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Call 17.9.-16.10.

Major project of common European interest (IPCEI) on hydrogen

Webinar on this call will be organized on Thursday 24.9.2020 at 10.30-11.30. Please register thru the link below.



More information

Reijo Munther

Chief Advisor, Business Finland
reijo.munther (at)

Helena Sarén

Head of Smart Energy Program, Business Finland
helena.saren (at)

Markku Kivistö

Invest in Finland, Business Finland
markku.kivisto (at)

Jyrki Alkio

Chief Adviser, TEM
jyrki.alkio (at)

Juhani Tirkkonen

Deputy Director General, TEM
juhani.tirkkonen (at)



Currently, there is no IPCEI Hydrogen yet. This call for expressions of interest does not imply any involvement of Finland in any future IPCEI Hydrogen.

With this call, Business Finland is taking a proactive approach and primarily wish to be able to take an informed decision about participation in the IPCEI Hydrogen on the basis of the information received. No funding is therefore linked to this expression of interest call.

If, on the basis of the information received, Finland would decide to participate in an IPCEI Hydrogen, compliance with the procedures and submission of the required documents would still be necessary in order to qualify for an application.

Call has ended!

Table of contents

1. Official call for expressions of interest from Business Finland
2. Basic conditions to be defined as IPCEI
3. European and Finnish general framework
4. Procedure for the selection of projects by the funding authorities
5. Timetable for the transmission of the documents in two stages
6. Other downloadable guidance documents – non papers from the Commission

1. Call for expressions of interest

The energy transition and the transition to a low-carbon economy require a differentiated and complementary energy mix with innovative solutions.

Due to the strategic nature of the potential of hydrogen, the future development of that economic sector depends on the emergence of a Finnish and European industrial supply.

Since industrial policy and the approach to energy must be in line with the integrated strategy of the Green Deal, hydrogen is crucial.

Official call for expressions of interest from the Business Finland

This call for proposals is aimed at economic players based in Finland who wish to participate in innovative projects on a European scale through various partnerships in the European economic value chain.

The objective is to identify the actors on Finnish territory that could participate in those projects on a European scale, based on the conception and production in the European Union (EU) of hydrogen-based energy solutions.

2. Basic conditions to be defined as IPCEI

  • The company must join the hydrogen value chain, aimed at the innovative industrial use of that energy carrier;
  • The company's project may jointly cover R & D & I, the first industrial application and the climate actions within the meaning of the Green Deal, in accordance with the guidelines for acceptable costs (the first industrial application means the scaling up of pilot facilities or the very first equipment and installations that include the phases after the pilot line - including the test phase - but not the mass production or the commercial activities);
  • The project proposed by the company must be highly innovative and go beyond current state-of-the-art technologies and knowledge in that field;
  • The project can only be supported with public funding if there is a market failure, which means that it cannot be implemented without such support;
  • There must be a significant dynamic of cooperation within the European Union;
  • The company must disseminate the knowledge newly acquired through the funded activities (spillover), not only among its customers, suppliers and project partners, but throughout the EU; the IPCEI must make it possible to disseminate the acquired knowledge on a very large scale, whether or not it is protected by a title or an intellectual property right. The mechanisms for knowledge dissemination must be very clearly spelled out in the project portfolios of the companies. The protected results will be disseminated under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory market conditions;
  • Start-ups are potentially eligible; in that case, the file must be submitted by the future shareholders;
  • The company should not be subject to a recovery of aid deemed unlawful and incompatible in a decision of the European Commission;
  • The company must not be in difficulty within the meaning of the European Commission Guidelines on State aid for rescuing and restructuring firms in difficulty (point 2.2.) At the time the decision on any aid is taken;
  • The project of the company must be co-financed by the beneficiary company and could possibly also be financed with other European funds. The maximum share of national state aid is evaluated by the Commission. The final funding decision is made nationally and according to the funds available.

In this expression of interest we are calling for preliminary plans for projects which satisfy the terms mentioned above. It is of crucial interest to describe how the project could be a part of the European Hydrogen value network and to give the estimation of both R&D and first industrial deployment type of Investments.

Applications chosen for the Hydrogen IPCEI will enter to the Second stage in order to pass the state-aid notification process by Commission. The material needed for that process is described in the next chapter. Please note the also the following chapters when considering your expression of interest.     

3. European and Finland general framework

A project submitted by a Finnish participants can be recognized as part of an IPCEI if it is drawn up in accordance with the regulations of the Commission Notice published in the OJ of 20 June 2014 (C188 / 14).

In order to be prepared for the IPCEI-process we urge companies to study following mandatory documents mandatory to the second round applications:
  • "Project Portfolio" of the company describing how the innovative project goes beyond the current "state of the art", the collaborations envisaged in the EU and the societal consequences as mentioned in the introduction. Both R & D & I and First Industrial Deployment (FID) have to be described.

    This document must be completed (at least paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.1 and 6.2), indicating in particular precisely; the location of the planned investment, the eligible costs, the start and end date of the project.
    Link to material (docx)

  • "Funding Gap"
    This can be made according to international standards for project management.
    Link to material (xlsx)

  • Description of the market, the product and impact on competition ("Prodcom Analysis")
    Lind to ProdCom codes  

  • Collaboration table ("Collaboration Table")
    Pan-European networking and collaboration is in the core of the IPCEI projects. Please indicate your initial plans about potential collaboration. At this stage, these can be very initial plans and showing potential.
    Link to material (xlsx)

4. Procedure for the selection of projects by the funding authorities

Only Business Finland and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (TEM), will handle the files received.    

5. Timetable for the transmission of the documents in two stages

First stage:

The call for expression of interest is open from 17th of Sept. to 16th of Oct . 2020 16:00 Helsinki time.

Submission both to Business Finland (, identifier "BFOY/19/942/2020") and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (, identifier "VN/20264/2020").

In this expression of interest call the material should include:

  • Preliminary project plan and timeframe
  • Description of the European and national cooperation and partnering
  • Funding scheme with explanation of the market failure to be covered with public funding
  • A commitment from company to provide the documents mandatory for the Second stage.
Second stage:

Closing date according to the negotiations between European participants, Commission and Member States, app. Jan-May 2021.

The official European documents "Project Portfolio", "Funding Gap" and "Prodcom Analysis", which allow to assess the relevant market and the aspects of competition.

The submission of those documents is not a final submission of a project proposal at this stage, but an expression of interest, whereby the relevant authorities may request additional information throughout the process. The submission therefore does not have to be elaborated to the same level of detail as a final project proposal, but must be sufficiently informative to estimate the impact. At the very least, the realistic possible state aid must be clearly substantiated. This implies that a funding gap analysis must be developed, which forms the basis for the calculation of the maximum permitted state aid for IPCEI projects. This amounts to an NPV (net present value) analysis. Work package details are less essential at this stage.

The funding gap must be drawn up as realistic as possible. After all, when granting aid, the Commission imposes a claw back whereby at the end of the funding period the funding gap is tested against reality with a possible recovery of the subsidy if the real funding gap turns out to be much lower.

In terms of content, it is especially important that the innovativeness of R & D & I projects is substantiated and that projects of first industrial development are in line with R & D & I activities and contain a clear R & D & I component. In environmental or energy projects, a clear case must be built up that demonstrates a great importance for the strategy of the Union or a significant contribution to the internal market.  

6. Other downloadable guidance documents – Non papers from the Commission