LIFE programme – another funding opportunity for climate change and environment – 2020 call is open!

The new 2020 call is open and the first deadline is 14 July 2020. It is the deadline for the concept note (ca. 10 pages; in H2020 we would call it the first stage proposal) for the LIFE Environment and Resource efficiency sub-programme. For the Environment sub-programme , LIFE introduced the 2 stage submission: concept-note (1st stage) on 14 July and full-proposal in February 2021. For the Climate programme the old one stage procedure remained. Deadline for Climate sub-programme proposals is 6 October 2020.

Overview deadlines for submission in 2020:

  • Environment
    • Nature and Biodiversity : 16 July (concept note)
    • Environment and Resource Efficiency: 14 July (concept note)
    • Environmental Governance and Information : 16 July (concept note)
  • Climate Action
    • Climate Change Mitigation: 6 October (full proposal)
    • Climate Change Adaptation: 6 October (full proposal)
    • Climate Governance and Information : 6 October (full proposal)

All deadlines are at 16:00:00h Brussels time.

Invitations for the full propopsals are expected to be sent in October/November 2020 (if the concept-note is evaluated and ranked high enough) . Deadline for full proposals will then be February 2020 (to be announced)

More information on

On 30 April 2020 there is an online LIFE infoday via videoconference. More info at: , registration closes 25 April!

Below an update of the article of December 2016

Continue reading LIFE programme – another funding opportunity for climate change and environment – 2020 call is open!

Pre-announcement of PRIMA Calls

The PRIMA Foundation would like to announce the PRIMA Section 1 and 2 Calls for proposals for 2018 of the
PRIMA Programme: Download

By funding R&I through competitive calls, PRIMA aims to: “build research and innovation capacities and to develop knowledge and common innovative solutions for agro-food systems, to make them sustainable, and for integrated water provision and management in the Mediterranean area, to make those systems and that provision and management more climate resilient, efficient, cost-effective and environmentally and socially sustainable, and to contribute to solving water scarcity, food security, nutrition, health, well-being and migration problems upstream”.

PRIMA also aims at to contribute to United Nations’ Agenda 2030 through the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

PRIMA consists of European Union Member States, Horizon 2020 Associated Countries and Mediterranean Partner Countries on an equal footing basis (co-ownership, co-management and co-funding) with the Participation of the European Commission, under the framework of an art.185 TFEU.

Continue reading Pre-announcement of PRIMA Calls

Information Day and brokerage event on the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020, Challenge “Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency & Raw Materials”

Information Day and brokerage event on the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020, Challenge “Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency & Raw Materials”, will take place on 8 and 9 November 2017 in Brussels in the European Commission’s Charlemagne building, rue de la Loi 170.

The event targets potential applicants to the 2018-2020 calls for project proposals under the Horizon 2020 Challenge 5 “Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials”

Compulsory registration for the event will open in July on the website.

The event will be web-streamed (the link will be available about 48 hours before the event on this page).

LIFE programme – another funding opportunity for climate change and environment


What is LIFE?

LIFE is the acronym for LInstrument Financier pour l’Environnement. Therefore the focus of the programme is environment (and not life sciences).

The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental and climate policy and legislation by co-financing projects with an European added value.

LIFE usually aims at demonstration and pilot projects. No research.

The LIFE programme started in 1992 and is managed by the European Commission, DG Environment and DG Climate Action. However, the Commission has delegated the implementation of many components of the LIFE programme to the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME). EASME also implements many parts of the Horizon 2020 SC5 work programme.  The European Investment Bank manages the two new financial instruments (NCFF and PF4EE).  Under the Natural Capital Financing Facility (NCFF), the European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide loans and investments in funds to support projects which promote the preservation of natural capital, including adaptation to climate change, in the Member States. The main aim of the NCFF is to demonstrate that natural capital projects can generate revenues or save costs, whilst delivering on biodiversity and climate adaptation objectives.  The Private Finance for Energy Efficiency (PF4EE) aims to increase private financing for investments in energy efficiency enhancing projects. Its objective is therefore to support Member States in making progress in view of the EU’s agreed targets on energy efficiency.

