Closed for applications

The Construction and Building Sector's Transition to Circular Resource Economy

Together, Innovation Fund Denmark and Realdania will invest in research and development projects for the construction sector's transition to circular resource economy. The aim is to promote the green transition in Denmark.


Enterprises, research institutions or public institutions in or outside Denmark.


Co-financing up to 75% of the total cost of the project. For example salaries, procurements (equipment, materials, etc.), other project-related costs (events, travel, communication, etc.), external services (e.g. consultancy costs or services).

How much?

Call-budget: 40 mill. DKK

Application proces
18 August 2020
Application deadline
October 2020
Response to application
November 2020
December 2020
Invitation to investment negotiations

Together, Innovation Fund Denmark and Realdania will invest DKK 40 million in research and development projects for the construction sector's transition to circular resource economy. The aim is to promote the green transition in Denmark.

The projects shall contribute with ambitious answers as to how the sector's players may significantly reduce resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions within the frames of a circular resource economy.

Application deadline is 18 August at 12:00 noon.

The Call
Open section, Purpose

Realdania and Innovation Fund Denmark’s aim with this call is to invest in research and innovation projects that contribute to the transition of the construction sector (hereafter referred to as the 'sector') to circular economy, as part of the green transition of society. The projects shall help the sector to significantly reduce the resource consumption, the embedded energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, at the same time offering a business potential.

The research shall strengthen the efforts in the entire value chain from research to development. The green transition, including circular economy, will require targeted efforts over several years. The efforts shall therefore also contribute to the building of competence and capacity in the Danish research sector.

As a tool to achieve this aim, Realdania and Innovation Fund Denmark are establishing a collaboration platform under the auspices of BLOXHUB for the selected projects in order to promote shared inspiration, exchange of experience and value creation.



Investment Strategy
Open section, Investment Strategy

Realdania and Innovation Fund Denmark invest in projects at all stages of the research and innovation value chain. Thus, we invest in both the early strategic research project, where targeted efforts and collaboration with the most competent international and/or Danish partners from relevant disciplines are crucial – and in the good project that lacks the final steps to be ready for successful introduction to the market or for commissioning.

The investment does not necessarily accompany a project all the way to commercialisation/commissioning. It is therefore crucial that the project parties themselves are able to lift the result onto the market or ensure commissioning – or have customers who can invest in or take over the project following Innovation Fund Denmark's investment period.

The transition of the construction sector to circular economy requires interdisciplinary solutions with input from the technical/natural sciences as well as the social sciences and the humanities. Realdania and Innovation Fund Denmark emphasise that the implementation reflects the necessary interdisciplinary breadth and competencies to lead the process toward circular practice.

It will also be emphasised that the projects are holistic in coherent innovation and value chains or that, within their research and development boundaries, they are precisely associated with the totality and the values for which the results are to be used.

The call is based on ‘Agreement on Allocation of the Research Reserve for 2020’, ‘the Finance Act for 2020’, the ‘Advisory Board for Circular Economy 2016’ and the government's ‘Strategy for circular economy’ from September 2018. On this basis and taking as a starting point the applicants’ in-depth understanding of the construction sector and their insight into international development, Realdania and Innovation Fund Denmark want to invest in projects that can create solutions to effectively transform the sector to circular resource economy. The aim is to reduce resource consumption and emissions of CO2 equivalents with effects on the climate, not just in Denmark, but globally.

The frames for the projects are very broad as long as the projects clearly address both a supply and a demand aspect. We expect projects with solutions that can be developed on an industrial scale based on common methods of design, operation, screening and materials handling. We see the need for circular solutions supported by digital structures for market platforms and business models, including digital solutions for traceability. We also think of possible models for risk-sharing by testing and introducing circular materials and construction systems and for developing new forms of ownership, contractual relationships and business models that make it attractive for end users to demand circular solutions. With respect to the strategic relevance of the projects, the applicants must position their project in relation to Danish and international research and development projects (state-of-the-art).


