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Billion-dollar green-tech fund opens call for proposals

Call hailed as “first milestone” of EU-Catalyst Partnership launched by European Commission and Bill Gates

A fund for investing in environmentally sustainable technologies, launched last year by the European Commission and computing billionaire Bill Gates, and intended to mobilise $1 billion (about €820 million), is now seeking proposals.

The Commission hailed the “first milestone” of the EU-Catalyst Partnership fund on 11 January, and said the call would result in “high-potential” investments in EU-based projects in clean hydrogen, sustainable aviation fuels, direct air capture and long-term storage.

“With the EU-Catalyst Partnership we want to make a daring leap towards achieving our climate goals,” R&D commissioner Mariya Gabriel said. “We need technological revolution on a global scale, large investments, more financial risk-taking and more game-changing innovations, as well as policies that support public-private partnerships across the globe.”

The EU’s half of the €820m for the fund comes in part from the bloc’s Horizon Europe R&D programme. The fund is expected to allocate its money between 2022 and 2026 to help achieve the EU’s 2030 climate goals and its aim to be carbon-neutral by 2050.

The call is open for proposals until 31 December 2027, or until all of the fund’s money has been allocated. Applicants hoping to receive funding in the first half of 2023—the earliest possible date—must submit the first part of their proposal by 13 May 2022. After that date, submissions will be evaluated at least twice a year.