The European Joint Programming Platform ERA-Net Smart Energy Systems (JPP ERA-Net SES) in collaboration with the global Mission Innovation Initiative is launching the Joint Call 2020 on digital transformation for green energy transition (“MICall20”).

Nordic Energy Research participates as funding partner in the Joint Call 2020 (MICall20) to support Nordic and Baltic project partners. The Nordic Council of Minister’s vision is to make the Nordic-Baltic region the most integrated region in the world by 2030, and digitalisation has an important role in fulfilling this goal. The Nordic and Baltic countries are among the most digitalised in the world, and increased cooperation on this area has potential to contribute to a green, competitive, and socially sustainable region. Nordic Energy Research expect to fund projects that strengthens Nordic and Baltic cooperation by addressing common challenges and opportunities and attending to issues of importance to the Nordic-Baltic region, when facing the digital transformation of energy systems. Projects should contribute to increased integration and green growth in the Nordic-Baltic region, as well as promoting Nordic-Baltic leadership in a sustainable, innovative, and socially inclusive digital transformation.

Available budget

Nordic Energy Research has allocated 6 MNOK to fund Nordic and Baltic project partners in the Joint Call 2020 (MICall20). Nordic Energy Research anticipates funding of three projects.

Applying for the call

Stage 1: Submission of registration of interest via the NordForsk application portal (Joint application)

Stage 2: Submission of full proposal via the NordForsk application portal (Application per project partner)

Project partners applying for funding from Nordic Energy Research are required to submit a joint application in stage 1 and a separate application per funding-seeking partner in stage 2.

Please note that an application must also be submitted on behalf of the whole project consortia to ERA-Net SES in both stages. Information about applying is available on the ERA-Net SES’ website.

Timing and deadlines of the Joint Call 2020

  • Call opening for Registration of Interest: 14 December 2020
  • Compulsory Registration of Interest deadline: 23 February 2021, 14:00 CET (please note that the deadline for ERA-Net SES applications is on February 17, 14:00)
  • Application portal opening for full proposal submissions: 12 March 2021
  • Full proposal submission deadline: 6 May 2021, 14:00 CET
  • Deadline funding decision feedback: November 2021
  • Expected project start: Before 15 June 2022

Eligible project partners

Nordic Energy Research may support research within public and private entities such as:

  • Universities and research institutes (100% funding intensity)
  • Companies (50% funding intensity, subject to state aid rules)
  • Municipalities (100% funding intensity, special rules may apply)

Nordic Energy Research may offer support to Nordic and Baltic project partners if there are a minimum of two Nordic and/or Baltic partners from two different Nordic and/or Baltic countries involved in a project. As the national funding agencies of Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Norway and Sweden are involved in the call on a national basis, Nordic Energy Research specifically encourage project partners from Estonia, Iceland and Lithuania to apply, in order to expand Nordic and Baltic involvement and transnational collaboration in the Nordic and Baltic region.

Each project involving minimum two Nordic and/or Baltic partners may apply for up to 2 000 000 NOK in support from Nordic Energy Research. Eligible costs that may be covered for a project partner may be personnel costs, travel costs, consultancy, material costs, laboratory costs, equipment costs, patent and/or indirect costs (only academia).

Consortia must include at least two independent legal entities applying for funding from two different countries (whereof at least two partners from the EC and/or EEA region) of the funding agencies participating in the Joint Call 2020. Thus, applicants applying for funds from Nordic Energy Research will count as one in the total project proposal.

If you are looking for project partners, you may use the Matchmaking tool provided by ERA-Net SES for this call.

Nordic added value

Nordic Energy Research aims to facilitate cooperative energy research and policy development, and funds research of joint Nordic interest that supports the ambitions to reduce carbon emissions in the Nordic region. Nordic applicants should elaborate on how the project would contribute to Nordic added value by enhancing Nordic strengths and addressing Nordic challenges, and how the results of the project would have impact on the Nordic region. Means to achieve such effects could for example be building critical mass, cost-efficiency, sharing resources and infrastructure, Nordic mobility and networking, institutional collaboration and competence building in the Nordic region, etc. Applicants are required to address these aspects in their separate proposal to Nordic Energy Research.

Gender balance and gender perspectives

Gender awareness improves the quality of Nordic research and research collaboration. Both gender balance among researchers and gender perspectives on research topics increase the quality of research and of policy decisions with implications for the society. Gender balance aims at a balance between men and women. Gender perspectives on research topics aim at exposing gender-based differences because they often impact the research results significantly. As such, Nordic Energy Research will aim to support research proposals where a gender balance of minimum of 40%/60% is implemented, both among project participants and managers/team leaders, and that address gender perspectives as part of the proposed research activities. For more information, please also find Nordic Energy Research’s gender policy here.

State aid rules/De Minimis Aid obligations

Companies applying for funds from Nordic Energy Research are required to abide by state aid rules. All grants from Nordic Energy Research must comply with the aid rules of the European Union and the Agreement on the European Economic Area (The EEA Agreement). However, organisations under The Nordic Council of Ministers were given new guidelines for State Aid as of 2019, and these applies a.o. for NER.

The support offered is being granted in compliance with Commission Regulation (EC) No 1407/2013 on the application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to de minimis aid, published in the Official Journal of the European Union L 352 from 24.12.2013.

Grants from Nordic Energy Research for the Joint Call 2020 (MICall20) comes from the five Nordic governments and a Nordic undertaking is allowed to receive up to € 200,000 of de minimis aid from each of the Nordic Countries. Consequently, a Nordic company can receive up to 1,000,000 EUR over a rolling period of three fiscal years from NER under the de minimis regulation, given that the company has received no grants as De Minimis Aid prior to this grant.

Applicants are responsible to ensure that they are eligible in accordance with the state aid rules to receive funds from Nordic Energy Research.


If Nordic Energy Research, in its discretion, finds any application to be incomplete or outside the scope of the Nordic Energy Research programme as described in call requirements, then such submission shall be deemed disqualified.


Sofia Elamson, Adviser: