How to Access Collaborative EU Grant Funding

Alex Chalkley

Alex Chalkley

Founder // CEO

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About this webinar

We were invited to give a webinar to the clients of Newable – mainly innovation-driven SMEs – about how to access EU grant funding. In particular, accessing collaborative R&D grant projects with partners across Europe.

We recorded the session and that is provided for you here. We have also provided a text summary og the topics and questions covered below.


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Alex Chalkley

Co-founder of Impact Funding Europe. Experience in grant writing since 2009.

Olaf-Gerd Gemein

Co-founder of Impact Funding Europe. Experience in grant funding started in 2013.

Grant Funding rates for different organisation types

There are two key elements to this:

Different organizations taking part in collaborative R&D projects are eligible to get different levels of funding. SMEs generally are eligible for 70% funding as a rule and universities are eligible for a 100%. Research institutions, public bodies, cities, charities, not-for-profits, all of whom are welcome to collaborate are eligible to have a 100% of their costs covered.

How does grant funding work for large businesses? Likely to be 40% – 50% match funfing from EU grant projects.

A group of SMEs, large companies and other organisations could form an association which would then be eligible for 100% EU grant funding.

Horizon Europe and collaborative R&D funding

The Funding and Tenders portal is the place to find calls for EU grants, look for collabortive partners and start your application.


The three different types of calsl are Coordination and Support Action, Research and Innovation Action and Innovation Action:

  • Research and Innovation Action really is R&D research and development that’s coming from the scientific community. So early stage, university led, research organization led moving into or progressing towards commercialization
  • Innovation Action is slightly further down the line. So maybe there’s a proof of concept and MVP in place and you’re moving it to from that position too close to replication, commercial deployment
  • Coordination and Support Action is more about knowledge share, enabling the innovation that might already be close to market or in the market to be used and adopted more widely.

Call Summaries in Horizon Europe

The call summaries give you:

  • Deadline
  • Is it single or multi-stage?
  • Opening closing date
  • If you click into the fund itself, you will, you will get a summary of the call with some text around what the commission is looking for an answer to this call
  • An opportunity to find partners
  • Link to guides and work programs

Collaboration in Horizon Europe

The vast majority of the €100bn funding is for collaborative R&D projects, meaning you need to, you’re being encouraged to partner with universities, SMEs, public bodies, etc, to unite. Share knowledge, to form joint ventures, to solve big problems, global challenges.

Financial Capacity in Horizon Europe

When you win an EU grant or when you are part of a winning consortium, the commission will be interested in your financial capacity.

Horizon Europe offers 50% funding on day 1

The Commission gives you an upfront payment, which is covering a minimum, the first period, which is one or one and a half year of stature (50% of the total budget). Which means EU grants provide you with upfront cashflow – received by the project coordinator and then distributed to the partners.

How long does it take to prepare and secure an EU collaborative grant?

  • 6months to build the consortium and develop the application
  • 5months for a decision
  • 3months to get the project ready to start

Missions in Horizon Europe

  • Adaptation to climate change, which is including a societal adaptation
  • Cancer, health
  • Climate neutral and smart cities
  • Healthy oceans, seas, coastal, and inland waters
  • Soil health and food

Global Challenges in Horizon Europe

  • Healthy, cultural, creative, and inclusive society.
  • Civil security, particularly for society
  • Digital industry
  • Space
  • Climate energy and mobility
  • Food, bio economy, natural resources, agriculture, and environment

What makes a strong consortium for EU grants?

  • Geographical level: Minimum three, better five or more countries
  • Organisations: SMEs, Corporate, Academic Institution, NGO, Publuic Funding Body
  • Roles: Innovation, Implementation and Dissemination
  • Experience: An experienced project co-ordinator

Questions answered in the video:

  1. What is the difference between match funding and blended finance?
  2. How long does it take to register for EU grant funding?
  3. How does Impact Funding Europe work?
  4. What are the sectors Impact Funding Europe focus on?
  5. What level of innovation are the EU grant assessors looking for?
  6. What is match funding?
  7. What is Technology Readiness Level?
  8. How can an SME access EU Grant Funding?
  9. How long does it take to write an EU grant application?

Where can I find calls for EU grant applications?


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Clean Energy

In 2019 the EU completed a comprehensive update of its energy policy framework to facilitate the transition away from fossil fuels towards cleaner energy and to deliver on the EU’s Paris Agreement commitments for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The agreement on this new energy rulebook – called the Clean energy for all Europeans package – marked a significant step towards the implementation of the energy union strategy, published in 2015.

Climate, Energy and Mobility is the focus for Cluster 5 in Horizon Europe. This clusters aims to fight climate change by better understanding its causes, evolution, risks, impacts and opportunities, and by making the energy and transport sectors more climate and environment-friendly, more efficient and competitive, smarter, safer and more resilient

More information here.

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Sophie Glaser-Deruelle

Senior Consultant

Sophie is a mission-driven, analytic, and reliable consultant. Her focus is on the development of projects, and writing public funding bids and grant proposals for R&D. She holds an MA in International Relations and European Studies and has a strong background in SME development and enabling SMEs and Start-ups to access markets and funding.

