Grants 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 40% 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. Support provided by Nopef is considered as de minimis aid in accordance with 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.

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 500 employees and less than EUR 100 million in turnover, also at group level
  • Registered in a Nordic country and at least one year of operations
  • 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

Criteria for environmental interest

Nopef’s objective is to support the implementation of Nordic green solutions and technologies on international markets.

Accordingly, support is provided for internationalisation projects that, if realised, contribute to positive environmental or climate impact within the fields of environment and climate, including in the following areas:

  • Improved energy efficiency in industry or private households
  • More efficient use of resources and raw material
  • Improved products and solutions for sustainable consumption
  • Renewable energy solutions, technology or components
  • Sustainable housing, transport and infrastructure
  • Solutions for waste, recycling and circular economy
  • Environmental consulting, monitoring and risk abatement
  • Climate adaptation and mitigation

Supported projects may concern the establishment of international 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 investments and implementation of commercial scale pilots or demonstration of green innovations and environmental and climate solutions.

The environmental effects of the project may be direct, through the direct implementation of efficient manufacturing, modern industrial processes, environmental and waste technology, renewable energy plans or sustainable solutions for housing, infrastructure and transport.

In many cases the environmental interest is indirect, however, through sales and delivery of clean technology and sustainable products, automation and process equipment, ICT solutions and digitalisation, maintenance and services, where positive environmental effects are achieved through increased energy efficiency, resource savings and greater environmental awareness in the user chain.

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 grants

Nopef can cover 40% of the following project-related costs, which can be included in the feasibility study budget on Nopef’s application form:

  • Internal salaries for project 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