ACT – Accelerating CCS Technologies logo

Accelerating CCS Technologies – Second Call
Deadline: 12 Sep 2018   CALL EXPIRED

EU logo mono ACT – Accelerating CCS Technologies

 Low-Carbon Technology
 Low-Carbon Economy
 Energy Efficiency
 Sustainable Development
 Environmental protection
 Climate Sciences


This document describes the objectives, scope, and topics of the call, rules for participation and procedures from proposal to implementation of the projects. Further information on ACT can be found on the ACT website.

On the ACT website a matchmaking section is provided in order to support consortium building. Applicants looking for project partners can find potential partners listed in this section. If they wish to be listed themselves, they should contact their national contact person.

ACT is complementary to calls for proposals issued by the EC under its current and subsequent Horizon 2020 Work Programme, or other available instruments, including the national research programmes planned by the countries involved in ACT.

The ACT call is a two-stage process. Stage 1 asks for pre-proposals, and Stage 2 asks for full project proposals.

The call for pre-proposals is open until 12 September 2018 (13:00 CEST).

By or on 30 November 2018 applicants that are successful in Stage 1 will be invited to enter Stage 2 of the procedure:

The call for full proposals will close on 1 March 2019 (13:00 CET).

The targeted start date for projects is 1 September 2019


National Funding Agencies, Level of Funding

The budget that is available for this Call from each funding agency is shown in Table 1, a total range of €22.05-30.05 million. National budgets have some degree of flexibility depending on the quality of the proposals put forward and the results of the evaluation.

Each national funding body will provide funding for national entities only. For example, in a project involving Germany, Netherlands and UK, Germany will fund the German based organisations, Netherlands will fund the Dutch organisations and so on. As such, in addition to the rules for participation set by the ACT Secretariat, national eligibility criteria will apply for each country participating in the call (see Annex 1 for details).


The French Agency for the Environment and Energy Management (ADEME)

0.5 € million


Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Projektträger Jülich (FZJ/PtJ)

1-6 € million


General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT)

1.5 € million


The Netherlands
Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO)

4 € million


The Research Council of Norway (RCN) and Gassnova SF (GN)

3-6 € million


Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research and Innovation Funding (UEFISCDI)

1 € million


Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness – State Research Agency (MINECO-AEI)

0.45 € million


Swiss Federal Department for the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC)

1 € million


The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK)

0.5 € million


United Kingdom
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) (indicative at current exchange rate €7.4 million)

6.5 (£ million)


United States
Department of Energy (DoE)
(indicative at current exchange rate €1.7 million)

2 (US$ million)




The intention of ACT is to facilitate the emergence of CCUS by accelerating and maturing CCUS technology through targeted financing of innovation and research activities.

ACT will address the technological, environmental, social and economic challenges required to accelerate CCUS. Projects that incorporate or address the Priority Research Directions (PRDs, link)) identified at the Mission Innovation CCUS Challenge Workshop (Houston 2017) will be particularly welcome.



Projects are also encouraged to address one or several of the research and innovations activities in the SET-Plan CCS and CCU Implementation Plan endorsed by the SET-Plan Steering Group in September 2017 (download).

Objective of the Second ACT joint call

Successful projects will facilitate the emergence of CCUS in the energy and industrial sectors. The ACT ambition of accelerating the time to market for CCUS technology will require industrial involvement in research and innovation activities. Therefore, project proposals that are led by industrial partners are particularly welcome.

Project proposals are required to address public awareness and environmental aspects, the latter for example through lifecycle analyses.

The available budget will be split into two separate areas, roughly in the following manner:

  • Type A: approximately 70 % of the budget will be available for large transnational projects (> €3 million).

  • Type B: approximately 30 % of the budget will be available for smaller transnational research and innovation projects with a maximum of €3 million per project.

The ACT consortium will adjust this percentage if required to ensure that it funds as many high quality projects as possible.

The call does not include specific targets for Technology Readiness Level (TRL, see Figure 1), but large projects should aim for higher TRL levels and all projects should aim to advance the TRL as a result of the project.

Project proposals must illustrate how their projects may help accelerate the time to market of affordable, cost-effective, low environmental impact and resource-efficient CCUS technology.