Sophie has over 10 years of experience in EU funding and project implementation including international project development, tender and funding proposal writing, policy development, implementation, and project management. At IFE, Sophie is a Senior Consultant and Project Development expert. She aids companies in defining their R&D needs and aligning them to calls, this includes ideation and development of projects, consortium building and writing proposals for EU funding.

Olaf Gerd Gemein

Olaf Gerd Gemein


Olaf is a passionate Serial Entrepreneur and Business Architect with a specific ambition: to be a change catalyst!

With over 30 years of practical experience in various markets in Europe, Asia, North and South America and Canada, he has successfully supported more than 100 projects in the ICT sector. His contributions have focused on accelerating start-up and innovation clusters, building networks, products and services from scratch, facilitating and implementing go-to-market strategies. He is frequently asked to speak at conferences and facilitate networking on smart tech topics around the world.

Peter Schottes

Peter Schottes

Eisenschmidt Consulting

Peter holds a PhD in nature science (climate impact research), worked as a project manager for software development and as a freelance consultant. He is managing director and shareholder of Eisenschmidt Consulting Crew in Kiel, Germany. He is a specialist in transformation projects and works as a sparring partner for top executives. His focus in on strategy development, digital transformation and concept development.

Peter is active as advisor for StartUps and Angel investor. At IFE he overlooks the entire process of community building, stakeholder management and is also responsible for the project kick-offs.

Alex Neu

Alex Chalkley


Alex has a BSc in Mathematics, Economics & Computing and has already built a market-leading R&D Funding Consultancy in the UK from 2009 to 2019. Alex has developed funding bids, mainly in the form of R&D Grant Applications, that have secured over €60m for clients operating at the forefront of technology innovation. Venturenomix, focuses on supporting Impact Ventures by offering specialist funding related consultancy services to ambitious people seeking funding for good projects. At IFE, Alex is Managing Director and responsible for all aspects of the business, in particular recruiting, mentoring and adding value to the EU Grant Writing Consultants working on multi-million Euro EU Grant Applications.

Smart City L Green

Smart City

A smart city is a place where traditional networks and services are made more efficient with the use of digital and telecommunication technologies for the benefit of its inhabitants and business. 

A smart city goes beyond the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for better resource use and less emissions. It means smarter urban transport networks, upgraded water supply and waste disposal facilities and more efficient ways to light and heat buildings. It also means a more interactive and responsive city administration, safer public spaces and meeting the needs of an ageing population. Last not least, it aims to make a city a healthier, more sustainable and more attractive place to be for its residents and visitors.

More than half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas. This is expected to reach 80% by 2050. Cities and metropolitan areas are centres of economic activity, knowledge generation, innovation and new technologies. Cities influence the quality of life of citizens who live or work in them and they are major contributors to global challenges.

A mission in this area will help us meet the goals and targets set out by international policy frameworks such as the COP21 Paris Agreement, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (notably SDG11), the Urban Agenda for the EU and the Habitat III New Urban Agenda as cities play a key role in all of them.

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The Green Deal spans and informs all of the Horizon Europe Pillars and Destinations. As such, there is no dedicated funding programme, apart from Horizon Europe itself. This strategy underpins Horizon Europe funding from 2021-2027. You can read more about the Pillars and funding opportunities here.

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Open Data

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The European strategy for data aims at creating a single market for data that will ensure Europe’s global competitiveness and data sovereignty. Common European data spaces will ensure that more data becomes available for use in the economy and society, while keeping companies and individuals who generate the data in control.

Cluster 4 in Horizon Europe is dedicated to Digital, Industry and Space. The overarching vision behind the proposed investments under Cluster 4 is that of Europe shaping competitive and trusted technologies for a European industry with global leadership in key areas, enabling production and consumption to respect the boundaries of our planet, and maximising the benefits for all parts of society in the variety of social, economic and territorial contexts in Europe.

This will build a competitive, digital, low-carbon and circular industry, ensure sustainable supply of raw materials, develop advanced materials and provide the basis for advances and innovation in  global challenges to society.

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The European Green Deal calls for a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from transport in order for the EU to become a climate-neutral economy by 2050, while also working towards a zero-pollution ambition. To achieve this systemic change, we need to (1) make all transport modes more sustainable, (2) make sustainable alternatives widely available in a multimodal transport system and (3) put in place the right incentives to drive the transition.

Climate, Energy and Mobility is the focus for Cluster 5 in Horizon Europe. This clusters aims to fight climate change by better understanding its causes, evolution, risks, impacts and opportunities, and by making the energy and transport sectors more climate and environment-friendly, more efficient and competitive, smarter, safer and more resilient

More information here.

Recent Projects

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The Farm to Fork Strategy is at the heart of the Green Deal. It addresses comprehensively the challenges of sustainable food systems and recognises the inextricable links between healthy people, healthy societies and a healthy planet. The strategy is also central to the Commission’s agenda to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All citizens and operators across value chains, in the EU and elsewhere, should benefit from a just transition, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn. A shift to a sustainable food system can bring environmental, health and social benefits, offer economic gains and ensure that the recovery from the crisis puts us onto a sustainable path. Ensuring a sustainable livelihood for primary producers, who still lag behind in terms of income, is essential for the success of the recovery and the transition.

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More information here.

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