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Competence Centre on Climate Change Mitigation in Energy-Intensive Industries (KEI)

A machine processes highly heated steel

About the KEI

Since 2019, Zukunft – Umwelt – Gesellschaft (ZUG) gGmbH has operated the Competence Centre on Climate Change Mitigation in Energy-Intensive Industries (KEI) in Cottbus (some 100 km south of Berlin) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The KEI provides support and funding for the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions especially for energy-intensive industries in Germany. The competence centre’s work focuses on producers of basic materials such as steel, chemicals, cement, lime and non-ferrous metals, as well as other relevant parts of industries with process-related emissions.

The Climate Change Act from the Federal Government sets a clear target: greenhouse gas neutrality by 2045. For energy-intensive industries in particular, this is a complex challenge that involves investments amounting to several billions of euros. The competence centre’s work provides climate change mitigation support to industrial businesses in Germany, ensuring that highly skilled jobs are retained into the future.

Funding programme for innovative mitigation technologies

With the ‘Decarbonisation of Industry’ funding programme, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) supported projects in energy-intensive industry until the end of 2023 that aimed to reduce process-related greenhouse gas emissions as far as possible and permanently. The corresponding funding guideline for decarbonization in industry expired on 31.12.2023.

The 'Decarbonisation of Industry' funding programme will be replaced by funding module 1 within the planned federal funding for industry and climate protection in 2024. We will inform you soon about the new funding guidelines and procedures.

Think tank

Luftaufnahme des Bürogebäudes in Cottbus, in dem das KEI arbeitet
Location of the KEI in Cottbus

The transformation of industry is a huge and complex challenge whose knock-on effects along the value chain are felt in many other areas of the economy. Therefore, alongside its focus on the manufacturing sector, the Competence Centre also works with government and research, as well as the general public. For this group of actors, the KEI offers a platform for interdisciplinary, industry-wide dialogue. This helps to consolidate and transfer the knowledge needed for decarbonisation so as to accelerate innovation.

Cluster Decarbonisation in Industries (CDI)

The KEI also works together with other institutions in the Cluster Decarbonisation in  Industries with the aim of contributing solutions to achieve net-zero manufacturing. The initiators are the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU), the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Energy Infrastructures and Geothermal Systems IEG, the Institute of Low-Carbon Industrial Processes at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the KEI. The KEI also operates the CDI Coordination Office in Cottbus.

National Contact Point (NCP) Innovation Fund

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK) actively supports the application of German projects to the EU Innovation Fund. To this end, it has set up a National Contact Point, which is operated by the Competence Centre on Climate Change Mitigation in Energy-Intensive Industries (KEI) and is currently being established. German companies can contact the National Contact Point (NCP) Innovation Fund if they have any questions about the programme.


Kompetenzzentrum Klimaschutz in energieintensiven Industrien (KEI) Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 33
03046 Cottbus
+49 355 47889 174 Write E-Mail Visit the website of KEI