Closed for applications

Grand Solutions: Green Research, Technology Development and Innovation

Investment in projects developing knowledge-based and interdisciplinary solutions for specific societal challenges, which – short or long term - will create growth and employment in Denmark.

Who?

Companies, research institutions, public institutions, etc. in Denmark or abroad.

What?

Co-financing of up to 75% of the total cost of the project. For example, salary, procurement (apparatus, materials, equipment, etc.), other project costs (events, travel, dissemination, etc.), external services (eg consultancy or services).

How much?

Total budget in 2021: approx. 100 mio. kr.

Important dates
January 11, 2021, at 12.00
Opens for applications
April 8, 2021, at 12.00
Application deadline
Oktober 2021
Afgørelse

Grand Solutions: Typical duration is 2-5 years

Innovation Fund Denmark (IFD) invests in ambitious and targeted strategic research and innovation projects that create and implement new solutions, technologies, behavioral changes and valuable new knowledge.

IFD co-finances projects in the field of green transformation, preferably with a transdisciplinary approach across natural sciences, humanities and social sciences, which based on “state of the art” (globally) and a dedicated and efficient consortium can create large societal value and will have a significant positive impact on the green transition.

Aim

Denmark and the rest of the world is facing massive climatic challenges in relation to e.g. rising temperatures, melting sea ice and more extreme weather, and a significant reduction in emission of climate gasses is required. Simultaneously, we are facing large challenges in relation to nature, the environment and biodiversity. Technology development and innovation play crucial roles in enabling us to achieve the necessary green transition.

The themes for this Grand Solutions call are defined on the basis of the "2021 Agreement on the allocation of the research reserve" and the Governmental Strategy for the "Green Solutions of the Future" (links inserted below). The Call aims to contribute to the green transition while at the same time taking considerations to nature, the environment and biodiversity and a more sustainable society into account, thus enabling Denmark to fulfill the governmental target of a 70 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 and CO2 neutrality in 2050.

The funds for technology development and innovation will be allocated within the green transition in a broad sense, with the aim to create societal value and/or economic growth for private and public companies and/or society. The research, must, to the extent possible, be carried out in close interaction between research institutions and the business community.

Investment Strategy

Innovation Fund Denmark invests in projects at all stages of the research and innovation value chain. Thus, IFD invests in the early strategic research project, where targeted efforts and cooperation with the most competent international and/or Danish partners from relevant scientific and professional disciplines are crucial, as well as in the good project that lacks the final steps towards successful implementation and introduction into market/society.

Innovation Fund Denmark's investments do not necessarily take a project all the way to commercialization. It is therefore crucial that the project parties themselves are able to lift the result onto the market or otherwise ensure commissioning - or have investors/end-users who can take over the project implementation after Innovation Fund Denmark's investment period.

Innovation Fund Denmark emphasizes that solutions for the green transition, in addition to natural and technical sciences, also include humanistic and social research and innovation that can contribute with valuable knowledge related to e.g. behavior, incentives, regulation and market conditions.

The 2021 Agreement on Allocation of the Research Reserve, recommendations from the government's climate partnerships 2019 and Forsk2025 contain many recommendations on how to enable the green transition. IFD would like to invest in projects that include climate solutions, technologies and behavioral changes that will provide the maximum effect on CO2 emissions and the climate - not only in Denmark, but globally.

Specifically, Innovation Fund Denmark would like to invest in projects within the green transformation, which are part of a broader societal and behavioral context, within the following sub-themes:

  • Energy Production and Storage
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Agriculture and Food Production
  • Transport
  • Environment and Circular Economy
  • Nature and Biodiversity
  • Sustainable behavior and societal consequences (cross-cutting and not as a separate theme)

Innovation Fund Denmark places special emphasis on the role of agriculture in the green transition, e.g. in relation to both organic and conventional farming and the development of new sustainable, animal and not least plant-based foods. In addition, Innovation Fund Denmark would like to see a cross-disciplinary focus on technological opportunities within the seven themes, including e.g. digitization and artificial intelligence.

Innovation Fund Denmark also places special emphasis on the field of energy, including energy production, energy storage, energy efficiency as well as coherent energy systems and the potential for sector coupling across the overall energy area. Innovation Fund Denmark also emphasizes that sustainable construction, including the use of sustainable materials, is an important area.

Innovation Fund Denmark finds it important to focus on the Arctic and Arctic research, among other things, in relation to climate change and climate monitoring. Finally, Innovation Fund Denmark places emphasis on research into societal changes caused by climate change, including e.g. related international conflict management.

Technology development and innovation play a crucial role in achieving the goals for the green transition in Denmark and the rest of the world. Innovation Fund Denmark therefore also wants to invest in projects supporting the translation of relevant existing knowledge into concrete green technologies and solutions in close collaboration with the business community.

Assessment Criteria

The overall rating criteria are:

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

In connection with applications for Grand Solutions 2021 “Green Research, Technology Development and Innovation”, special emphasis is placed on quantifying (as far as possible) the project's contribution to reducing CO2 equivalents/greenhouse gases - in Denmark and globally. The value creation in the project must not only be understood as monetary value, but can also encompass e.g. improved quality of life, cleaner environment etc. It is the responsibility of the applicant to describe the different aspects of value creation from the project.

