Table of contents

In this handbook, we’ll tell you all about:

  1. About the LIFE Programme
  2. Eligibility
  3. Tips & Tricks
  4. Overview of deadlines
  5. Standard Action Projects (SAP)
  6. Grants
  7. Questions

 


1. About the LIFE Programme

The LIFE Programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the Environment and Climate. It began in 1992, has co-financed thousands of projects in the field and turns 30 this year!

As one of the most important European funding instruments for our planet, it is the only one that is dedicated solely to Climate and Environment. It is managed by CINEA and on behalf of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment, for Climate Action and for Energy.

The latest LIFE Programme for the period 2021-2027 has a total budget of €5.4 billion.

The LIFE Programme’s main goals are to: 

  • Help make the shift towards a more sustainable, circular, renewable energy-based, energy-efficient, climate-neutral and -resilient economy.
  • Protect, restore and enhance our environment.
  • Halt biodiversity loss.
  • Encourage and support green ideas from both private enterprises, NGOs and civil society organizations, and public authorities.

Aims of the programme

The LIFE Programme aims to help the EU to reach its European Climate and Environment ambitions:

  • Transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where there are zero net emissions in 2050 and where economic growth is separate from resource use.
  • Protect, conserve and enhance nature across the continent.
  • Safeguard the health and well-being of citizens from environment and climate-related impacts.

LIFE Programme structure

The LIFE Programme is structured in two fields and four sub-programmes:

  • Climate
    • Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation
    • Clean Energy Transition
  • Environment
    • Circular Economy and Quality of Life
    • Nature & Biodiversity

 


2. Eligibility

There are low barriers to eligibility in this programme. In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must:

  1. Be legal entities (public or private bodies).
  2. Be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
    • EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs)).
    • Non-EU countries: listed EEA countries and countries associated to the LIFE Programme or countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement and where the agreement enters into force before grant signature (list of participating countries) 76. The coordinator must be established in an eligible country.

The transition from an eligible consortium to a winning consortium is highly dependent on which call you are targeting, how well you match it, the amount of funding you are asking for, and your project itself!

 


3. Tips & Tricks

  1. The average LIFE project is submitted by a 2-5 partner consortium, has a €5 million budget, and runs for 3-5 years.
  2. Have a consortium that includes key partners in the value chain.
  3. Describe the scale up strategy to translate your project results in long term impact for Europe, in line with European guidelines, directives and regulations.
  4. Carefully read the template instruction boxes as topic- or KPI-specific instructions are not integrated into the template. This is the case for e.g. close to market (C2M) projects, which require additional sections on e.g. the available market, competition, and sales forecasts.
  5. Include at least a demonstrator (TRL 6) activity, as you need to create on-the-ground IMPACT measured in LIFE specific KPIs during your project.
  6. Include a short description of the budget in the application, as the budget template in the portal is quite dry. Expand this section for larger projects (e.g. comparable to RIA/IA).
  7. In case of a Close to Market (C2M) project have the accountant or CFO of your client establish a version of their financial forecast in the scenario of being awarded the LIFE funding to substantiate your business case.

 


4. Overview of deadlines

Standard Action Projects (SAPs) for circular economy and quality of life, nature and biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation sub-programmes:

    • 4 October 2022

Other Action Grants (OAGs) including PPLs:

    • 16 November 2022

Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs) and Strategic Nature Projects (SNAPs):

    • Concept Notes: 8 September 2022
    • Full proposals: 30 March 2023

Technical Assistance preparation for SIPs and SNAPs:

    • 8 September 2022

Specific Operating Grant Agreements (SGA OG) for non-profit making entities:

    • 21 September 2022

 


5. Actions

1. Standard Action Projects (SAP)

The most popular action. ‘Traditional’ LIFE projects aimed to:

  • develop, demonstrate and promote innovative techniques, methods and approaches;
  • contribute to the knowledge base and to the application of best practices;
  • support the development, implementation, monitoring and enforcement of the relevant Union legislation and policy, including by improving governance at all levels, in particular through enhancing capacities of public and private actors and the involvement of civil society;
  • catalyse the large-scale deployment of successful technical and policy related solutions for implementing the relevant Union legislation and policy by replicating results, integrating related objectives into other policies and into public and private sector practices, mobilising investment and improving access to finance

Co-financing rate of 60% maximum except:

  • 67% for project targeting both priority and non-priority habitats and/or species
  • 75% for projects targeting exclusively priority habitats and/or species
  • Maximum 10-year duration

2. Strategic Nature Projects (SNAP)

The SNAPs focus on:

  • the implementation of the Prioritised Action Frameworks pursuant to the Habitats Directive or other plans or strategies adopted at international, national, regional or multiregional level by nature and biodiversity authorities
  • Mainstreaming relevant nature and biodiversity objectives into other policies and funding programmes

Co-financing rate of 60% maximum:

  • Maximum 14-year duration

3. Strategic Integrated Projects (SIP)

Circular Economy and Quality of Life: 

