Available Funding for 2021 Grant Proposals

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

With the uncertainty of 2020 behind us, it is finally time to look ahead to upcoming funding opportunities for sustainable technologies

2020 was a challenging year for most people, businesses, and organizations across the world. Along with a pandemic that threatened public health, there were economic ramifications, logistical problems, and widespread uncertainty.

Despite all that, funding for sustainable initiatives was still made available for deserving ideas through a variety of avenues, including the Horizon 2020 program, which lived up to its promise through the worst global crisis in recent memory.

Looking ahead to the future, there will be even more funding available for sustainable technologies through Horizon 2020’s successor program – Horizon Europe – as well as several other awards that will help deserving projects get to market.

Below are some of the largest and most important grant funding programs for 2021 and beyond. While there are many more programs available for other areas, these are featured because they focus on sustainable technologies and innovative solutions to climate change, which are the areas that Linq Consulting & Management specializes in with helping organizations secure funding.

Innovate UK

Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency, and is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the national funding agency investing in science and research in the UK. Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £6 billion, UKRI brings together the 7 Research Councils, including Innovate UK and Research England. It is an executive non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

The UK government have committed to increasing funding in research and development by a further £4.7 billion over 4 years through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. As part of the government’s Industrial Strategy, the long-term plan aims to raise productivity and earning power and bring together the UK’s world-leading research with business to meet the major industrial and societal challenges of our time.

Horizon Europe

The European Commission's proposal for Horizon Europe is an ambitious €100 billion research and innovation programme to succeed Horizon 2020.

Horizon Europe will incorporate research and innovation missions to increase the effectiveness of funding by pursuing clearly defined targets.

The EC has engaged policy experts to develop studies, case studies and reports on how a mission-oriented policy approach will work.

5 mission areas have been identified, each with a dedicated mission board and assembly. The board and assembly help specify, design and implement the specific missions which will launch under Horizon Europe in 2021. These areas are: Adaptation to climate change including societal transformation, Cancer, Climate-neutral and smart cities, Healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters, Soil health and food.

ERDF (European Regional Development Fund)

The ERDF aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by correcting imbalances between its regions.

The ERDF focuses its investments on several key priority areas. This is known as 'thematic concentration.' These areas include: Innovation and research, the digital agenda, support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and the low-carbon economy.

The ERDF resources allocated to these priorities will depend on the category of region. In more developed regions, at least 80 % of funds must focus on at least two of these priorities, while in transition regions it must be 60%. This is dropped to 50 % in less developed regions.

Furthermore, some ERDF resources must be channelled specifically towards low-carbon economy projects.

European Green Deal Calls

The European Green Deal initiative is the EU’s response to tackle the climate & environmental challenges on the path to carbon neutrality by 2050.

In support of this, the EC is reinforcing Green Deal-related research and innovation with this dedicated call for proposals under the current research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020.

The project length and value are variable, and the deadline is set at the end of January 2021 – so any organization that wants to take advantage of this award must act quickly.

Green Deal Call structure reflects the 8 key European Green Deal workstreams and complemented by 3 crosscutting horizontal areas. These include increasing climate ambition, clean energy, sustainable and smart mobility, transition towards a sustainable Europe, and accelerating the clean energy transition and access in partnership with Africa, among other areas.

Contact us for more information on obtaining funding from this source

ISCF Future Plastic Packaging Solutions

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £2 million for early-stage projects in smart and sustainable plastic packaging. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. The entire project value must be between £50,000 and £150,000 and last for any duration up to 18 months.

Applicants must explain how the proposed project addresses one or more of the UK Plastics Pact targets through innovation. The benefits of the new approach must be quantified in terms of the Pact targets where possible. Any environmental impacts must be described and justified.

Projects can include either the re-design of existing goods, services, and business models, or design of entirely new goods, services and business models to serve an existing need. The project must also demonstrate a holistic approach, including the likely environmental impacts on people, wildlife, and the broader environment.

Questions on Grant Funding?

The landscape for securing funding can be daunting, confusing, and difficult to manoeuvre. From writing proposals to managing the application process, Linq Consulting & Management has years of experience successfully helping organizations secure grant awards in the areas of sustainable technology and innovation.

Our team can help you not only navigate the grant proposal process, but we can also help with project management once funding is awarded – to ensure your idea makes it to market. Our passion for sustainability and working with innovative solutions to climate change runs deep, and we want to help deserving ideas become a reality.

Contact us to learn more


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