Specifically, the assessment of the applications are based on the qualities of the project. In terms of research and innovation, this includes a global perspective, in relation to an articulated or latent need, state-of-the-art, directly competing or closely related scientific, behavioural or technological solutions, the scalability of the solution, technical, regulatory and market risks and the risk management as well as the feasibility of the project plan.

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

Likewise, emphasis will be placed on the project's beneficiaries/end-users and core stakeholders involvement and engagement in shaping the project, participating in the project or otherwise being directly involved in the project, e.g. through an investment in the implementation of project results.

In addition to these assessment criteria, reference is made to the "Guidelines for Grand Solutions 2021" and the distribution of the research reserve 2021.

Assessment Process

Applications for Grand Solution must be submitted via e-grant, which is Innovation Fund Denmark's application portal. The assessment process is outlined below. It is a one-phase application with potential interview:

Grand Solutions proces 2021

Innovation Fund Denmark's Board of Directors decides which applications will proceed for peer review and invited for an interview with Innovation Fund Denmark. Prior to the interview, the peer reviews will be made available for consultation with the applicant.

Final decision to application will be at the end of October 2021, with project launch in the 4th quarter of 2021.

The Board of Directors' decision on either rejection or invitation to an investment agreement negotiation will be notified to the applicant via e-grant.

More info
Contact
Open section, Contact

Scientific Officer Connie Benfeldt
M: 6190 5061
E: connie.benfeldt@innofond.dk

Scientific Officer Bo Frølund
M: 6190 5043
E: bo.froelund@innofond.dk

Program Officer Jakob Dahl Wedel
M: 6190 5031
E: jakob.wedel@innofond.dk

Scientific Officer René Damkjer
M: 6190 5007
E: rene.damkjer@innofond.dk

Scientific Officer Kathrine Hauge Madsen
M: 6190 5047
E: kathrine.hauge.madsen@innofond.dk

Scientific Officer Sune Dalgaard Ebbesen
M: 6190 5030
E: sune.dalgaard.ebbesen@innofond.dk </p>

Scientific Officer Lars Denning
M: 6190 5069
E: lars.denning@innofond.dk

Scientific Officer Erik Bech Jakobsen
M: 6190 5032
E: erik.bech.jakobsen@innofond.dk

Scientific Officer Børge Lindberg
M: 6190 5012
E: børge.lindberg@innofond.dk

Scientific Officer Michael Hansen
M: 6190 5037
E: michael.hansen@innofond.dk

Paola Scientific Officer Andrea Barrientos Quiroga
M: 6190 5086
E: paola.barrientos.quiroga@innofond.dk

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 typically range from DKK 5,000,000 - 30,000,000

What can the money finance?
Open section, What can the money finance?
  • Labor costs
  • Acquisition of equipment, materials etc.
  • Other direct project-related costs and any subcontracting

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 program guidelines.

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

The projects are of 2 to 5 years duration.

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

Your application must be created and submitted via the electronic application system: www.e-grant.dk.

You must register as a user of the system with either a username and password or with NemID 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 (www.e-grant.dk).

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 people (required)

Download templates below.

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.

Documents
Evaluation
How does the assessment process take place?
Open section, How does the assessment process take place?

Grand Solutions proces 2021

Who judges the application?
Open section, Who judges the application?

Innovation Fund Denmark's Board of Directors decides which applications are to be reviewed by international peers and external Scientific Evaluators and which applicants that are to be invited for an interview with Innovation Fund Denmark (IFD).

The received reviews from the external professional experts will be sent for consultation to the party in the e-grant applicant via the project's contact person.

On the basis of an overall assessment consisting of internal professional and strategic assessments (employees at IFD), assessments from external professional experts (external Scientific 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.

We would like to point out that the external professional experts only provide professional assessments of the applications, while Innovation Fund Denmark incl. the Board of Directors also assess elements such as the strategic importance of the project, portfolio consideration and the value creation of the project according to the decision criteria.
 

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

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

1. Excellence - Quality of research and innovation , assessed in terms of:

  • project objectives.
  • needs and challenges that the project addresses.
  • state-of-the-art (SoA) of project research and innovation.
  • the project's scientific, technical and commercial competitors.
  • strategic relevance of the project.
  • the scientific methods used and technological and innovative solutions.

2. Value creation , is assessed with respect to:

  • Whether the applied knowledge and developed technology and innovation leads to growth and employment in Denmark and/or contributes to solving specific societal challenge(s) and to what extent value creation is qualified or quantified during and after the project's lifetime.
  • Intellectual property rights (IPR) in the project and how these can be exercised in a business context.

3. Efficiency in project execution is assessed with respect to:

  • project work plan, including work packages and their interdependence, milestones, critical paths and partial deliveries.
  • project management, decision-making processes, organization, management and the composition of the project team.
  • the project's risks and management of these in connection with the completion of the project.
  • handling any ethical or regulatory aspects.

4. Implementation of results is evaluated for:

  • buyers for the results of the project and its transfer.
  • implementation of the project's results also after the end of the project and handling of any economic or societal barriers to this.
  • additional funding (leverage) in addition to the project's own budget.
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 is thus involved in an interaction with the project throughout the project's duration. Specifically, Innovation Fund Denmark appoints one or more investment officer(s) to look after its interests in the project.

The follow-up on the project is stated in the investment agreement that Innovation Fund Denmark enters into with the individual projects. Innovation Fund Denmark requires that a thorough project review be held during the projects, typically once a year.

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.