Financial support for internationalisation

Nopef offers Nordic companies financial support for assessing and preparing international investments and establishments of business operations on foreign markets outside the EU/Efta area. Nopef also supports projects aiming at investments in commercial scale demonstration and pilot projects for green technologies or solutions.

The support provided can cover up to 50% of the costs for feasibility studies for internationalisation to a maximum amount of EUR 50,000 and is offered in the form of an interest-free conditional loan that is converted into a grant upon project completion. Disbursements of the granted funds are made based on the feasibility study costs incurred by the grant recipient. Support provided by Nopef is considered as de minimis aid in accordance with the EU regulations.

If the project is realised and results in a foreign business establishment or investment, the entirety of the Nopef funding is converted into a grant. If the project is not realised through foreign business activity, 50% of the funding from Nopef is converted into a grant.

Learn more about approved Nopef projects

Download Nopef fact sheet (PDF)

Support for feasibility studies aiming at demonstration and pilot projects on international markets

Nopef offers financial support to help Nordic companies plan, develop and implement commercial demonstration and pilot projects for innovative environmental and climate solution on international markets outside EU/Efta. In order to qualify, the project must concern a technology, product, service or business model with a demonstration value and up-scaling potential in the target country, but which already has been commercially proven in the Nordic region or in another country. In addition, a local partner/customer for the project must already have been identified.

Relevant projects include solutions in areas such as energy efficiency, cleantech, infrastructure, industry, water treatment, waste management and renewable energy. Nopef’s grant is to be used specifically for feasibility studies, project planning and development and other preparatory activities, in order to reach a final agreement for the implementation of the demonstration/pilot project. The support can not be used for direct investments in equipment, products, raw material, inventories, installations or operating costs.

Who can apply?

Applicants’ companies and their projects should meet the criteria below to be eligible for support.

Criteria for applicant companies

  • Fewer than 250 employees and less than EUR 50 million in turnover, also at group level
  • Registered in a Nordic country
  • Established business with commercialised products or services (i.e. sales revenue)
  • Relevant industry experience and sufficient financial and other resources for internationalisation

Criteria for projects eligible for Nopef funding

  • The project aims at an international establishment, or investment in commercial scale demonstration or pilot projects.
  • The project’s target country is outside the EU and Efta
  • Clearly defined commercial objectives
  • Verifiable direct or indirect positive environmental or climate impact (see text below)
  • Nordic interest, e.g. contributes to increased competitiveness, employment, economic growth, transfer of skills and technology, or involves Nordic cooperation partners

Additional criteria for feasibility studies aiming at commercial demonstration or pilot projects

  • The solution must have a demonstration value in the target country, but must be commercially proven on other markets
  • An identified local partner or customer for the pilot/demonstration project is required

Environmental project criteria

Nopef’s objective is to accelerate the green transition by supporting the implementation of Nordic green solutions and technologies on international markets. Nopef achieves this task by contributing to the key objectives of the Nordic Vision, with specific focus on projects within the areas listed below.

Nopef finances projects that, if realised, contribute to positive environmental or climate impact. The environmental impact of the project may be direct, through the direct implementation of circular industrial processes, renewable energy or sustainable solutions for housing, infrastructure and transport. The environmental impact can also be indirect, through sales and delivery of clean technology, sustainable products, and digitalisation, AI and data solutions, where positive environmental effects are achieved through renewable energy production, increased energy efficiency, resource savings and circular business models.

Supported feasibility studies concerns the establishment of international operations such as sales, production, assembly, development, service and maintenance or other functions that facilitate the implementation of green technologies and solutions.

Support is also provided for feasibility studies aiming at implementation of commercial scale pilots or demonstration of green innovations as well as environmental and climate solutions.

Nopef does not support projects involving fossil fuels or projects that can create lock-in effects for the use of fossil fuels.

Circular economy and sustainable business models

Examples: Bio-based materials, waste-to-resource solutions, waste-to-energy solutions, sharing economy solutions, reusable products, Product-as-a-Service business models, resource- and water saving technologies and products, reuse of by-products and waste streams, recycling and waste management

Sustainable ocean economy

Examples: Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, green shipping solutions, offshore wind and coastal renewable energy production, coastal protection and biodiversity conservation, marine waste management, reduction of plastic waste and microplastics in seas, climate adaptation in coastal areas

Sustainable construction and buildings

Examples: Sustainable and circular building materials, integrated renewable energy in buildings, energy efficient building solutions, sustainable housing, water saving solutions in buildings, replacing fossil-based construction material with renewable materials

Green transport

Examples: Technology for green hydrogen and ammonia, renewable fuels production, clean and carbon-neutral mobility, renewable fuel infrastructure, fuel-saving technologies, sustainable, lightweight, and circular materials for transport, end-of-life recycling of materials for transport solutions

Life science and Health technology

Examples: Sustainable healthcare services, digital- and climate smart healthcare solutions, renewable energy in the healthcare sector, resource efficiency in healthcare, air filtration and waste handling in the healthcare sector

Smart connectivity

Examples: Energy efficient logistics solutions, electric vehicles and infrastructure, logistics solutions for the wind energy sector, optimisation of transport routes, solutions promoting the use public transport

Digitalisation, AI and data

Climate data and reporting solutions, weather data for agricultural sector, smart energy meters and sensors, digital platforms for sharing economy, logistics platforms and data solutions, IoT solutions for smart buildings and cities, data collection and utilisation solutions enabling energy and resource efficiency

Sustainable mineral production

Examples: Methods for the sustainable, traceable, and climate-neutral extraction of minerals, efficiencies in resource consumption, minimising land disturbance, pollution reduction, reuse of by-products from mineral production

Integrity Due Diligence

Part of our efforts to identify and mitigate integrity risks is conducting a comprehensive Integrity Due Diligence (IDD) review of potential and existing counterparties by gathering and assessing information and identifying risks related to such counterparties.

We apply relevant rules and principles relating to know-your-customer requirements and expect all potential and existing counterparties to cooperate in this process. Nefco’s Policy on Integrity Due Diligence sets out the main principles to be applied in our IDD process.

Costs covered by Nopef

Nopef can cover 50% of the following feasibility study-related costs:

  • Internal salaries for feasibility study work (including social costs and daily allowances)
  • Travel, accommodation, transport to/from/in the project country
  • Legal and financial advice
  • External consultants
  • Risk and financial analyses
  • Translation and interpretation
  • Market analysis and verification
  • Development of a business plan
  • Planning activities for demonstration and pilot projects
  • Identification and evaluation of local cooperation partners and investors

Guidelines to download

Nopef funding guidelines
Standard funding terms and guidelines