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Civil society´s solutions to climate transition. Innovation and cross-sectorial collaboration to reach the swedish climate goals

Sweden aims to become the world´s first fossil-free welfare state. By 2045 at the latest, Sweden will have zero net emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. To succeed we need collective action on a level we have not seen before. With this call, Vinnova wants to provide support for initiatives led by civil society organizations in collaboration with other actors, across sectors. We are looking for initiatives who show strong potential to accelerate the pace of climate transition.

This web page has been machine translated. If there are any uncertainties, please refer to the Swedish text.

The offer in brief

What can you apply for?

To, in cross-sectoral collaboration, further develop and test civil society´s (including social enterprises)´s innovative solutions for climate change in the focus areas of industry, mobility, community building and food.

Who can apply?

The civil society organization (including social enterprises) is the coordinator and collaborates across sectors with at least one additional participant from the public or business sector. Only legal entities can be project partners

How much can you apply for?

It is possible to apply for funding with SEK 1.5 million per project with a project duration of a maximum of 24 months. Vinnova´s funding will amount to a maximum of 80 percent of the project´s total eligible costs.

Important dates

  • The call in detail

    • Support for writing a correct proposal

      In this call for proposals, Vinnova offers support for writing a correct proposal through digital question times. On these occasions, the formal conditions and the application procedure are explained. In addition, there is the opportunity to ask questions. However, we do not discuss the content of your specific proposal.

      • 16 Feb 12-12: 50
      • 23 Feb 16-16: 50
      • 9 March 12-12: 50
      • 16 March 16-16: 50

      Sign up here.

      Checklist for a correct proposal

      The following points are particularly important to note. First of all, it is recommended that you read the entire description of the call.

      Check in particular that:

      • All parties to the proposal are legal entities. Individual companies are not approved. Companies and organizations must be active and have an organization number when the proposal is submitted.
      • That the coordinator of the project is a civil society organization.
      • That you are at least two project partners represented from at least two different sectors (idea-driven sector, business, public sector and / or academia).
      • The project parties are added as formal project parties in proposal, it is not enough to mention them in the project description.
      • You have used the mandatory annex for the project description and that it does not exceed twelve (12) pages. See the appendix below under the heading "Download templates for attachments".
      • Other appendices that the projects may need to attach are attached with proposal. See attachments below under the heading "Download templates for attachments". Please note that no custom formats of attachments, or additional attachments, are accepted.
    • Background and aim

      Sweden's objective is to become the world's first fossil - free welfare state. By 2045 at the latest, Sweden will have zero net emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gas emissions need to be radically reduced in a short time to limit global warming and its negative effects, while at the same time adapting society to a changing climate. This change needs to take place fairly and in interaction with other objective within Agenda 2030. In order to succeed, unparalleled collective action will be required.

      Climate change is about us changing our societies. Both in aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to minimize the negative consequences of a changed climate. It is imperative that organizations from all sectors participate and contribute to the work of restructuring. Historically, the capacity of civil society to mobilize and break new ground has been absolutely crucial in strengthening society's ability to adapt at critical times.

      With this as a background, Vinnova is now investing in this offer who provides support for initiatives led by civil society organizations, in close collaboration with actors from other sectors (business, public sector or academia). The solutions we are looking for must be able to be tested within the framework of the project and further developed through collaboration. The solutions will primarily be implemented in Sweden.

      Agenda 2030 and gender equality important parts of the call

      Collaboration, concentration and innovation will be crucial to achieve the goals in Agenda 2030. With this call for proposals, we thus also want more people to collaborate to develop their innovative capacity and create new solutions that contribute to the goals, within the framework of the call's priorities. Read more about our work with Agenda 2030 as a driving force for innovation.

      Gender equality is found in Agenda 2030, as an objective in itself, but also as a perspective that should permeate the work with all objective as it is a prerequisite for sustainable development. When it comes to climate change, we can see large differences between men's and women's lifestyle, behavior and consumption patterns, which has a major impact on the climate.

    • The call is open for applications in the following five focus areas.

      Sustainable industry: democratic and fair climate change in industry

      We are looking for innovative solutions for the implementation of a democratic and fair climate change where society takes the lead and no one is left out, linked to the industry's development towards fossil freedom.

      Civil society plays an important role in building society's confidence in Swedish industry. Achieving the goal of a climate-neutral and sustainable industry requires a more efficient collaboration between civil society, business and the public sector, in order to resolve goal conflicts without compromising long-term sustainable development. Both locally and globally. The civil society-led projects should reflect these objective.