LIFE has the following sub-programmes:

  • Environment
    • Nature and Biodiversity
    • Environment and Resource Efficiency
    • Environmental Governance and  Information
  • Climate Action
    • Climate Change Mitigation
    • Climate Change Adaptation
    • Climate Governance and  Information

Each year there is one call for proposals for the above mentioned sub-programmes. The “Guide for Applicants” for each sub-programme describes the priorities which are aimed for. Best quality proposals are ranked , proposals that most align with the described priorities get a higher score  and the best proposals are funded. Evaluation and ranking is different than in Horizon 2020 and is described in the “Guide for Evaluation” for each sub-programme.

The LIFE call is usually published in Spring each year and has a deadline at the beginning of September. If, however, a good proposal is to be submitted, one has to start preparations before the call is published (e.g. February, March). Therefore, use the “Guide for Applicant” of the previous year to start making a draft proposal – and after publication of the new guide check the new priorities. In most years till now priorities have not changed very drastically. With the new working programme from 2018 new priorities are expected.

Within the sub-programmes, the  following project types are distinguished:

  • Traditional Projects (the “normal” LIFE projects, explained in more detail below),
  • Integrated Projects (very large Governmental-lead projects, with a (trans)national span ),
  • Technical Assistance Projects (financial support for preparing an Integrated Project proposal),
  • Preparatory Projects (projects meant for implementation of specific EU environmental legislations or policies)
    • In this last category, there is now an open call: ‘Preparatory Projects for the European Solidarity Corps’ (deadline 7 March 2017). The aim of the call is “to provide volunteering services for young people across the European Union. It focuses mainly on conservation of Natura 2000 sites, environmental protection, restoration of natural areas and ecosystems and on capacity building among ongoing LIFE projects”. For details about the call visit the following website: .

This article will further focus on the “Traditional Projects”, because these are of the most interest to the applicants for H2020 SC5 topics.

The total budget in the 2016 LIFE call was 337.5 mln euro; most LIFE projects receive  1 to 3 mln euro funding , but 0,3 or 6 mln is possible as well – there are no formal top or down levels.

Any legal entity (except natural persons) or a consortium of entities residing within a Member State of the EU (no associated or third countries!) can apply for a LIFE grant. There is no minimum consortium size like in H2020.

The funding rate of LIFE is 60%, and for specific Nature projects dealing with prioritised habitats or species it may be 75%. From 2018 on, the funding rate will be 50%

LIFE and H2020 SC5 – similarities

LIFE projects have  certain similarities to projects implemented in H2020 calls, in SC5, but also SC2 (agrofood), SC3 (energy) and SC4 (transport).

Any project with an environmental benefit can be  a LIFE project if:

  • The idea is new / innovative and has EU added value;
  • There is a concrete and direct quantifiable environmental benefit (emission reduction of CO2, GHG, waste water etc, waste prevention etc., increase of biodiversity, better quality of Natura 2000 areas, etc.). The project must solve an environmental problem;
  • The proposal is well aligned with priorities mentioned in the “Guide for Applicants”;
  • There is an after-LIFE plan: a way to ensure that the benefit will be replicated when the project has ended. E.g. by means of a sound business plan that ensures replication and involvement of relevant stakeholders;
  • There is a monitoring plan that monitors the environmental benefit that is aimed for;
  • There is a transnational aspect;
  • It is replicable throughout the EU;
  • It has a pilot or demonstration character (like the Innovation Actions in H2020).

Regarding the aim and focus, LIFE Environment and Resource Efficiency projects and LIFE Climate Change Mitigation projects are similar to the SMEinst-11 phase 2 projects (though in LIFE also non SMEs are eligible) as well as to some H2020 SC5 Innovation Actions (e.g. WASTE calls). ,  and are similar to CIP Eco-innovation projects (The CIP Eco-innovation programme has ended now).

