The Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) has signed grant agreements with the projects selected for funding under the 2019 Call for proposals. The 22 new projects will receive financial support worth €106 million and bring the total of BBI JU grants to 123. 218 beneficiaries from 27 EU Member States and associated countries will take part in the projects.
By developing new bio-based products and increasing resource efficiency, the project consortia will reinforce the bio-based industries sector. Additionally, they will support the European economy in the upcoming years, as they will increase business opportunities and create jobs in both rural and urban areas. The new BBI JU projects will also contribute to reducing greenhouse emissions, thus showing a significant environmental impact. The newly signed projects cover the four strategic orientations defined by the Strategic and Innovation Research Agenda (SIRA).
Announcing the start of these new projects, Philippe Mengal, BBI JU’s Executive Director commented: ‘This year again I am impressed by the quality and the ambition behind the new projects. We can see new areas of the bio-based industries now covered, demonstrating how vital BBI JU is for the development of the sector in the continent. Moreover, it confirms the crucial role the EU bio-based industries can play in the green recovery of Europe.’
Increasing productivity and reducing waste
Most of the Call’s funding will support projects improving the bio-based production line, lowering its costs and thus bringing affordable green products to the customer. The projects will also develop innovative bio-based products and recycling solutions for plastics.
Nearly €20 million of the BBI JU funding will go to the construction of biorefineries producing bio-based chemicals for hygiene products, pharmaceuticals and polymers. This is the goal of the AFTERBIOCHEM flagship project, which aims at increasing the efficiency in the use of biomass and reducing the production costs.
€16 million funding will support three projects working on bio-based pesticides that will increase agricultural productivity while protecting the environment. For instance, the PHERA project will use bio-based pheromones to produce and commercialise pest control mechanisms for crops.
Three projects selected for a total of €11.3 million funding will develop new biodegrading solutions to plastic waste, a major threat to the ecosystem. By doing so, they will decrease the amount of non-biodegradable materials discarded in the environment while creating new jobs in the bio-based sector. The new projects will mean new income opportunities for the waste management sector, among others. An example is the RECOVER project, which will improve the biodegradation of plastics to transform them into bio-based raw materials.
The production of bio-based ingredients for high-end markets will be upscaled to an industrial level by two new projects receiving a total of €9 million. One of them is the ALEHOOP project, which will produce bio-based proteins to offer an alternative to meat proteins.
Supporting the entire green economy, from research to industry
The newly granted projects are divided into different types of actions, ranging from research to a full production line:
- Three Coordination and Support Action projects receiving a total of €4.5 million of BBI JU funding will address challenges in the bioeconomy to accelerate the market uptake of bio-based products.
- 12 Research & Innovation Action projects will receive a total of €50 million to develop new technologies and fill gaps within value chains.
- Six Demonstration Action projects receiving a total of €31.8 million will establish demo-scale production facilities in Europe.
- One Flagship Action project will receive €19.9 million to build first-of-their-kinds biorefineries in Europe.
The BBI JU projects receive funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. In most cases, project partners top up this grant to reach a budget needed to implement the project.
The 2020 Call for project proposals, offering €102 million of support, is open until 3 September 2020. Read more here.