      Examples of project ideas can be to work for knowledge building, design innovative forms of consultation, work out conflict prevention initiatives or propose innovative solutions for ecological compensation and social responsibility in companies. Cooperation between civil society, relevant authorities and industrial companies is encouraged.

      Read more about Sustainable industry.

      Sustainable industry: recycling and circular flows

      We are looking for innovative solutions that contribute to a transparent, resource-efficient and circular use of raw materials. By reusing products and goods, we can reduce our dependence on new raw materials, but in order to be able to reuse these, the products need to be designed for circular flows.

      Civil society has an important role in the pursuit of more circular use of products both in the form of enabling recycling but also by being able to influence individuals' behaviors and consumption patterns. To know what products contain and how they can be recycled, we need to increase the traceability of materials. Traceability also plays a key role in being able to develop reliable and relevant sustainability labels. Today, it is often difficult for consumers, both private and public, to make informed choices of a product as it is rarely possible to see if it is sustainable at all levels. This at the same time as the demand for sustainable products is increasing.

      Examples of project ideas can be solutions that change behaviors and contribute to increased recycling, that enable increased traceability of materials or contribute to consumer information that encourages and that makes it easier to make truly sustainable choices.

      Read more about Sustainable industry.

      Sustainable mobility: improved accessibility for all

      We are looking for innovative solutions that can improve accessibility to society's various functions and at the same time reduce the burden on the environment and improve people's physical and mental health. To achieve Sweden's climate goals, we need to switch to a more sustainable mobility systems. The movement of people and goods today accounts for a third of Sweden's carbon dioxide emissions. In order for people to be able to buy goods, get to school, work, care or other community services, transportation or travel in some form is often required. This is central to an easily accessible, prosperous and functioning society. The challenge is to find mobility solutions that can improve the availability offor all, no matter where you live, while reducing negative climate and health effects.

      Civil society has a key role to play here in increasing the knowledge, motivation and conditions for citizens, companies and the public sector to choose or create healthy and sustainable mobility solutions.

      Examples of project ideas can be about efforts to change behaviors, consumption patterns, delivery alternatives or to create more active and shared mobility in society. Solutions that improve accessibility for rural and sparsely populated areas are especially encouraged.

      Read more about sustainable mobility.

      Sustainable built environments: resilience and climate adaptation in society

      We are looking for innovative solutions that can increase the resilience and resilience of society, groups and individuals to impending climate change. Climate adaptation means measures to adapt society to the climate changes that we will not be able to avoid, such as torrential rain, heat waves and drought. These effects can potentially have a major impact on our health and well-being, where especially the elderly, sick and socially disadvantaged groups are hard hit. The effects of a changing climate also mean that adaptation needs to take place to our existing built environment, and are taken into account in future planning, design and construction. It is not possible to prevent all forms of risk, but active and organized civil and local communities will be important in creating resilient and resilient communities. As the built environment and society's systems such as food supply, supply chains and transportation become temporarily or permanently more strained, the demands increase that local communities and individuals strengthen their ability to manage on their own for a period of time.

      Civil society has an important role to play in strengthening the resilience and resilience of societies, groups and individuals through mobilization and organization. This may be in connection with, for example, extreme weather events such as torrential rain, floods, heat waves and droughts or other crises as a result of a changed climate.

      Examples of project ideas can be the use of premises (and other physical environments) and how they can be adjusted in the event of, for example, floods or heat waves, as well as plans for organization in crises and processes to mobilize society (individuals, companies, organizations).

      Read more about sustainable built environments.

      Sustainable food systems: conversion of production, distribution and consumption

      We are looking for solutions that both aim to reduce climate impact and contribute to better and more equal health and the environment. The solutions must be within the framework of Vinnova's work with sustainable food systems' four sub-areas. The food system today has a great effect on both the planet and human health. Climate change in the food system is about changing production, distribution and consumption in a fair and democratic way. At the same time, the change must not have negative effects on our health.

      Civil society in collaboration with other actors plays an important role in driving the change in the food system.

      Examples of project ideas can be about efficient resource utilization by utilizing food waste and sharing premises (eg commercial kitchens, warehouses, farm shops), land and equipment. It can also be about new cultivation techniques and production methods for conversion or business models to create new markets and distribution channels so that sustainable food ends up in the food box. Furthermore, it can be about solutions to promote healthy and climate-smart eating habits, for example through new business models in the sports business and collection of data to compare or highlight products with low environmental impact.

      Read more about sustainable food systems.

    • Civil society in cross-sectoral cooperation

      The offer is addressed to civil society organizations, including social enterprises (see chapter “Definition of civil society and social enterprises”) that collaborate with actors from other sectors.

      The civil society organization shall be the coordinator (see description below). The projects must at least consist of two participating project parties (see description below) from different sectors. By sectors we mean the public sector (incl. Academia), business and the idea-driven sector (civil society organizations).

      The target group or users of the innovation must have been identified and actively involved in the development of the solution, but must not be involved as a participant.

      We turn to actors who:

      • has the ability and capacity to test its solution in the near future within the framework of the project together with the target group / user,
      • has the ability and conditions to further develop and test an innovative solution in collaboration,
      • has a solution with the potential to accelerate the pace of climate change.
      What do we mean by coordinator?

      Coordinating participant, or coordinator, is the participant responsible for the contact with Vinnova. This means that the coordinator conveys information between the other project parties and Vinnova. The coordinator is also responsible for all documents and reports coming in to Vinnova as they should and for channeling funds from Vinnova to other project parties.

      What do we mean by participant?

      All organizations that collaborate in the project are project partners. The project partners contribute to planning and implementing the project, and share risks and results. The project partner does not necessarily receive the grant, but participates and has costs in the project, and is listed as project partners in the proposal (Chapter 2 in the application portal). A participant is always a legal entity. If someone in the project includes subcontractors or reference groups, these are not project partners.

    • Our funding is through funding. Funding for companies / organizations that conducts financial activities is covered by rules on state support. The rules govern, among other things, the types of costs and the proportion of them that may be covered by funding.

      These are eligible costs

      Eligible costs mean the costs that you have to carry out your part of the project and which can be fully or partially covered by our funding. The basic conditions for a cost to be eligible are that it must:

      • is borne by the applicant company / organization
      • be attributable to the project
      • have arisen during the project period stated in our decision
      • be determined in accordance with the company / organization's usual accounting principles and good accounting practice
      • be in accordance with the company's / organization's own internal policies and guidelines

      Accounting for project costs must be distinguishable in the accounting from the company / organization's other transactions.

      Please note that non-profit / volunteer hours should not be included in the budget as they do not constitute actual, revisable costs.

      Read more about

      • Rules for state support for financial activities
      • Rules for eligible costs in Vinnova's general terms and conditions eligible costs
      • Clarification regarding eligible costs and how you as a participant should calculate and report these.


      Activities for which funding can be funding for

      Types of activities vary but can be:

      • Design of prototypes, testing and validation of adapted or improved products, processes or services in environments that correspond to realistic operating conditions.
      • Activities related to the co-creation of the solution, such as establishing partnerships.
      • Activities to acquire the ability to scale or spread the solution (for example, to develop models, methods, structures, power measurement).

      The activities for which you can apply for funding should be development activities that are included in the definition for experimental development. Read more in Section 5 and in Article 2, p. 86 of Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014.


      Experimental development does not include routine or recurring changes to existing goods, manufacturing methods, manufacturing processes, services or other ongoing activities, although these changes may involve improvements. Funding in this call for proposals can also not go to feasibility studies or research studies. Furthermore, marketing and sales or ongoing operations are not financed.

    • It is possible to apply for funding up to SEK 1.5 million per project. Vinnova's funding will amount to a maximum of 80 percent of 's entire project total eligible costs. At least 20 percent of the project must be financed by the project parties in their own efforts. How the own effort is distributed is up to the project parties to decide.

      Basis for support per participant

      Funding for organizations that conducts financial activities is covered by rules on state support. The support bases below clarify what proportion of your eligible costs may be covered by funding.

      Experimental development

      Maximum aid intensity

      • Maximum support levels for funding for experimental development can be found in this table table
      • Under certain conditions, which appear in the table above, the following applies: small companies 60 percent, medium-sized companies 50 percent, large companies 40 percent. Se Europeiska Commission definitions of small, medium and large enterprises. definitions

      Read more about experimental development:

      experimental development

      Minor Support

      Maximum aid intensity

      • 100% of eligible costs.
      • The maximum allowable support is 200,000 euros per recipient during the last three tax years.
      • Please note that if a participant intends to seek minor support, this party must submit a certificate. See under the heading "download templates for attachments."

