ACT- 1st Knowledge sharing workshop, 14 November 2016

Knowledge Sharing is key to the success of ACT

On the margins of GHGT-13 (the biannually held CCS conference series of the IEAGHG, the IEA’s Greenhouse Gas R&D Technology Collaboration Program), the ERA-NET ACT consortium met in a one-day workshop 14 November 2016 at the Swiss Tech Convention Center in Lausanne (Switzerland) with their US-American Department of Energy, Australian (ANLEC R&D) and Canadian (NRCan) counterparts to discuss and share good practices in devising and managing funding schemes for CCS research and innovation projects.

Read the report here.

The picture shows the speakers. 
From left: Aage Stangeland (RCN, NO), Nicoleta Dumitrache(UEFISCDI, RO),  John Litynski (DoE, US),
Gunter Siddiqi (DETEC, CH), Gerdi Breembroek (RVO, NL), Annette Weiß (PtJ, DE), Noel Simento (ANLEC, AU),
Brian Allison (BEIS, UK), Ragnhild Rønneberg (RCN, NO), Dick Wells (ANLEC R&D, AU) and Tim Dixon (IEAGHG, UK).
Eddy Chui (CanmetENERGY, Natural Resources Canada) was not present whenat the photo-session.
The workshop gathered together 20 people, some of the potential evaluators of ACT
propsals also participated at this workshop.

The stage was set by IEAGHG who recommended a diligent process to define the funding program’s objective and evaluation criteria, and the high added value derived from large-scale and complex CCS projects. Importantly, when executing large and complex CCS projects, there is a continued need for ongoing underlying applied R&D.

Funding agencies adopt variable approaches to funding CCS research. Underlying is a clear understanding of the research and innovation space and the regional needs to advance CCS. Fit-for-purpose funding vehicles range from governmental research programs to not-for-profit companies. Programming is driven by needs and can range from highly specific to very broad coverage. The duration of funding programs range from annually adjustable to multi-year thematic programs.   

Defining calls, evaluation issues and technical readiness

Technical readiness assessments provide a solid foundation to enable well-defined topical calls. If funding programs are driven by a portfolio of demonstration projects, the solicitation and selection process may be highly targeted. The submission and evaluation process can be tailored to individual projects or range up to highly structured two-stage processes. Proposals are not only evaluated on the scientific and technical merit, but also along organizational criteria and organizational capability.  

Cooperative/contribution agreements are the norm for projects that are characterized address technology readiness levels TRL of 4 or higher; grants are rarely given. Agreements are subject to close review and assessment of technical, managerial and financial performance, often with go/no go decisions. TRL drives also the level of monitoring. Project reporting typically involves regular updates of progress and expenses incurred, and may extend to an additional 5 years of reporting beyond project end date. Contracts pay special attention to the protection of the independence of researchers. Intellectual property rights are owned by the researcher and licensed to project.

Dissemination and exploitation

Dissemination and exploitation of results requires the consideration of the system’s readiness (framed as a reference performance level) in addition to advances in technology readiness. Exploitable results are of particularly high quality from funded research that has a «line-of-sight» to (competitively developed) technology. Results may also find immediate applications in other fields using similar technologies. Facing the research community, there is also heavy emphasis on disseminating results via the learned literature such as journals, webinars and conferences. Post-project assessments and lessons learned feature strongly; multi-lateral joint activities with other funding organizations range from participation as reviewers to coordinated planning and release of solicitations.

Leassons learned

  1. A solid understanding of the research and innovation space in Europe helps focus on application-driven research needs by an emerging commercial sector. An ERA-NET ACT–like institution needs to be a highly efficient catalyst for funding opportunities and to match industry needs with research & innovation capabilities.
  2. All funding schemes emphasize the value of a deep knowledge of the research and innovation space of CCS technologies. Positioning of the funding mechanism will define the level of collaborative/cooperative versus targeted solicitation of the research & innovation community.
  3. Contracts are multi-faceted and require time to formulate and execute. Reporting is «manifold» and commensurate with TRL’s.
  4. The provision of a platform (annual reviews) for dissemination is highly effective, also to engage outside-of-Europe stakeholders.

20 successful projects invited to stage 2 of ACT

20 proposals to stage 2

By 7 September 2016 ACT received 38 pre-proposals applying for more than 120 million euro, which is three times the available budget for the call.  Most of the proposals were of very high quality – and therefore there was a hard competition between the best ones.

After 1st stage evaluation, which took place in Brussels 27-28 September 2016, the ACT consortium invites the 20 top rated projects to submit a full proposal.