Assessment Criteria
Open section, Assessment Criteria

The overall assessment criteria are:

  • Quality of research and innovation
  • Value creation during and after the project period
  • Efficiency in project execution
  • Implementation of project results

It will be emphasised by Realdania and Innovation Fund Denmark that the projects create measurable value and contribute to sustainable development for Denmark. Thus, the projects must have considerable potential and result in new solutions, methods and business models: The partners must explain the specific quantitative value creation of their project. Value creation is broadly understood as targeted activities that lead to increased growth, employment or other value-adding measures, e.g. development of new products and services, increased productivity, lower societal costs, reduced resource consumption, reduced environmental impact, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, better quality of life and a solution to significant societal problems. It is the responsibility of the applicants to explain the different types of value creation.

Specifically, the applications will be assessed on the projects’ research and innovation qualities in a global perspective and in relation to a concrete or latent need, state-of-the-art, directly competitive or obvious scientific or technological solutions, scalability of the solution, technical, regulatory and market risks, risk management of the project plan and the viability of the projects.

In addition, the pace of development, effective use of invested resources, managerial and professional skills and the subsequent effective implementation and scaling of the project results nationally and/or globally will be carefully assessed. The value creation of the project will be assessed in relation to the size of the investment.

It is weighted that the individual project’s customers and core stakeholders help to shape the project and actively participate in it.

In addition to these assessment criteria, please refer to ‘Guidelines for Grand Solutions’ (published 12 December 2019) as well as ‘Agreement for the Allocation of the Research Reserve for 2020’.

The allocation of funds is based on the ‘Finance Act for 2020’.

The allocated financial frames are expected to enable investment in 3-4 projects of 2-5 years’ duration. The selected projects agree to participate in and contribute to the joint collaboration platform which will be built based on the projects under the auspices of BLOXHUB.

The Assessment Process
Open section, The Assessment Process

Applications for Grand Solution must be submitted via e-grant which is Innovation Fund Denmark's application portal.

The assessment process is a one-phase application with interviews of selected applicants:

The Board of Innovation Fund Denmark will decide which applications will be submitted for peer review and invited to an interview. Prior to the interview, the peer reviews will be sent to the applicants via e-grant, as a consultative procedure. Representatives from Realdania will participate in the assessment process on an equal footing with Innovation Fund Denmark, while the final decision will be made by the Board of Innovation Fund Denmark. The applicants will be consulted on assessments received from Realdania to the extent required by the Public Administration Act.

Selected projects will be invited to interviews in November 2020. Projects that are not invited to interviews will be notified in October 2020. The final response to the applications will be available in December 2020 with project start in the first quarter of 2021.

The decision by Innovation Fund Denmark's Board on either rejection or invitation to negotiations about an investment agreement will be submitted to the individual applicants via e-grant.

Further info
Open section, Further info

Innovation Fund Denmark:

Jakob Dahl Wedel
Scientific Officer
+45 61 90 50 31

Bo Søgaard
Scientific Officer
+45 61 90 50 99

Tove Enggrob
Chief Programme Officer
+45 61 90 50 33


Simon Kofod-Svendsen
Head of Projects
+45 20948995

The program
Who can apply?
Open section, Who can apply?

Any legal entity in Denmark or abroad can be a project participant and receive funding from Innovation Fund Denmark eg.:

  • Businesses
  • Research institutions
  • Public institutions
What can I apply for investment for?
Open section, What can I apply for investment for?

You can apply for funding for projects that create societal value and/or economic value in Danish public and private companies and/or from buyers in society, for example from citizens, the state, regions and municipalities.

A buyer can be an end user of the innovation, but it can also be a public or private investor who is willing to invest in the project after the Fund's commitment is completed.

It can be an advantage if the purchaser(s) of the project's results and other core stakeholders are involved as active participant(s) in the design of and through the project.

How much money can I apply for?
Open section, How much money can I apply for?

Grand Solutions projects will range from DKK 5,000,000 - 40,000,000

What can the money finance?
Open section, What can the money finance?

Co-financing of expenses for e.g. salaries, equipment, other project-related costs, external services, etc. (see section 1.5 in the Grand Solutions guidelines published end of January 2022 for further information)

The budget must include all direct project costs ie. costs that can be directly attributed to the project, regardless of whether the costs are to be covered by Innovation Fund Denmark or will be covered by the project participants themselves or another party.

For further details, see the programme guidelines.

How long does the project have to take?
Open section, How long does the project have to take?

The projects are of 1 to 5 years duration.

How do I apply?
Open section, How do I apply?

Your application must be created and submitted via the electronic application system:

You must register as a user of the system with either a username and password or with NemID/MitID before you can create an application.

You create a new application by finding the correct call under "Search Options" and pressing "Start your application".

Note that the list of search options is sorted alphabetically and that the names of all calls from Innovation Fund Denmark start with "IF".

You must write your application in English.

You can find a guide to e-grant on the website of the Ministry of Education and Research

What must the application contain?
Open section, What must the application contain?

The application consists of an electronic application form designed in the electronic application system e-grant (

The following attachment is attached to the electronic form:

  • Budget: Excel file (required)
  • Appendix A: Figures, pictures, tables, etc. (optional)
  • Appendix B: Partner Motivation (Required)
  • Appendix C: Key persons (required)
  • Appendix D: Gantt diagram (required)

Download templates below or from the electronic application form in e-grant.

All texts in the application form and appendices are prepared in English.

The application must have an official title (max. 180 characters including spaces), which briefly describes the project for which investment is sought. An acronym must also be entered.

How does the assessment process take place?
Open section, How does the assessment process take place?
Who judges the application?
Open section, Who judges the application?

The application is assessed by Innovation Fund Denmark's Investment Officers and by international peers and external evalutors.

Assessments that are subject to consultation are forwarded to the applicant in a consultation procedure.

On the basis of an overall assessment consisting of internal assessments (employees at Innovation Fund Denmark), assessments from external professional experts (external evaluators and international peers), possible party consultation responses and an interview with the applicants, the Board of Directors of Innovation Fund Denmark decides which applications will be invited to investment negotiations. 

Applicants who are not invited to investment negotiation will receive a reasoned rejection via e-grant.

How is the application assessed?
Open section, How is the application assessed?

Applications for Grand Solutions projects are evaluated based on tre overarching decision criteria:

1. Quality of the idea

2. Impact

3. Quality of execution

The three overall desicion criteria are elaborated in the guidelines for Grand Solutions in section 3.3.

How do I get a response to my application?
Open section, How do I get a response to my application?

The Board of Directors of Innovation Fund Denmark makes the final decision on either rejection or invitation to negotiate an investment agreement is notified to the applicant via e-grant.

When will I receive a response to my application?
Open section, When will I receive a response to my application?

The aim is for the processing time from the application deadline to the decision to be less than 250 days.


From approval to start-up of project
What happens after my application is approved?
Open section, What happens after my application is approved?

An investment from the Innovation Fund Denmark is conditioned by the project parties investment agreement, which states that the organizing of the project must be made 60 days after the receipt of the written invitation to the investment negotiation.

The project must be started no later than 60 days after the investment agreement is signed by all parties.

Innovation Fund Denmark may demand repayment of parts of the investment if the agreed conditions are not met.

When can the project start?
Open section, When can the project start?

The project can start as soon as there is an approved investment agreement.

During the project
How is the investment paid out?
Open section, How is the investment paid out?

The payment is generally made twice a year and is handled in collaboration with Innovation Fund Denmark and the financial administrator appointed by the project.

Do I have to submit accounts or report during the project?
Open section, Do I have to submit accounts or report during the project?

Innovation Fund Denmark is an active partner in all Grand Solutions projects and engages in proactive interaction with the project for its duration. Specifically, Innovation Fund Denmark appoints one or more Investment Officer(s) to carry out this task.

The project follow-up will be evident from the Investment agreement.

What happens if I can't keep up with the plan?
Open section, What happens if I can't keep up with the plan?

Innovation Fund Denmark may terminate the investment ahead of time if the Fund considers that there is insufficient progress, the project proves aimless, or if the project is unable to achieve the objectives which the  Funds' investment to the project is based upon.

There will be an ongoing dialogue between the appointed Investment Officer from the Innovation Fund as well as with the steering group of the project about the progression of the plan.

What should I do when completing the project?
Open section, What should I do when completing the project?

At the project's last steering group meeting, the completed accounts are reviewed and the project's progress and results are evaluated.

Guidelines and General terms and conditions