      Read more: see the section on Minor Support.

      Start- ups

      Maximum aid intensity

      • 100% of eligible costs.

      Read more about start-ups, see page 10 table-stodnivaer_ny-version_210429_slutlig.pdf (

      Non-State aid

      Organizations engaging in non-economic activities may be granted funding -state funding when participating in their non-economic activities.

      Maximum aid intensity applies to non-state aid

      • 100% of eligible costs

      Read more about non-state aid, see the paragraph “what counts as economic activities? Rules for funding | State support for economic activities | Vinnova

      Do you carry out economic activities?

      Note that funding for organizations that conduct financial activities, ie all activities that involve offering goods and services in a market, are covered by rules on state support regardless of organizational form. This means that even non-profit organizations can be classified as economic activities if they offer goods and services in a market.

      Example: Hoppa Häst is a non-profit association that allows children and adults to ride on the weekends for free to promote outdoor life. The association has no profit motive but offers a service in a market, ie the service provided competes with other organizations that can also offer the same types of services. The association is thus considered to conduct financial activities according to the state aid rules, despite the fact that it is a non-profit association and that there is no profit motive.

    • We will only assess applications that meet the following formal eligibility requirements and are in line with the aim of the call and within the focus areas described in this call text.

      Formal eligibility requirements

      • Proposal consists of at least two project partners, of which a civil society organization (including social enterprise) as coordinator
      • Proposal must be written in Swedish or English

      Please note that the project description must be written in the template provided by Vinnova (under the heading "Download templates for attachments"), that project parties must be legal persons and the beneficiary must have a branch or place of business in Sweden. The project partners must be added as formal project partners in proposal, it is not enough to mention them in the project description.

    • Criteria for assessment

      Applications will be assessed according to the criteria potential, feasibility and actors. Each criterion consists of sub-criteria which it is important that the applicant clearly describes and answers in his proposal.

      • The potential of the solution to make a significant difference for climate change and the global sustainability goals in Agenda 2030
      • The project's potential to make a significant difference in one of the focus areas (see described above)
      • The potential of the solution to be tested within the framework of the project
      • That the solution shows the potential to become scalable or dispersible
      • To contribute to increased gender equality through the proposed solution
      • Involvement, commitment and anchoring of project partners
      • Involvement of users / target group in the project and the solution
      • How the project contributes to increased ability of participating organizations to collaborate cross-sectorally and form new long-term partnerships
      • Relevant skills within the project team (key people), or access to skills, for the project to succeed. For example, current climate change or knowledge within the selected focus area.
      • How well the project team (key people) is composed in terms of gender distribution, including the distribution of power and influence between women and men.
      • How well the proposed project will be organized and managed
      • Relevance and credibility in project plan (work packages) and budget
      • How well power measurement is integrated into the project
      • How well gender equality integrated into the project
      • How well risks for negative impact on the global goals in Agenda 2030 are managed

      Bedömning Agenda 2030, climate and gender equality

      The applications will be assessed on the basis of the potential to contribute to climate change, either in aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or to minimize the consequences of a changed climate. The projects will also be assessed on the basis of potential in terms of funding for and risk of a negative impact on Agenda 2030.

      In addition, we would like to emphasize that the applications will be assessed on the basis of whether both women and men receive the grant in an equal manner, participate in and have an influence over the project. The projects will also be assessed on the basis of their analysis and position on whether there are gender and / or gender aspects that are relevant linked to the project's challenge area, solutions and utilization. Read more about what our work for gender equality innovation means for you who apply for funding from us.

      How do we rate?

      The assessment of the proposal takes place in competition according to the assessment criteria stated above. The assessment is made by a specially appointed, and by Vinnova appointed, evaluator and by programme manager at Vinnova. Supplements may be requested from applicant.

      Vinnova intends to finance a diversified portfolio with a balance of actors, areas and project orientations.

    • About our decisions

      How much each party in the project is granted in funding is stated in the decision. Funding will be granted with the support of "experimental development", " support of minor importance", "start-up company" or "non-state aid". The basis for support is stated in the decision and also governs which costs are eligible. Our decision to grant or reject a proposal cannot be appealed.

      Term for granted funding

      For funding, our general terms and conditions for funding apply. The terms include rules on project agreements, conditions for payment, follow-up, reporting and utilization of results.