The evaluation covered not only the national eligibility, but emphasized the potential of the project, focusing on the innovative idea of the project, how the project fits with the objectives of the call, the composition of the consortia, the potential impact of the project, available funding, and the relevance to the respective national program objectives

All countries are involved

All countries are included in one or more proposals invited to the 2nd stage of ACT. But the oversubscription is high, particularly for Germany (2,6 times oversubscription), The Netherlands (3 times), Norway (4,6 times) and UK (2,6 times). Romania, Spain and Switzerland have an oversubscription in the range of 1,2-1,3 times. Turkey has no oversubscription.

41,2M€ is avaiable for funding

The competition will however still be tough for all projects in the second phase as the total request for funding from ACT by these 20 projects is 77 M€ and only 41,2 M€ is available.

Of the 20 projects there are 5 big projects with a request for funding in the range of 5 to 16,5 M€ , and 15 smaller projects with request for funding in the range of 200.000 € to 3M€.

The 5 big projects all include partners from Germany, The Netherlands, Norway and UK together. Romania is involved in 3 of the big projects and Switzerland in two. There is a good mix of ACT countries taking part in the smaller projects.

Germany and Turkey is in lead of 2 projects each, The Netherlands and UK in lead of 3 projects each and Norway has lead in 10 projects.

Different challenges of CCS are covered

There is a good spread of the proposed projects over the different challenges of CCS and CCU, covering capture, chain integration, storage, and utilisation in sufficient numbers. A significant number also have industry involved in their project. This is highly valued by the ACT consortium who is encouraged to see that the European industry takes its responsibility here.

The deadline for full proposals is 16 January 2017, 13 h CET.
Applicants are encouraged to contact their respective country contacts. 

Huge response for the first ACT call

38 pre-proposals were submitted to the ACT-program on September 7th 2016. Pre-proposals have been sent in from every country taking part in the ACT-program. The total amount of money applied for is around € 120 million. The total budget for all the pre-proposals put together (including money applied for) is € 157 million. The available budget from the ACT-program for this call is around € 41 million.

- The large amount of applications is a very promising sign for the implementation of CCS in Europe. We are very exited to go through the pre-proposals. The only downside is that competition for funding will be very tough, says ACT Coordinator Ragnhild Rønneberg from the Research Council of Norway.

Details about the submitted pre-proposals

Norway is the most frequently represented partner country, taking part in 29 pre-proposals (lead in 19). UK is the second most frequently represented, taking part in 23 pre-proposals (lead in 6). Germany is the third with 21 pre-proposals (lead in 5). The Netherlands is in 19 pre-proposals (lead in 6). Turkey is the fifth most frequently represented partner country, taking part in 6 pre-proposals (lead in 2).

Tot. num. of pre-proposals each country participates in: 21 3 19 29 6 6 6 6 23
Lead in how many projects: 5 6 19 2 6


Distributions of pre-proposals on thematic areas and countries:

Total number of projects in each area DE GR NL NO RO ES CH TR UK
Capture 15 9 9 12 3 3 2 3 6
Transport 0
Storage 9 7 1 3 7 1 1 2 6
Storage & EOR 6 3 1 3 5 1 1 2 1 4
Full CCS chain 3 2 3 3 1 1 2
Utilisation 5 1 1 1 2 1 1 5
Applied funding from ACT countries
DE20 198 905
GR 194 500
NL 18 565 584
NO 47 664 797
RO 1 148 000
ES 1 136 129
CH 5 466 641
TR 1 568 316
UK 23 122 413

There are seven large projects (applying for more than € 3 M) and 31 small projects (applying for less than € 3 M). 

What happens next?

Now the pre-proposals are being read and evaluated by the ACT partner countries.

In the end of September the whole ACT consortium will be gathered for the final evaluation-meeting of the first round of the ACT call. They will come to a decision about which projects will go through to phase 2 of the application process, where the deadline for submitting the full proposal is the 16th of January 2017.

ACT Call published

€ 41 million for accelerating CCS technologies in Europe

The European initiative "ACT - Accelerating CCS technologies" launched a call for proposals on June 7th 2016. This is the first call from the initiative that aims to fund research and innovation projects that can lead to safe and cost effective technology for CO2 capture, transport and storage (CCS)

The call is open for industry and research institutions from Norway, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

- CCS is emerging as one of the most promising technologies for mitigating global climate change. This initiative aims to put the technology into use in the industry faster and on a larger scale than ever before, says ACT Coordinator Ragnhild Rønneberg from the Research Council of Norway.

ACT – a multinational cooperation

Based on a call from the European Commission in December 2014 under the Horizon 2020 Programme on Energy, nine European countries have joined forces and made funds available for research and innovation actions on CO2 Capture, Transport and Storage/utilisation (CCS). The initiative is called ACT – Accelerating CCS Technologies.

The ambition of ACT is to facilitate the emergence of CCS via transnational funding aimed at accelerating and maturing CCS technology through targeted innovation and research activities. In order to accelerate the CCS implementation in the energy sector and the high energy intensive industry sector (such as steel, paper mills, cement etc.) projects with industrial relevance and cooperation will be prioritised.

