8 tips for getting your Close-to-Market proposal approved


In 2018, the LIFE programme is investing close to €400 million in cleantech and climate action. Part of those funds are earmarked for bringing green solutions to market. If your business idea is on the brink of technical and commercial maturity, LIFE can help it off the ground. Past projects have notably helped SMEs conduct market studies, build prototypes and ramp up production. LIFE Programme pays special attention to promoting close-to market projects delivering improved environmental solutions capable of being widely taken up by the society in general and the economy in particular. These projects have very special features that do not necessarily apply to other LIFE projects.

Here are 8 tips for getting your Close-to-Market proposal approved:

1. Show the impact

Clearly explain how your project will serve the environment. Make sure that its benefits are ambitious, yet credible and well quantified.

2. Think sustainable

Make sure to well explained how your project’s objective will outlast its funding and how the products or services that you develop will proper on the open market. LIFE’s close-to-market projects must also produce a Business Plan as part of their compulsory deliverables.

3. Transfer & replicate

Outline how you will help replicate and transfer your results, notably to other sectors, regions or countries, beyond the duration of the project.

4. Follow guidelines

Refer to the application guide for environment and climate action projects when detailing the problem you address, the solution you propose, the team you pitch and why your project is worth funding.

5. Your team 

Describe the staff involved in each action and demonstrate that your partners are capable of taking on the challenges ahead.

6. Plan ahead

Before writing, start budgeting. Make sure that each expense is justified given its impact on sustainability and your business potential.

7. Writing

Start writing your business plan as soon as possible for the duration of the project and the 12 months following its conclusion.

8. Read up

Read through the 2018 application guide, evaluation guide and other resources in the LIFE application package and explore the work of existing LIFE projects.


All applicants for funding under the LIFE sub-programme for Climate Action must submit their full proposal by September. As of this year, applicants for LIFE Environment & Resource Efficiency projects will submit their proposals in two-steps, with a simple concept note expected by 12 June, and full proposals for shortlisted candidates in January 2019. More information about close-to-market LIFE projects here.