      Our rules and term for funding

      The following special conditionsalso apply to everyone who is granted funding in this call:

      • The project must be represented at the seminars or program conferences that Vinnova will organize during the project. Costs for participation in such a seminar / program conference are an eligible cost.

      Supplementary special conditions can be decided for individual projects project.

      If you do not follow our term, you may be liable for a refund. This also applies if you have been granted funding incorrectly or with an excessive amount. Supplementary special conditions can be decided for individual projects project.

    • What is meant by civil society?

      By civil society we mean "an arena, separate from the state, the market and the individual household, where people organize themselves and act together in common interests". The area includes networks, non-profit associations, registered denominations and more.

      The term "civil society organizations" is sometimes used. That means:

      • Non-profit organizations.
      • Self-governing cooperative activities with selfless mission and often with an ideological awareness.
      • Limited liability company with special dividend limitation. The profit should be a means of pursuing activities and not an objective in itself.
      • Social enterprises (see description below)

      What is meant by social enterprises?

      Social enterprises, ie enterprises where business activities are a means of achieving specific socially beneficial objective. The result is measured in relation to how to meet these objective. Financial surpluses are mainly reinvested in the business, or alternatively invested in a new socially beneficial project.

      Can social enterprises be coordinators in this call?

      Social enterprises are included in the definition of civil society organizations and can be the coordinator of this call for proposals.

      How do you decide if we are a social enterprise?

      The description contained in the call comes from the government's strategy for social enterprises. Social business is a fairly new concept and yet difficult to define. We are open to applications from different types of social enterprises.

      If you are a social enterprise, you must send, for example, articles of association / articles of association or other decisive documents to you that you have in the company so that we can, based on your description and documents, determine whether the company agrees with the description in the announcement.

    • Date
      08 Feb 2022

    How to apply

    To apply for funding, you need to log in and fill in an application form in our portal, Vinnova's eservices portal. The form contains questions about the project, project parties and budget.

    Further down the page there are attachments that you can download to search in the call.

    • Project description according to project description template is a mandatory appendix. Write in Swedish or English. The description may comprise a maximum of twelve (12) pages. Please note that pages in excess of the requested number are not assessed and that the evaluator does not read links to external web pages.
    • For the organizations concerned, a certificate of minor support must be attached, showing that you can receive this type of support.
    • For social enterprises: Attach own statutes, articles of association or other decision-making documents where there is a description that can determine whether the enterprise fits into the definition of social enterprises in the call (see point 10 above as soon as the call has opened).

    common questions and answers

    In this PDF, we have collected common questions and answers that we received during the digital question sessions, but also summaries from the call text and important documents such as General terms and conditions and Instructions for Vinnova's term on eligible costs, state aid rules and more. These are linked to in the call text or at this link: Rules for Vinnova's funding

    The PDF below is continuously updated with questions and answers. Contact us, see below, if you do not get answers to your questions.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Download document templates for your attachments

    Plesae download the templates for the documents you need to attach to your application such as a CV or project description.

    Please allow enough time

    Please keep in mind that it takes time to complete an application. Filling in the templates can take several days, since they're based on analyses you need to do. Therefore, start the application well in advance. You can start filling in your details, then save and continue at a later time.

    When you've completed your application, please mark it as done ("klar"). You can unlock and make changes to your application at any time until the call closes. If you unlock your application, you must mark it as done ("klarmarkera") if you want the application registered when the call closes. 

    This happens when the call is closed

    Once your proposal has been registered, we will email a confirmation to the person in charge of the user account and to the project manager and company signatory. This may take a few hours after the call is closed. If you have not received a confirmation within 24 hours after the call has closed, get in touch with us.

    When the call is closed, you can not change or fill in any new information. Then you can only complete your proposal if we ask for it.

    Who can read your proposal?

    Applications submitted to us become public documents. But we do not disclose information about the business, inventions or research results if it can be assumed that someone is suffering financial damage if the information is shown.

    This means that we must release the documents if someone requests them. However, we keep confidential the information that we believe could cause financial damage if it is disclosed.

    How we handle public documents and confidentiality

    Any questions?

    If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

    Sara Hugosson


    +46 8 473 30 45

    Åsa Finth

    Administrativa frågor

    +46 8 473 31 04

    Team Civilsamhällets mailinbox


    +46 8 473 32 04

    Fund­ed pro­jects

    Reference number 2021-05202

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