  • Circular Economy: National or Regional Circular Economy Action Plans, Strategies, Roadmaps or similar
  • Waste: National and regional Waste Management Plans (WMPs) and/or Waste Prevention Programmes (WPPs)
  • Water: River basin management plans (RBMPs), Flood Risk Management Plans (FRMPs) or Marine Strategies
  • Air: Air quality plans pursuant to the Ambient Air Quality Directive or National Air Pollution Control Programmes (NAPCP)

Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation:

  • National Energy and Climate Plans (NECP, Regulation on the governance of the energy union and climate action (EU)2018/1999);
  • National Energy Efficiency Action Plans’ (NEEAP);
  • National or regional adaptation strategies or action plans;
  • Urban or community-based action plans pioneering the transition to a climate neutral and/or climate resilient society;
  • National, regional or industry-/sector-specific greenhouse gas mitigation strategies or economy roadmaps contributing to climate neutrality

4. Technical Assistance Projects (TA)

Projects that support the development of capacity for participation in standard action projects, the preparation of strategic nature projects and strategic integrated projects, the preparation for accessing other Union financial instruments or other measures necessary for preparing the upscaling or replication of results from other projects funded by the LIFE Programme, its predecessor programmes or other Union programmes, with a view to pursuing the LIFE programme objectives set out in Article 3; such projects can also include capacity-building related to the activities of Member States’ authorities for effective participation in the LIFE Programme.

TA-PP: support to the participation in standard action projects and preparation of SNAPs and SIPs (TA-PP)

Co-financing rate of maximum 60%, maximum LIFE contribution of €70.000

  • Maximum 5 year duration for all TA projects

5. Other Action Grants (OAG)

Actions needed for the purpose of achieving the general objective of the LIFE Programme, including coordination and support actions aimed at capacity-building, at dissemination of information and of knowledge, and at awareness-raising to support the transition to renewable energy and increased energy efficiency.

Action grants benefitting the organisations mentioned in Annex I of the LIFE Regulation:

  • European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL);
  • European Network of Prosecutors for the Environment (ENPE);
  • European Union Forum of Judges for the Environment (EUFJE).
  • Projects to support specific policy and legislation requirements.

Co-financing rate of 95% maximum

6. Operating Grants (OG)

Grants that support the functioning of non-profit making entities which are involved in the development, implementation and enforcement of Union legislation and policy, and which are primarily active in the area of the environment or climate action, including energy transition, in line with the objectives of the LIFE Programme.

 


6. Grants

1. Standard Action Projects (SAP)

LIFE-2022-SAP-NAT-GOV
Nature Governance
Total budget: €3M
Project budget: €1-2M

LIFE-2022-SAP-NAT-NATURE
Nature and Biodiversity
Total budget: €132.7M
Project budget: €2-13M

LIFE-2022-SAP-ENV-ENVIRONMENT
Circular Economy, resources from Waste, Air, Water, Soil, Noise, Chemicals, Bauhaus
Total budget: €92.3M
Project budget: €2-10M

LIFE-2021-SAP-ENV-GOV
Environment governance
Total budget: €6M
Project budget: €0.7-2M

LIFE-2021-SAP-CLIMA-CCM
Climate Change Mitigation
Total budget: €29M
Project budget: €1-5M

LIFE-2021-SAP-CLIMA-CCA
Climate Change Adaptation
Total budget: €29M
Project budget: €1-5M

LIFE-2021-SAP-CLIMA-GOV
Climate Governance and Information
Total budget: €7.9M
Project budget: €0.7-2M

2. Strategic Integrated Projects and Strategic Nature Projects (SIP & SNAP)

LIFE-2022-STRAT-NAT-SNAP-two-stage
Strategic Nature Projects
1st Stage Deadline: 8 September 2022
2nd Stage Deadline: 30 March 2023
Stages: Two-stage
Total budget: €145M
Project budget: €15-50M
Funding Rate: 60%
Project length: 60-120 months

LIFE-2022-STRAT-ENV-SIP-two-stage
Strategic Integrated Projects – Environment
1st Stage Deadline: 8 September 2022
2nd Stage Deadline: 30 March 2023
Stages: Two-stage
Total budget: €52.8M
Project budget: €10-30M
Funding Rate: 60%
Project length: 60-120 months

LIFE-2022-STRAT-CLIMA-SIP-two-stage
Strategic Integrated Projects – Climate Action
1st Stage Deadline: 8 September 2022
2nd Stage Deadline: 30 March 2023
Stages: Two-stage
Total budget: €30M
Project budget: €10-30M
Funding Rate: 60%
Project length: 60-120 months

3. Technical Assistance Projects (TA)

Technical Assistance Projects may include the following activities: preparation of Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs) Strategic Nature and Projects (SNAPs) (TA-PP).

