LIFE Environment Call Opens with New Features Relating to the COVID-19 Pandemic

LIFE Environment Call Opens with New Features Relating to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The LIFE Programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. The Environment sub-programme is focused on the priority areas of nature and biodiversity, environment and resource efficiency, and environmental governance and information.

It has now launched its 2020 call for proposals which includes new features related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although LIFE’s key priorities are the environment and climate, these undoubtedly have strong links with human health. Certain projects or specific actions could directly or indirectly target problems linked with the management of this type of pandemic. Considering this a global challenge, the LIFE programme wishes to do its utmost to actively contribute to finding solutions.

Applicants are therefore invited to look critically at their project’s objectives and activities in order to detect any element that could directly or indirectly improve the collective ability to avoid, mitigate, manage and recover in the case of a similar future crisis. LIFE believes every contribution counts and will welcome proposals that, while complying with the programme’s priorities, may contribute to the collective effort.

The confirmed new measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic are as follows:

All submission deadlines are being extended by one month.

Applicants may register for a one-to-one short discussion about their project concept with one of our project advisors (a registration system will be set up once the call is published).

Private entities are no longer obliged to launch open tenders for contracts above €135,000.

All projects will be allowed to financially support local initiatives that may contribute to the project objective. This will take the form of grants that the beneficiary may give (within certain limits) to third parties responsible for such initiatives. In this way, LIFE hopes to also facilitate access to LIFE financing to very small local groups that do not have the capacity to act as an associated beneficiary in the project, but could play a role in reaching the project objectives.

A special section on start-up companies has been integrated into the guidelines. In this section, larger companies are invited to consider their LIFE project as a potential incubator for start-ups. Normally start-ups don’t qualify as a coordinating beneficiary due to their limited financial capacity. They could however be a key player (owner of know-how or knowledge) in partnership with a larger company. In this way, the start-up may be given the chance to move to a full market development, and the larger company would gain access to the knowledge, while limiting the risk thanks to the LIFE support.

The deadlines for submissions are as follows:

2020 Call – Traditional Projects

Concept notes for Environment & Resource Efficiency: 14 July 2020

Concept notes for Nature & Biodiversity: 16 July 2020

Concept notes for Environmental Governance & Information: 16 July 2020

2020 Call – Integrated Projects

Deadline for submission of concept notes: 6 October 2020

2020 Call – Technical Projects

Deadline for submission of full proposals: 16 July 2020

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