Brussels, 24 October 2006
The European Commission has given its green light to funding for 50 new environmental innovation projects in 14 countries under the LIFE-Environment programme 2006.
The projects aim to apply ground-breaking technology to solve a wide range of environmental problems in Europe.
Examples of projects include the first hydrogen fuel cell powered ship capable of carrying up to 100 passengers, a moving hydroelectric power plant, a bio tyre with a 30% lower rolling resistance using bio fillers made from renewable materials, a towing kite system for ships and many more.
These represent a total investment of €214 million, of which the EU will provide just under €66 million.
The 50 projects are based in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
The Commission received 464 proposals for funding through the LIFE-Environment programme from a wide range of public and private sector organisations.
Fifteen projects aimed at reducing the environmental impact of economic activities will get the largest share of EU funding at approximately €24 million.
Water management will receive the second largest chunk of funding - 15 projects will receive €18.5 million.
A further 14 projects will deal with waste management, sharing around €15 million.
Three projects to address the reduction of the environmental impact of products and services will be awarded €5 million. Finally, three projects covering land-use development and planning will obtain €3 million.
LIFE is the EU's financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU, as well as in some candidate, acceding and neighbouring countries. Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed some 2,750 projects, contributing approximately €1.35 billion to the protection of the environment.
LIFE-Environment, which co-finances innovative pilot and demonstration projects, is one of three thematic components under the LIFE programme. The other two, LIFE-Nature and LIFE-Third Countries, focus respectively on nature conservation and on environmental capacity building in countries bordering the Mediterranean and the Baltic Sea.
The current LIFE III programme finishes at the end of 2006. Thereafter a new programme, "LIFE+", will run from 2007-2013 with a budget of approximately €2.1 billion. The LIFE+ proposal is currently undergoing its second reading in the European Parliament.
For further information on LIFE-Environment projects 2006, please visit:
For further information on LIFE projects, please visit: