Unlocking Climate Tech Funding Opportunities in 2024

The climate crisis is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Many companies are striving to combat this problem. However, there is a significant issue: how do I finance my projects? The report “State of Climate Tech” by Net Zero Insights has analysed various options and their evolution over the years. We present the different financing methods and reveal how you can get assistance. 


Bildschirmfoto 2024-03-12 um 16.31.58 (2)


The Rise of Non-Dilutive Funding 

Non-dilutive funding, which includes grants, debt financing, and public funding, has become an increasingly popular source of capital for climate tech startups.  

Risks and Advantages: Unlike equity financing, non-dilutive funding does not require entrepreneurs to give up ownership stakes in their companies. This allows them to retain control while accessing the capital they need to grow and scale. 


Public Funding and Grants 

Public funding and grants are particularly attractive for early-stage startups that are still in the research and development phase. These funds often come from government programs aimed at promoting innovation and addressing climate change. In the European Union, for example, the European Innovation Council (EIC) and the Horizon Europe Program offer substantial funding opportunities for climate tech startups. 

Risks and Advantages: The EIC provides non-dilutive grants of up to €2.5 million for breakthrough and disruptive innovations, as well as equity investments of up to €15 million for scaling up and commercialization. The Horizon Europe Program, on the other hand, supports collaborative projects across different sectors and disciplines, with a budget of €95.5 billion for 2021-2027. 

Horizon Europe places its focus on supporting projects that conduct research in the field of climate change, align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and promote the growth of the European Union. Eligible for funding are all researchers, companies, institutions, universities, organizations, and others who are based in an EU member state or associated countries like the United Kingdom for example. 

Impact Funding Europe (IFE) provides comprehensive support throughout the process of securing grant funding for intelligent, digital, and climate-neutral projects. A part of our service encompasses everything from project ideation and identifying matching funds to writing proposals, ultimately ensuring project success. Furthermore, we support you with the kick-off of the project and much more. 


The Role of Impact Investing 

Impact investing is another growing trend in the climate tech funding landscape. Impact investors seek to generate both financial return and positive social or environmental impact. This aligns well with goals like smart mobility, digital transformation, renewable energy, making impact investing a potentially significant source of funding. IFE can help you develop outstanding concepts, making your impact even more remarkable and catching the attention of investors. This also applies to the final finishing touches. 

The numbers for Impact Investments have been rapidly increasing in recent years. According to the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance, over $440 billion was invested in the global market in 2018. These investments originate from various sectors, including banks, foundations, funds, and private investors.  

A case study of Impact Investing involves the Swedish investor Trill Impact, which manages approximately €1.2 billion across its Impact Private Equity, Impact Ventures, and Microfinance investment strategies. In September, they made an investment in Komet Austria GmbH, a company dedicated to combating hunger and providing clean water. There are many other examples highlighted on the Bundesinitiative Impact Investing website 


The Role of Debt Financing 

Debt financing is another form of non-dilutive funding that is gaining traction in the climate tech sector. This involves borrowing money from banks or other financial institutions, which is then paid back with interest over time.  

Risks and Advantages: While debt financing can be riskier than grants or equity financing, it can provide startups with the capital they need to invest in equipment, hire staff, and scale their operations. 


The Importance of Strategic Partnerships 

Strategic partnerships can also play a crucial role in securing funding and scaling climate tech innovations.  

Risks and Advantages: By partnering with diverse and complex companies, startups can gain access to resources, expertise, and networks that can help them accelerate their growth. A second benefit of the consortium work is the partnership with public entities and Universities. By doing so you get hold off to expertise and studies through direct contact with experts. Additionally, it allows you to establish connections to cities that you can draw upon throughout your lifetime.  You can now join one of our Horizon Europe proposals to connect with these various partners and leverage the benefits for yourself and your project.  

At Impact Funding Europe (IFE), our team has over 15 years of successful experience in grant writing and change management. Our founding companies, Smart Cities Lab and Eisenschmidt Consulting, have united a big team of experts who specialize in smart cities, open data platforms, and project development and implementation support. As your partner, Impact Funding Europe provides a robust network that spans various partners and sectors. 



As shown by the “State of Climate Tech” report, there are various options to consider. Partnerships should be given special consideration, along with leveraging funding benefits, such as those provided by the Horizon Europe program. At Impact Funding Europe, we are here to support you! 

Please feel free to reach out to us to learn how you can gain access to funding opportunities for the growth of your business. 



Kiel, Germany, 2024 March, 12th   

Moritz Cornils, Impact Funding Europe 




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.

Recent Projects


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

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.

Read more here.

Recent Projects


Green Deal

The European Green Deal sets out how to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. It maps a new, sustainable and inclusive growth strategy to boost the economy, improve people’s health and quality of life, care for nature, and leave no one behind.

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.

Recent Projects


Open Data

The success of Europe’s digital transformation will depend on establishing effective rules to ensure trustworthy technologies, to give businesses the confidence and means to digitise, and to ensure highest privacy standards for citizens. The Data Strategy and the White Paper on Artificial Intelligence are the first pillars of the new digital strategy of the Commission. They all focus on the need to put people first in developing technology, as well as on the need to defend and promote European values and rights in how we design, make and deploy technology in the economy.

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.

Recent Projects



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



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.

Cluster 6 under Horizon Europe ringfences innovation grant funding for Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resouces, Agriculture & Environment. This cluster aims at reducing environmental degradation, halting and reversing the decline of biodiversity on land, inland waters and sea and better managing natural resources through transformative changes of the economy and society in both urban and rural areas. It will ensure food and nutrition security for all within planetary boundaries through knowledge, innovation and digitalisation in agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture and food systems and steer and accelerate the transition to a low carbon, resource efficient circular economy and sustainable bioeconomy, including forestry.

More information here.

Recent Projects