, retail chains, energy service companies).

Investment threshold
Normally, the amount of the investment programme must be above EUR 30 million. The ELENA grant amount can cover up to 90% of the total eligible costs, and the Final Beneficiary must fund the remaining 10% of the eligible costs.

  More information on how to apply here

Horizon 2020 PDA


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Started under the Intelligent Energy Europe programme and continued under H2020 it aims to support sustainable energy investment projects and innovative financing solution schemes focusing on capturing untapped high energy efficiency potentials. The program is focused on building technical, economic and legal expertise.

Who can apply
Public and private project promoters such as public authorities or their groupings
Public/private infrastructure operators and bodies
Energy service companies
Retail chains
Large property owners and services/industry

→ Learn more about the programme here



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JASPERS provides independent advice to the EU countries concerned to enable them to better prepare major infrastructure projects. JASPERS advice can cover project preparation, review of documentation, advice on compliance with EU law. 

Who can apply
Local, regional, national authorities or other entities with public interest

→ More on the joint assistance programme here

NESOI - European Islands Facility


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NESOI is a Horizon2020 project aiming to financially support the development of 60 clean energy projects on EU islands by 2023. The project finances technical assistance (not project implementation) to local authorities, with up to 60 000 EUR per grant. It further provides capacity-building and fund matching support.

Who can apply
Any public and private legal entity established in EU Member States (Outermost Regions are eligible, Overseas Countries and Territories are not)
Both single entities and consortia can apply for support

 More information on the project and how to apply here
 More information on the eligibility criteria


Financial Institutions instruments


European Fund for Strategic Investment


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The European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) is one of the three pillars of the Investment Plan for Europe. With EFSI support, the European Investment Bank provides funding for economically viable projects, especially for projects with a higher risk profile than usually taken on by banks. The fund focuses on the following sectors: Strategic infrastructure, education, research, development and innovation, renewable energy and resource efficiency, and support for SMEs.

Who can apply
All types of public and private investors in Europe are eligible for EFSI funding. do we need to mention the minimum threshold?

→ Learn more about the fund here

Natural Capital Financing Facility


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The Natural Capital Financing Facility is a financial instrument that supports projects on biodiversity and climate adaptation through tailored loans and investments. The facility supports projects working on the following themes: Payments for ecosystem services, green infrastructure, innovative pro-biodiversity and adaptation investments, biodiversity offsets. 

Who can apply
Public and private entities, including public authorities, land owners and businesses as well as private non-commercial organisations such as Non-Governmental Organisations. Financial institutions can also benefit as investors or as financial intermediaries.

→ Learn more about the fund and open calls



Alternative financing schemes


Citizen cooperatives


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Energy cooperatives refer to a business model where citizens jointly own and participate in renewable energy or energy efficiency  projects. In energy cooperatives citizens are involved in both the decision making and financial & economical participation. 

Who can participate
Any person can be a member of the cooperative and participate in its financing schemes.

→ More information about energy cooperatives here



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Crowdfunding is the use of small amounts of capital from a large number of individuals to finance a new business venture. Using crowdfunding creates you the opportunity to raise the money quickly and easily for projects supported by the like-minded supporters who are eager to help.

Who can participate
Any person or legal entity can be a part of creowdfunding camapign, either as a initator or a donor.

→ More information about crowdfunding here