CLIENT II – Sustainable Innovation

“CLIENT II – International Partnerships for Sustainable Innovation”

Deadline for submission of project outlines: 31.05.2019

The funding guideline “CLIENT II – International Partnerships for Sustainable Innovation” aims to promote international partnerships in the fields of climate, environment and energy. CLIENT II is intended to contribute to strengthening education, research and innovation in Germany by supporting cooperation with corresponding partner countries and to supporting the competitiveness of German companies.

CLIENT II focuses on the promotion of demand-oriented R&D cooperation with selected emerging and developing countries. The aim is to­ jointly develop and implement innovative and sustainable solutions for concrete challenges in the partner country in the areas of raw material efficiency and recycling management, water management, climate protection/energy efficiency­, adaptation to climate change, land management, sustainable energy systems and natural risks. At the same time, this should open up new market potential for export-oriented innovative German companies – especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The R&D projects to be carried out should provide effective impetus for reducing environmental pollution in the partner countries, using natural resources intelligently and sparingly, supplying all sections of the population with safe, clean and affordable energy and making a contribution to global climate protection and adaptation to climate change and natural risks. This can be achieved, for example, by increasing raw material and energy efficiency, sustainable land use or by reducing harmful emissions to air, water and soil.

It addresses economic sectors for technologies, products and services that serve to prevent, reduce and eliminate environmental damage, restore already damaged environmental functions and contribute to the sustainable use of natural resources. In this context, the active involvement of companies and the focus on economic exploitation are to be strengthened. The projects must have appropriate interfaces to implementation-oriented actors and activities in the ­partner country.

The CLIENT II funding measure focuses on the implementation of application-oriented collaborative research projects for the development and implementation of technologies, products, services and system solutions that are specially adapted to the partner countries and contribute to overcoming corresponding local challenges. The development of prototypes or pilot applications can be supported as well as R&D work to introduce new technical equipment into existing plants, but not related major investments or the construction of new production plants.

The joint projects are to be jointly supported by science, industry and other practical areas.

The focus of this funding measure is on sustainable technologies and services in these areas:

Raw material efficiency and recycling management:

Innovations to increase raw material productivity; sustainable raw material development and management; increase resource efficiency (raw materials, materials); substitution of critical raw materials; closure of material cycles and recycling; establishment of a resource-efficient recycling economy; sustainable raw material production or directly related aspects of sustainable land/water management. Priority countries and regions: South America (especially Brazil, Chile, Peru), Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Water management:

Within the framework of the Scientific and Technological Cooperation (STC) with China (2016), both sides decided to realign the cooperation within the framework of the Chinese megawater programme for the treatment and control of water pollution.

Bilateral research projects are to focus on the two priority regions of the megawater programme Jing-Jin-Ji (= Greater Beijing area) and Taiseeregion. The main areas of cooperation are here: Technologies and concepts for water protection; implementation of the “Sponge Cities” concept; efficient wastewater treatment and reuse as well as sewage sludge treatment and recycling; industrial wastewater treatment for selected key industries; drinking water supply and safety.  Focus country: China.

Climate Protection/Energy Efficiency:

Reduction of emissions of environmentally and climate-damaging emissions (greenhouse gases, aerosols) by, for example, increasing energy efficiency in companies, value chains and in the use of products; energy-efficient infrastructures; climate-friendly energy and cross-sectional technologies and services. Priority countries and regions: Southern and Western Africa (countries participating in SASSCAL and WASCAL Africa centres), Central Asia (including Mongolia and Central Asian regions of China and Russia), Indonesia and Vietnam, and Jordan and Morocco.

Adaptation to climate change:

Technologies and innovative infrastructures to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience to the effects of climate change and related climate extremes. Relevant areas are, for example, coastal protection and land use as well as the handling of endangering weather events and services for the practical­ use of climate data and climate information (Climate Services). Priority countries and regions: Southern and Western Africa (countries participating in SASSCAL and WASCAL Africa centres), Central Asia (including Mongolia and Central Asian regions of China and Russia), Indonesia and Vietnam, and Jordan and Morocco.

Land management:

Sustainable land management also in connection with the extraction of biotic resources and the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services; restoration of contaminated and severely degraded soils; land recycling technologies­; recycling of agricultural residues; urban agriculture taking pollutants and land scarcity into account. Priority countries and regions: Southern and Western Africa (countries participating in SASSCAL and WASCAL Africa centres) and Central Asia (including Mongolia and Central Asian regions of China and Russia), Indonesia and Vietnam, as well as Jordan and Morocco.

 Sustainable energy systems:

Identify the relevant research and knowledge needs in the energy sector from the perspective of all social groups in the respective focus countries (e.g. through agenda processes); take stock of the energy system (including specific strengths, challenges, framework conditions, systemic consideration of the local energy system from conversion to consumption) and develop options for a sustainable design of the local energy system (including possible concrete R&D cooperation in the energy sector). Particular attention must be paid here to the long-term economic viability of the solutions to be developed, even after the end of the funding period. In particular, projects addressing all or several of the above-mentioned aspects are welcome. Priority countries and regions: Africa, in particular countries participating in the SASSCAL and WASCAL Africa centres and the West African Economic Community (ECOWAS) states, Iran.

Natural risks:

Carrying out multi-risk analyses taking into account cascade effects in natural and anthropogenic systems. Risk assessment against the background of urbanisation and with the inclusion of remote sensing and engineering geological expertise. Vulnerability assessment of earthquake-prone areas as well as for flood/flood areas and mass movements/slope slides. Priority regions: Andean region, Near and Central Asia and Southeast Asia.

Cross-thematic collaborative projects addressing several of the above-mentioned focal topics and interfaces between the focal topics are expressly welcome.

Applications may be submitted by commercial enterprises, universities and non-university research institutions­, municipal and state institutions and relevant associations. The submission of applications by SMEs is expressly welcomed.

Prerequisites for the funding are among others

  • Cooperation of independent institutions from industry and science and, where appropriate, associations with independent contributions to the solution of joint R&D tasks (joint projects).
  • Significant economic participation (especially SMEs) by at least one relevant actor in the value chain in Germany.
  • In the partner country: Inclusion of at least one, but preferably several institutions (in addition to research institutions, preference is given to companies with independent R&D contributions) as well as at least one ­user relevant for implementation ­or other institutions from the partner country (“stakeholders”, e.g. public authorities), even without an independent research contribution in the interest of sustainable exploitation success.
  • The collaborative projects should not exceed a duration of three years (without a subsequent transfer phase, if applicable).

The grants are awarded as non-repayable project grants. Grants can be used for personnel and material expenses as well as for equipment investments. Construction investments are excluded from support. The assessment basis for grants to commercial enterprises is the eligible project-related costs. As a rule, these can be financed by up to 50 % .

The main contact person for the CLIENT II funding measure is the project management organisation “Resources and Sustainability”, project management organisation Jülich.
The application procedure consists of two stages. Submission of project outlines by 31 May 2019.