Main differences between LIFE and H2020

The below table provides an impression of differences between the LIFE and Horizon 2020 programme

LIFE Horizon 2020
Eligible Entities in EU Member states only Entities in EU + assoc and third countries
Nr. partners No minimum, anyone can apply Min. 3 in different countries
Funding 60 % (50% after 2018) 100% / 70 %
Eligible overhead Max. 7 % 25 %
Eligible equipment costs Depreciation during project but max 50% of actual costs (per item) Depreciation during project
Typical funding 1- 3 mln 3 – 7 mln
Nr. calls 1 call / year (in subprogrammes) Many specific calls
Type of project Pilot and demo From research to demonstration
Focus Environment & Climate Several themes / challenges
Time to Grant 10 months (incl. a revision phase) 8 months (no revision phase)
Budget 3.5 billion 80 billion


More information and practical tips:


More information on the LIFE programme is available on the LIFE website of the European Commission:

If you are interested further in the LIFE programme, download the application packages for the various sub-programmes (for the 2016 call, the packages for the 2017 call will be published in May/June 2017) at:

Especially the application packages for :

Start with reading the “Guide for Applicants” and then the “Guide for the Evaluation” of the respective subprogramme(s) – note that evaluation criteria for LIFE differ from H2020.

A nice overview of project examples per country can be found at:

You can go deeper into the LIFE project database:

LIFE NCPs can be found via:

And then the UK LIFE NCP has an excellent informative LIFE website in English at:

An overview of the projects funded in 2015 can be found at:

Pre-announcement of a new 2016 Joint Call by Water JPI and FACCE JPI

The Water Joint Programming Initiative ( Water JPI) and the Agriculture Food Security and Climate Change Joint Programming Initiative (FACCE JPI) published, on 15 of January 2016, a pre-announcement of the upcoming call for multi-national collaborative research projects. The topics of the call are the following and applicants must address at least one of them:  Sustainable management of water resources in agriculture, forestry and freshwater aquaculture sectors by:

  • Increasing the efficiency and resilience of water uses;
  • Monitoring and reducing soil and water pollution;
  • Integrating social and economic dimensions into the sustainable management and governance of water resources.

The budget of the call amounts to 26M€. It is primarily funded by 26 funding organisations from 23 countries (see the table with participating countries below) , with 7.9 M€ support coming from the WaterWorks 2015 ERA-NET Cofund. The WaterWorks2015 ERA-NET Cofund was launched in January 2016 in support of the Water JPI. It is funded by the European Commission under H2020 and aims at tackling water challenges at European and international levels through the development of transnational and transdisciplinary research and innovation actions.

Continue reading Pre-announcement of a new 2016 Joint Call by Water JPI and FACCE JPI

RA-Can+ Twinning Programme – Call launched

With October 1, 2015 the ERA-Can+ project launched its first call for proposals. The Twinning Programme aims at supporting close collaboration between already existing European and Canadian research endeavours. Each twinning project should consist of at least one EU-funded project consortium (FP7 or Horizon 2020), and one Canadian project funded either at federal or provincial level. Both projects should be either running or have been completed for less than two years at the time of the proposal submission.

  • Twinning projects will be supported with up to 6 000€ per application.
  • Application deadline is January 4, 2016.

More information:

New climate economy report: greener cities could save €15 trillion worldwide

New research from the New Climate Economy finds that investing in public and low emission transport, building efficiency, and waste management in cities could generate savings with a current value of US$17 trillion (€15 trillion) by 2050. These low-carbon investments could also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3.7 Gt CO2e per year by 2030, more than the current annual emissions of India.

The New Climate Economy is the flagship project of Global Commission on the Economy and Climate – a major international initiative to analyse and communicate the economic benefits and costs of acting on climate change. Chaired by former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón, the Commission comprises former heads of government and finance ministers and leaders in the fields of economics and business.


Source :

First calls for proposals from the Danube Transnational Programme 2014-2020 to be launched

The Danube Transnational Programme will invest EUR 202,3 million from the ERDF and EUR 19,8 million from IPA II for transnational projects in the Danube basin territory. Eligible partners will, therefore, come from 9 EU countries – Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany (only Baden-Württemberg and Bayern), Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia; and 5 non-EU countries – Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, part of Ukraine.

The Danube Transnational Programme (2014-2020) is built around four thematic priority axes:

  1. Innovative and socially responsible Danube region
  2. Environment and culture responsible Danube region
  3. Better connected and energy responsible Danube region
  4. Well-governed Danube region

The first call for proposals will be implemented in two steps. The timeline of the first step is 23 September 2015 till 3 November 2015. Details about the call will be announced at the programme kick-off event on 23 (entire day) and 24 (half day) September 2015 in Budapest

More information can be found on:

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