LIFE-2022-TA-PP-ENV-SIP
Technical Assistance preparation of ENV SIPs
Deadline: 8 September 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget: €209.388
Project budget: €70.000
Funding Rate: 60%

LIFE-2022-TA-PP-CLIMA-SIP
Technical Assistance preparation of CLIMA SIPs
Deadline: 8 September 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget: €300.000
Project budget: €70.000
Funding Rate: 60%

LIFE-2022-TA-PP-NAT-SNAP
Nature and Biodiversity
Deadline: 8 September 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget: €368.780
Project budget: €70.000
Funding Rate: 60%

4. Other Action Grants (OAG)

LIFE-2022-CET-BUILDSKILLS
BUILD UP Skills – Strategies and training interventions enabling a decarbonised building stock
Deadline: 16 November 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget: €6M
Project budget: €0.4M
Funding Rate: 95%

LIFE-2022-CET-DEEPRENO
Towards a zero-emission building stock: strengthening the enabling framework for deep renovation
Deadline: 16 November 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget: €6M
Project budget: €1.75M
Funding Rate: 95%

LIFE-2022-CET-COMPLIANCE
New ecodesign and energy labelling compliance support facility for suppliers and retailers
Deadline: 16 November 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget: €2.5M
Project budget: €2.5M
Funding Rate: 95%

LIFE-2022-CET-EE1st
Making the “Energy efficiency first” principle more operational
Deadline: 16 November 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget: €3.5M
Project budget: €1.5M
Funding Rate: 95%

LIFE-2022-CET-FINROUND
National Finance Roundtables for sustainable energy investments
Deadline: 16 November 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget: €4M
Project budget: €0.7M
Funding Rate: 95%

LIFE-2022-CET-BUSINESS
Supporting the clean energy transition of the business sector
Deadline: 16 November 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget: €6M
Project budget: €1.5M
Funding Rate: 95%

LIFE-2022-CET-BUILDPERFORM
Energy performance and Smart Readiness of buildings – making the instruments work
Deadline: 16 November 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget: €7M
Project budget: €2M
Funding Rate: 95%

LIFE-2022-CET-ENERCOM
Developing support mechanisms for energy communities
Deadline: 16 November 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget: €6.5M
Project budget: €1.5M
Funding Rate: 95%

LIFE-2022-CET-HEATPUMPS
Accelerating deployment and affordability of heat pumps through collective purchase actions and procurement
Deadline: 16 November 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget: €6M
Project budget: €2M
Funding Rate: 95%

LIFE-2022-CET-INNOFIN
Innovative financing schemes for sustainable energy investments
Deadline: 16 November 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget: €4M
Project budget: €1.5M
Funding Rate: 95%

LIFE-2022-CET-HOMERENO
Integrated Home Renovation Services
Deadline: 16 November 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget Scope A: €5.5M
Total budget Scope B: €2.5M
Project budget: €1.5M
Funding Rate: 95%

LIFE-2022-CET-POLICY
Towards an effective implementation of key legislation in the field of sustainable energy
Deadline: 16 November 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget: €2M
Project budget: €2M
Funding Rate: 95%

LIFE-2022-CET-ENERPOV
Addressing building related interventions in vulnerable districts
Deadline: 16 November 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget: €6M
Project budget: €1.75M
Funding Rate: 95%

LIFE-2022-CET-RENOPUB
Setting up facilitation structures to accelerate the renovation wave in the public sector
Deadline: 16 November 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget: €6M
Project budget: €1-1.5M
Funding Rate: 95%

LIFE-2022-CET-PDA
Project Development Assistance for sustainable energy investments
Deadline: 16 November 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget Scope A: €0.15-1.5M
Total budget Scope B: €2M
Total project Scope A: €0.5-1.5M
Total project Scope B: €2M
Funding Rate: 95%

LIFE-2022-CET-DH
Integration of low-grade renewable energy or waste heat in high temperature district heating
Deadline: 16 November 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget: €6M
Project budget: €1.5M
Funding Rate: 95%

LIFE-2022-CET-LOCAL
Technical support to clean energy transition plans and strategies in municipalities and regions
Deadline: 16 November 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget: €7M
Project budget: €1.5M
Funding Rate: 95%

LIFE-2022-CET-MAINSTREAM
Mainstreaming sustainable energy investments in the financial sector
Deadline: 16 November 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget: €3M
Project budget: €1.5M
Funding Rate: 95%

5. OAG Policy Priorities (PLP)

These three calls belong to the Other Action Grants (OAGs) addressing ad hoc Legislative and Policy Priorities (PLP). The total available budget is €3.2M.

LIFE-2022-PLP-Environment
Circular Economy and Quality of Life
Deadline: 7 September 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget: €1.3M
Project budget: €800.000
Funding Rate: 90%
Funding length: 36-48 months

LIFE-2022-PLP-ENER
Supporting Clean Energy Transition
Deadline: 7 September 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget: €900.000
Project budget: €900.000
Funding Rate: 90%
Funding length: 36 months

LIFE-2022-PLP-NATURA
Nature and Biodiversity
Deadline: 7 September 2022
Stages: Single-stage
Total budget: €1M
Project budget: €1M
Funding Rate: 90%
Funding length: 36-48 months

 


7. Questions

Let’s take your proposal to the next level! Get in touch with one of our experts. We are ready to help you out with every question. Our experts are ready to assist you with:

  • Additional information on the other Action Grants
  • A 1:1 call to answer questions or assess fit of your project
  • Answering any further questions
  • A workshop for your organisation

We also held a live webinar focussed on SAPs, if you would like to receive the recording and presentation, please contact us.