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What is an Innovation Deal?

Speed holds the key to an innovative society. Innovation Deals (IDs) will allow innovators to swiftly address legislative obstacles, shortening the time between moment of inspiration and market uptake.

Innovation Deals take the form of voluntary cooperation between the EU, innovators, and national, regional and local authorities.

The European Commission does not fund the preparation or implementation of IDs. No requests for funding of an Innovation Deal will be accepted.

The main aim of an Innovation Deal

The objective of an Innovation Deal is an in-depth understanding and clarification of how an EU rule or regulation applies. If a rule or regulation is confirmed as an obstacle to innovations that could bring wider societal benefits, the Deal will make it visible and feed into possible further action.

The Innovation Deals platform will neither jeopardise nor compromise any environmental, social or competition principles, existing standards, or national legislation. The Deals will be an innovation in how the Commission works, helping to form a more modern and responsive administration in line with the Commission’s Better Regulation Agenda.

Invitation to submit expressions of interest

The European Commission has launched a call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the pilot phase of the Innovation Deals for a Circular Economy. Up to five Expressions of Interest will be selected and will become Innovation Deals. Moreover, up to ten Deals may origin through the Horizon 2020 Calls CIRC-01 and CIRC-02 (Work Programme 2016/2017 under Industry 2000 in the Circular Economy). Applicants will be asked to outline their innovations and identify where they think EU regulatory frameworks are causing a blockage in getting their innovation to market.

Submit expressions of interest


Opening of the call for EOI 26 May 2016
Closing of the call for EOI 15 September 2016
Selection of IDs October – December 2016
Signature of IDs beginning of 2017
Evaluation of the pilot mid 2018

Successful applications

The chosen innovations will:

  • be effective in achieving EU policy objectives in the area of the Circular Economy (e.g. innovative ways to achieve waste recycling targets)
  • currently have limited or no market access
  • be genuinely new innovations

More about Innovation Deals

The Commission Communication “Closing the loop – An EU action plan for the circular economy” introduces the concept of innovation deals as «a pilot approach to help innovators facing regulatory obstacles (e.g. ambiguous legal provisions), by setting up agreements with stakeholders and public authorities».

The Innovation Deals are also mentioned in the Staff Working Document of the Better Regulations for innovation-driven investment at EU level)  PDF icon 843 KB .

The Innovation Deals are inspired by the “Green Deal” Programme of the Government of the Netherlands, where a large number of Green Deals are proving to be successful in supporting the national Green Growth policy by providing regulatory clarity for innovative solutions.

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