LIFE, THE EUROPEAN INSTRUMENT DEDICATED TO THE ENVIRONMENT
The LIFE program is the only European R&D&I funding program exclusively devoted to fund activities with environmental and climate objectives. Since 1992, more than 900 LIFE projects have been approved in Spain and 5,400 throughout the European Union.
On July 13th 2021, the European Commission’s European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) made public the LIFE 2021 Call. Compared to previous calls, LIFE 2021 includes some new features:
Submission of proposals in the Environment area in a single stage.
Disappearance of the 2% rule that previously applied to personnel costs.
All projects will be allowed to financially support local initiatives that can contribute to the project objective.
The LIFE program aims to favor the innovation and commercialization of solutions and products developed by Start-Ups in a context of risk-free incubation that allows companies to bring their solution to market safely, and supported by the adequate financial, technical and commercial means. The LIFE program welcomes proposals whose association combines the knowledge and experience of established players in the market, together with the promotion of emerging companies or Start-Ups that wish to commercialize their solution or product.
It is very important to note that all requested projects must present quantified and credible key impact indicators (KPIs) to measure the expected impacts of the project in the different subprograms and areas. If the project is selected for financing, compliance with the different indicators must be reported during the life of the project, including social and economic indicators, which will be mandatory for all projects.
LIFE PROGRAM PRIORITIES
Subprogram 1: Nature and biodiversity
Support the objectives established in the EU Birds and Habitats Directives and the Invasive Alien Species Regulation.
Contribute to the objectives of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030 for a Trans-European Nature Network and the EU Restoration Plan.
In addition, there are two areas of intervention:
Space for nature: area-based conservation and restoration measures.
Safeguarding our species: measures targeting specific species.
Subprogram 1: circular economy and quality of life
Resource recovery from waste: innovative solutions for value-added recycled materials, components or products.
Circular economy and environment: supporting the value chains set out in the EU Circular Economy Action Plan.
Air: helping to implement air quality legislation and address urban, industrial and rural environmental problems.
Water: improving water quality and quantity, as well as marine and coastal water management. Innovative technologies and tools for drinking water and urban wastewater treatment systems.
Soil: protecting the quality of EU soil.
Noise: reduce noise in densely populated urban areas.
Chemicals: reducing the impact of hazardous substances on the environment or human health.
Environmental governance: supporting government decision-making and alternative methods, ensuring environmental compliance and access to justice, promoting behavioral change and raising awareness.
Subprogram 3: climate mitigation and adaptation
Climate change mitigation: reducing fluorinated greenhouse gases, improving the functioning of the Emissions Trading System, better managing land and sea to reduce emissions, enhancing natural carbon sinks.
Adaptation to climate change: implementing adaptation plans, developing state-of-the-art adaptation tools, climate proofing, preparing cities and regions for climate change and extreme weather events.
Climate governance and information: supporting the European Climate Pact, promoting behavioral change, raising awareness, monitoring greenhouse gas emissions, analyzing climate policy.
Subprogram 4: clean energy transition
Build a national, regional and local policy framework that supports the clean energy transition.
Accelerate the deployment of technology, digitalization, new services and business models, as well as improve skills.
Attract private financing for sustainable energy projects.
Support local and regional investment projects.
Involve and empower citizens in the clean energy transition.
Consult the viability of your project in the LIFE call
Nature and Biodiversity subprogram: November 30, 2021.
Circular Economy and Quality of Life Subprogram: November 30, 2021
Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Sub-program: November 30, 2021
Clean Energy Transition Subprogram: January 12, 202
ORGANISING ENTITY: European Commission
Contribute to the change towards a sustainable, circular, energy efficient, based on renewable energy, climate neutral and resilient economy.
Protect, restore and improve the quality of the environment, including air, water and soil
Halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity
Address the degradation of ecosystems, including by supporting the implementation and management of the Natura 2000 Network, thus contributing to sustainable development.
Types of projects:
Pilot projects: technique or method that has not been applied or tested before, or elsewhere, that offers potential environmental or climatic advantages compared to current best practices and that can be applied on a larger scale to similar situations.
Demonstration projects: to implement, test, evaluate and disseminate actions, methodologies or approaches that are new or unknown in the specific context of the project (geographical, ecological, socioeconomic context) and that could be applied elsewhere under similar circumstances.
Best practice projects: applying appropriate, cost-effective and state-of-the-art techniques, methods and approaches, taking into account the specific context of the project.
Information, awareness and dissemination projects: support communication, information dissemination and awareness raising in the areas of the environment and climate action sub-programs.
Regarding applicants’ eligibility, it applies to all countries of the European Union including eventually associated countries such as the United Kingdom. Applicants can be companies, research centers, NGOs and public administrations, all of them institutions based in the EU and active in the area of environment and climate protection.
Projects should not be focused on research, so as not to overlap with Horizon Europe funding initiatives, but rather on preparatory projects, pilot and/or demonstration activities for standard projects, technical assistance projects and other types of projects. In addition, projects should not focus on rural or regional development either.
It is important to highlight the option to fund projects close to the market, focused on the development of exploitable solutions with environmental and climatic benefits, with long-term commercialization potential and of interest to potential future investors.
TYPE AND AMOUNT FIGURES
In general, the funding rate is a 60% subsidy on the eligible non-refundable costs, with the possibility of reaching up to 75% for nature and biodiversity actions.
Personnel, equipment, materials and consumables, and external collaborations.