The following countries participate in ACT: Norway (coordinator), Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Their funding is supported by co-funding from the European Commission's research and innovation programme. The funding of the projects will come through each nation's existing R&D programmes, and an application for support should therefore make sure to keep within existing national requirements.

Timetable and available budget

A total of € 41 million is available for this 1st joint ACT call published June 7th 2016. The deadline for pre-proposals is September 7th 2016 and applications evaluated eligible will be invited to submit full proposals due by January 16th 2017. The projects should have a maximum of 3 years duration.

Depending on the number and size of the projects the ACT-consortium aims to fund up to 5 projects (up to a total of € 20 M) and a handful of smaller projects (less than € 3 M).

The call has a broad scope, but underlines the importance of market-industry-relevant projects. In addition to chain integration, capture, transport and storage, projects including utilisation of CO2 when it brings CCS to the market faster, is also included.

Background – climate and role of CCS

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies show promise in keeping temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius. There are, however, currently too few operational CCS projects to determine if that promise of carbon capture and storage/utilisation can be a reality. There is a need for more pilot scale projects and focus on the full chain elements (incl. a number of technical issues, costs, business models, socialand environmental aspects etc.) for a for successful implementation of CCS in Europe.

The European commission (EC), the European parliament and several of the European Countries by themselves, have invested great efforts in driving the debate around climate change goals for 2030. Currently we have a framework proposal that provides a strong foundation for achieving these goals and developing a competitive low-carbon economy. It is recognised that CCS in achieving climate change targets is a significant step in the right direction and a successful future for CCS is therefore foreseen not only in the energy sector, but in the industry sector as well.

The call text is available from this link

The CO2-site at Cuiden is active

As part of the ACT-kick-off meeting (22-24. February 2016) in Madrid the program included an interesting visit to Hontomin (2,5 hours by bus - north) and a guided tour at the Cuiden CO2-site. Impressive work is being undertaken with injection of CO2 at 1600m depth.

The Cuiden project is today the only onshore storage pilot site in Europe. This facility with all its infrastructures welcomes cooperation with institutions and industry all over Europe - and sees big potential in further development via ACT and ECCSEL.

Thanks a lot to MINECO (Spanish ACT-partner) for hosting this meeting and excursion to a living and well-run CO2-project in Hontomin.

All you need to know about ACT in two minutes

ACT - Accelerating CCS Technologies

What is ACT?

ACT aims to Accelerate and mature CCS Technologies by making available funds for research and innovation activities.

A new instrument under Horizon 2020 called ERA NET Cofund is a new tool for European countries together with the European Commission (EC) to establish large common calls.

Ten partners from nine countries have established ACT, an ERA NET Cofund on CCS, with the objective of accelerating deployment of CCS.

What will ACT do?

Early in 2016, ACT will publish a joint call for RD&D proposals. The budget for the call is close to 41 million euro and the call will ask for large transnational projects that facilitate the incorporation of CCS in the energy and industrial sectors.

ACT Timeline

February 2016: Preannouncement of the call.

June, 2016: Call text to be published.

September, 2016: Due date for proposals, stage 1. Only sketches of how the projects will look like are required.

September, 2016: Invitation to second stage for all application passing stage 1

January, 2017: Due date for proposals, stage 2. Full proposals are required.

July, 2017: Evaluation of proposals completed

July, 2017: Signing contracts with new projects

July, 2020: Projects closing


ACT Partners

ACT partners from nine european countries

Indicative distribution of the budget

The total budget for the 2016 ACT call is close to 41 million euro

Provisional thematic areas

The ACT call will ask for RD&D projects that can lead to deployment of CCS in Europe. Project proposals with high industrial relevance and industrial involvement will be prioritised.

The call text is not defined yet, but most of the budget will most likely be spent on a few, but large projects addressing the thematic areas below.

Thematic areas:

  • Chain integration
    • Addressing RD&D gaps in the full CCS chain, including CO2 capture, transport, and storage, incorporating related case studies for social acceptance.
  • Capture
    • Capture techniques emphasising efficiency, competitive cost and flexible operations.
    • Advanced technologies aiming in a higher operational flexibility and energy efficient capture.
  • Transport
    • Pipelines and ship transport aimed at early operations of European CCS projects for power generation and indutry.
  • Storage
    • Measurement, monitoring and verification (MMV) at relevant storage sites and the surrounding geosphere emphasising tools and methodology
  • Utilisation as an integral part of the energy case
    • Optional CO2 utilisation via e.g. enhanced oil recovery (EOR) including prospective revenue streams and related viable business models, as a vehicle to make CO2 capture viable.


Please contact the ACT coordinator if you have any questions:

Ragnhild Rønneberg, The Research Council of Norway, +47 915 58 662,