6 keys to financing an environmental project

The implementation of the European Green Deal strategy gives a new impetus to the development of environmental initiatives at the European level. This strategy aims to launch a series of policies that form a central pillar for the development of European countries, with a clear intention: for Europe to be neutral in terms of environmental impact by 2050.

This is not the first initiative that the European Union has launched in the field of the environmental. Since 1992 the European Commission, through EASME (Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) supports and finances various projects with the environmental programme LIFE (an instrument for the financing initiatives of an environmental nature at the level of the European Union). Recently it has been opened the 2020 call with more than 450 million euros of funding.

The LIFE Programme is divided into two sub-programmes:

Subprogramme Environment Climate sub-programme
Nature and BiodiversityClimate Change Mitigation
Environment and Resource EfficiencyAdaptation to Climate Change
Environmental Governance and InformationEnvironmental Governance and Information

Any public or private entity in the European Union can be a beneficiary of this programme, from private companies to NGOs, not forgetting public institutions (Administration, Universities, etc.). The generation of consortiums with an international character is positively valued, although it is not essential, as all the partners can be from the same country, or even presenting a proposal from only one member, although it is necessary to guarantee the replicability of results in the European field.

The initiatives of the LIFE Programme must be innovative in nature (no research actions are financed), whether in the form of a pilot experience, a demonstration experience, the generation of good practices or projects based on awareness campaigns and dissemination. Initiatives that are close to being launched on the market will also be highly valued. The LIFE Programme finances between 55 and 75% of the budget of the project selected.

The proposal selection process is open from 2 April 2020 and has a different schedule depending on the sub-program in which you want to participate.

For the initiatives that are assigned to the Environment sub-programme, the process consists of two phases. The first phase in which a summary of the project or “concept Note” (10 pages) has a deadline of July 14th. The projects selected at this stage must submit the full proposal by February 2021.

For the initiatives of the Climate sub-programme, the process consists of a single phase or “full Proposal” and the proposal must be submitted by 6 October 2020.

6 keys to a winning proposal

Proposals submitted to the LIFE Programme must meet the requirements of EASME in content and form, and there are some recommendations that make a project stand out from the crowd.

  • Concreteness: Be clear about the basics of your project and avoid wandering off with your proposal. Define what problem you are solving, with which tools and how you are going to carry it out. Being concrete in your solution shows that you know the area of intervention and facilitates the implementation of the project.
  • Sustainability:Don’t lose sight of the fact that your project must address environmental problems, even though they may have an impact on other areas like the economic or the social. Including a calculation of the carbon footprint of your project is a good solution to certify the environmental impact of the project
  • Transferability and replicability:It is of the utmost importance that your initiative does not end with the project. Don’t forget to include activities that demonstrate that your project is replicable in other locations (primarily in the EU), as well as transferable to industries other than the initial one.
  • Team:Much of the success of a project comes from the complementarity of the members of the consortium. If in all areas of the value chain, the implementation will be easier. Remember, also, that the the inclusion of partners from different EU countries is highly valued by EASME.
  • Stakeholders:Identify correctly your project’s stakeholders that are involved since the initial drafting of the proposal. In fact, it is recommended that the letters of support from these actors be included as annexes to the proposal.
  • Communication and Dissemination:Ensure that you propose communication and dissemination according to the scope of the project. Putting more activities in the proposal is not necessarily better. Identify those events that are essential in your field of performance and propose contents that reach all (school) audiences, professionals, and Public entities.

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