Access to top class research infrastructure is key for reaching ACT objectives. Project proposals should, if relevant, seek to maximise synergies with existing infrastructures, such as, for example ECCSEL1 and 

members of the International Test Centre Network2. Projects should have a significant bearing on accelerating CCUS technology either for the energy sector, for application in energy intensive industries, or with utilisation.

Projects that exploit the potential of carbon negative solutions with CCS, and also air capture of carbon dioxide, are within the scope of this call for proposals.

Rules for Participation (transnational eligibility criteria)

The requirements detailed in this section must be met by all applicants. In addition to these general requirements there are specific national funding agency rules that must also be followed
(see Annex 1).

For applicants in EU countries, compliance with EU rules and guidelines for state aid is crucial. Each of these ACT funding organisations shall ensure that their funding of the respective national part of an ACT project is in accordance with state aid regulations.

Types of research, development and innovation activities

ACT will look favourably on large innovative projects connecting to already existing pilots/demo sites, however also welcomes smaller research projects. New pilot and demo facilities should have potential for upscaling to industrial size either in a demo phase or early commercial phase. The combination of different types of research (ranging from basic to applied research) within one project (differentiation should be described in the relevant work packages) is favoured and possible as long as the eligibility rules of the individual funding agencies involved are fulfilled.

Who can participate and apply?

Each project proposal must be submitted by a project consortium consisting of at least three eligible applicants from at least three ACT participating countries. This call has been opened up for Mission Innovation CCUS challenge countries beyond Europe to join the existing ACT Consortium. Each project consortium must have the required expertise to undertake research and development within the specified themes.

Lead Applicant’s role
The Lead Applicant submits the joint transnational proposal and will be responsible for running and managing the project, if the proposal is selected for funding. They will be the contact point with t h e ACT Secretariat on behalf of the whole project consortium and be responsible for the administrative management of the project. In addition, the Lead Applicant will act as the national consortium leader and be responsible for leading any national partners. The Lead Applicant must be eligible for funding by one of the funding agencies participating with funding for this call. Please check the eligibility criteria of the relevant national funding agencies in Annex 1.

Co-Applicant's role
Each Co-Applicant is responsible for their share of the project work. There may be more than one Co-Applicant from any one country. If there is more than one Co-Applicant from a country, one of them may be identified as the national consortium leader. All Co-Applicants must be eligible for funding by one of the funding agencies participating with funding in this call. Please check the eligibility criteria of the relevant national funding agencies in Annex 1.


Co-operation Partners
A co-operation Partner is a partner in the transnational proposal that participates without receiving funding from one of the ACT-consortium countries, either because their national funding body is not participating in the call or because they are not eligible for funding from participating agencies. Co- operation Partners can be included in the consortium if (a) they finance their activity from other sources than ACT and (b) the consortium in general fulfils the requirements on the number of applicants from participating countries. Project consortia involving Co-operation Partners must ensure that project results will be relevant for participating countries.

Project consortium
The added value to the project resulting from transnational cooperation must be addressed in the proposal. There is no limit to the total number of partners who may be involved in each project. However, the ACT Call Secretariat expects proposals for large projects to be submitted by consortia comprising applicants from at least 4 partners. No partner may represent more than 70 % of the activity (in terms of person months) in the project.

  • Consortia may consist of partners from universities, companies, industry organisations, local/regional governments, research organisations and NGOs.

  • Consortia may consist of partners across several positions and disciplines within research and development systems (i.e. basic research, applied research, innovation, business etc.)

  • In the case of the large projects the consortia are required to demonstrate the interest for an active involvement in the project by industry partner(s).

  • All partners must provide a Letter of Intent. Such a letter must contain an explicit declaration regarding any financial or in-kind contributions agreed upon and the role of the partner. In-kind is regarded as a contribution of an individual’s and or entity’s time and or materials (use of software or access to facilities) which may or may not have a cost and may or may not be a signatory to a grant agreement.

  • Changes to the composition of the consortium, that is a partner dropping out, being replaced or added, that have a minor impact may be possible. A change is only possible with the approval of the involved funding agencies.

Project duration and budget

It is expected that projects are funded for a duration of up to 3 years and will start around 1 September 2019. The exact starting date may depend on the budget allocation (rules) of specific funding agencies. The end date of a project should be harmonised for all applicants in the same consortium. A justification of the requested budget will be required as part of the proposal. The estimated budget must be given in Euros only and provided in the format indicated in Annex 4. All costs must be eligible according to the funding agencies’ rules (see Annex 1). If in doubt, applicants should consult their respective funding agencies which can advise on funding rules (contact details can be found in Annex 1).

