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Thursday, July 29, 2021 

The European Commission has published the first wave of projects selected in the framework of the EU Innovation Fund, with a total investment by the European Union of 118m into 32 small innovative projects located in 14 EU Member States, Iceland and Norway.

The grants will support projects aiming to bring low-carbon technologies to the market in energy intensive industries, hydrogen, energy storage and renewable energy. In addition to these grants, 15 projects located in 10 EU Member States and Norway will benefit from project development assistance worth up to €4.4m, with the aim of advancing their maturity. Projects from the waterborne transport sector have been selected for funding for both categories.

The EU Innovation Fund is one of the world’s largest funding programmes for the demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies. The ultimate objective of this programme is to assist businesses to invest in clean energy and industry to boost economic growth, create local future-proof jobs and reinforce European technological leadership on a global scale. This is done through calls for large and small-scale projects focusing on:

  1. innovative low-carbon technologies and processes in energy-intensive industries;
  2. including products substituting carbon-intensive ones carbon capture and utilisation (CCU);
  3. construction and operation of carbon capture and storage (CCS);
  4. innovative renewable energy generation;
  5. energy storage.

The waterborne transport projects selected for funding and/or project development assistance focus on electric propulsion for a ferry, low-carbon bio liquified natural gas (bioLNG) for maritime transport, as well as wind assisted propulsion for a cruise ship and the use of green hydrogen from renewables sources for a zero-emission vessel.

Chairman Waterborne Technology Platform, Henk Prins, said: “The Waterborne Technology Platform welcomes the selection of the waterborne transport projects in the first wave of calls for proposals in the framework of the EU Innovation Fund. The possibilities offered by the Innovation Fund are extremely relevant for the transition towards zero-emission waterborne transport, since it offers support for the deployment of innovative technologies. These innovative technologies have reached a technological maturity, but are often not mature yet from a financial perspective. Thereby, the Innovation Fund is key to deploy the technologies resulting from Research, Development and Innovation,more specifically in the framework of the Co-Programmed Partnership on Zero-Emission Waterborne Transport under Horizon Europe. Combining Research, Development and Innovation efforts with support for the deployment of innovative technologies, will offer Europe the possibility to be a frontrunner in the transition to zero-emission waterborne transport”.

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