Part of the housing chain? Check LIFE!


LIFE finances demonstrations of smart solutions for climate and environment-related problems that can be widely deployed in Europe. Examples are the introduction of new technology, new forms of collaboration between stakeholders and new financing arrangements. €5.43 billion is available for the 2021-2027 period. The new calls for the LIFE program 2022 have been published on May 17 2022. But what opportunities does LIFE actually offer for the Dutch built environment? In this blog we map out the possibilities for innovative/sustainable parties for you.

LIFE and the built environment

LIFE offers opportunities for municipalities (see our blogs about LIFE and municipalities), but also for other parties active in the built environment across the entire value chain from material development to smart and circular construction. The value chain covers the entire chain from production/exploitation of building materials to the application of these materials and everything that is required in terms of services (training, monitoring, ICT, financing, etc.). The following LIFE themes are important for the built environment:

  • Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
  • Clean Energy Transition
  • Circular Economy and Quality of Life

Climate change mitigation and adaptation refers to reducing the things that contribute to climate change and to smart solutions and measures that make us better able to deal with climate change. These are demonstration, pilot or best practice projects for technology that contribute to improving the environment. Examples include reducing the emissions or recycling and reuse of ozone-depleting and greenhouse gases through new technology, or making infrastructure and buildings climate and flooding proof.

Clean energy transition focuses on accelerating the transition to an energy efficient, climate neutral and renewable energy based economy. Projects are supported that do not focus so much on solutions to specific problems, but on broader policy-related and market-technical conditions. The priority themes for 2022 are:

  • the renovation of buildings to make them more energy efficient;
  • the training of professionals to carry out renovation and construction of more energy efficient infrastructure;
  • the building of energy efficient buildings;
  • the prevention of energy poverty and
  • the achievement of energy efficiency in industry.

For example, you could think of supporting actions such as accelerated deployment and affordability of heat pumps. In 2022, the call only concerns support actions. From 2023, a budget will also be made available for demonstration projects.

Circular economy and quality of life supports demonstration, pilot or best practice projects that contribute to the transition to a sustainable, circular, energy-efficient, climate-resilient economy and to improving or preserving the quality of the environment. Within this context, the theme ‘New European Bauhaus (NEB)’ is specifically aimed at the built environment. NEB is an initiative in which sustainability, accessibility and affordability are combined with ecological, economic and cultural aspects of design. Project examples include demonstrating biodiversity-friendly building insulation practices or circular concrete development and deployment.

Main requirements

For demonstration, pilot or best practice projects, the subsidy percentage is 60% with an average subsidy amount of €2-6 million. This concerns the two themes of climate adaptation and mitigation and the circular economy and quality of life. Typical project durations are 3 to 5 years. Monitoring the effect of your actions is mandatory, as is knowledge sharing with other stakeholders. In addition, the replicability of the solution must be demonstrated by carrying out a similar demonstration (often on a smaller scale) in another EU Member State.

Clean energy transition projects are typically implemented by multiple small and medium-sized stakeholders, including local and regional authorities, non-profit organizations and consumers. An important assessment criterion is the size of the planned investments and the number of stakeholders involved. Cooperation between countries with more and less developed policies is encouraged. The subsidy percentage is 95%, with the typical budget only consisting of costs for the deployment of personnel. The average subsidy amount is €1-2 million with a maximum project duration of 5 years.

LIFE and Evers + Manders

Evers + Manders Subsidieadviseurs has a lot of experience in successfully guiding LIFE subsidy applications. Our activities consist, for example, of bringing various parties together, developing an action plan and preparing applications. Evers + Manders Subsidy Advisors also have the expertise to guide your project during implementation. We offer a tailor-made solution for every project that meets your wishes and needs as closely as possible. We would be happy to get in touch with you!

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