Funding agencies’ rules and eligibility criteria

In addition to the general rules and procedures laid down in the section above, specific eligibility criteria apply for each of the participating funding agencies, which must also be met by applicants. This includes but is not limited to: limitations on the types of organisations that can be funded, requirements regarding the types of activities that can be funded, national evaluation rules, maximum funding per partner or per project, etc. We strongly recommend that applicants contact the national contact point at the relevant funding agency (see Annex 1) to confirm their eligibility before submitting a proposal.


Please note that both transnational and funding agencies’ eligibility criteria must be met in order for proposals to go forward to the second stage of the evaluation.



Within the framework of ACT a two-stage submission and evaluation procedure will be adopted.

All pre-proposals (stage 1, see template in Annex 2 and separate Excel file as Annex 4) and full proposals (stage 2, see template in Annex 3 and separate Excel file as Annex 4) to the ACT call shall be submitted by the lead applicant via the electronic application system of the Research Council of Norway, accessible via

Proposals must be prepared in English. Proposals written in other languages will not be accepted.

Submission of a pre-proposal is required before the deadline of 12 September 2018, 13:00 CEST. Please note that pre-proposals will be rejected if the application is not received by this deadline (there will be NO exceptions).

Submission of a full proposal must be via the Research Council of Norway's electronic submission system before the deadline of 1 March 2019, 13:00 CET (again, late applications cannot be accepted under ANY circumstances; the system will allow for a practice run ahead of the deadline and any practice information will be overwritten by your final proposal) .

Project proposals must be submitted by choosing the ACT call at this web site:

The electronic submission system requires that a standard form is filled out with key data for the proposal. Please note that financial figures should be in Euro, even when the submission system asks for Norwegian Krone (to avoid unnecessary administrative costs ACT is using the system used by the Norwegian CLIMIT programme). In addition, a PDF (Portable Document Format) of the proposal must be submitted.

An online help document for submission is provided via The Research Council of Norway system. Details are available at

Regarding additional national requirements for the submission of documents at the national level you are advised to carefully check Annex 1: Specific Funding Agencies’ Rules.

The pre-proposal/full proposal will only be accepted if signed Letters of Intent (LoI) from all Co- Applicants / Co-operation Partners are included as appendixes to the proposal. Therefore it is within the Lead Applicant's duty to ensure all partner's LoI are signed in due time. It is not possible to resubmit the pre-proposal/full proposal or parts of it or to revise the pre-proposal/full proposal after the submission deadline. Resubmitting the proposal before the submission deadline is possible.

By transmitting your pre-proposal/full proposal, you give permission for it to be forwarded to your responsible funding agency as well as to all other participating funding agencies involved in ACT. You also agree that the proposal can be forwarded to independent evaluators.

If after reading the instructions in this Call text, information at the ACT-website and the online help document linked above you still have technical questions about the use of the system, please contact the Call Secretariat at the Research Council of Norway.




Evaluation procedure

Within the framework of ACT a two-stage evaluation procedure will be adopted.
The aim of this two stage procedure is to identify issues early on to avoid needless work for the applicants.

The pre-proposals will be assessed by the national funding agencies. The procedure used for this assessment, in particular the depth of the assessment, differs among the participating funding agencies. Further information on this may be available from the national contact points or for a few participating countries may be found in the national annex. After the submission of the pre-proposals, a selection of pre-proposals will be made by the national funding agencies. The successful consortia will then be invited to elaborate their pre-proposals to full proposals. The full proposals will be evaluated and ranked by external experts. A common decision on funding will then be made by the involved funding agencies. The decision will be communicated to the applicants by the Call Secretariat at the Research Council of Norway.

Note: Each project recommended for funding is required to have a signed consortium agreement between all partners prior to the start of the project, which addresses as a minimum the following topics:

  • Internal organisation and management of the consortium

  • Intellectual Property arrangements

  • Settlement of internal disputes

We suggest the DESCA 2020 model consortium agreement as a basis for this agreement (

Evaluation criteria

Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria (Table 3), which are applicable in addition to national criteria.



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