BBI Call for Proposals is About to be Published

EU funding opportunities

On the 17th of April, BBI JU (Bio–Based Industry Joint Undertaking) will organise its fifth Info Day & Brokerage event in Brussels, following the official launch of the 2018 Call for proposals which is foreseen for the 11th of April. This event is aimed at companies and research organisations that are interested in European Funding for Bio–based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) and who wish to work with the European counterparts in collaborative research and innovation projects.

To this scope, the event will provide an overview of the opportunities in the bio–economy sector in Europe and shed light on the updated SIRA (Strategic and Innovation Research Agenda), providing potential applicants with detailed information on how to prepare and submit a good proposal for the 2018 BBI JU Call.

The Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) is a €3.7 billion Public-Private Partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium. Operating under Horizon 2020, this EU body is driven by the Vision and Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA) developed by the industry.

The overall objective of the BBU JU is to implement a programme of research and innovation activities in Europe that will assess the availability of renewable biological resources that can be used for the production of bio–based materials, and on that basis, to support the establishment of sustainable bio–based value chains. The specific objectives of BBI are to contribute to a more resource–efficient and sustainable low–carbon economy and to increase the economic growth and employment, in particular in rural areas, by developing sustainable and competitive bio–based industries in Europe, based on advanced bio–refineries that source their biomass sustainably.

All this in order to:

  • demonstrate technologies that enable new chemical building blocks, new materials, and new consumer products from European biomass, which replace the need for fossil-based inputs;
  • develop business models that integrate economic actors along the whole value chain from supply of biomass to bio–refinery plants to consumers of bio–based materials, chemicals and fuels, including through creating new cross-sector interconnections and supporting cross-industry clusters;
  • set up flagship bio–refinery plants that deploy the technologies and business models for bio-based materials, chemicals and fuels and demonstrate cost and performance improvements to levels that are competitive with fossil–based alternatives.

The Annual Work Plan 2018 will continue to focus on the need to better integrate biomass feedstock suppliers at the front end of the value chain, to create a demand for biomass feedstock from bio–refining processes. The four strategic orientations that AWP 2018 are:

  1. to foster the supply of sustainable biomass feedstock to feed both existing and new value chains;
  2. to optimise efficient processing for integrated bio–refineries through research, development and innovation;
  3. to develop innovative bio–based products for identified market applications;
  4. to create and accelerate the market–uptake of bio–based products and applications.

These pillars form the four strategic orientations of the bio–based industry in Europe. Each strategic orientation, or SO, has its sub–orientations.

Strategic Orientation 1 – Foster supply of sustainable biomass feedstock to feed both existing and new value chains:

  • Improve the utilisation of existing feedstock sources

BBI 2018. SO1.D1 – Improve the logistical and pre-processing steps of locally sourced biomass to serve as feedstock for the bio-based industry

  • Expand the exploitation of under–utilised or new feedstock for the bio-based industries

BBI 2018. SO1.R1 – Resolve logistical, infrastructural and technological challenges to valorise residual and side streams from aquaculture, fisheries and the aquatic biomass processing industries

BBI 2018. SO1.D2 – Find solutions to dilution, pollution and content diversity challenges to turn mixed urban bio-waste23 into sustainable feedstock for the bio-based industry

Strategic Orientation 2 – Optimise efficient processing for integrated bio–refineries through R&D&I:

  • Conversion of pre-treated feedstocks to bio-based chemicals and materials

BBI 2018. SO2.R2 – Develop techniques and systems to improve the performance of biocatalysts

BBI 2018. SO2.R3 – Introduce new technologies to make pulping operations more resource-efficient

BBI 2018 SO2.R4 – Apply advanced biotechnologies to convert biomass that contains inhibitors into high value-added chemicals and materials

BBI 2018 SO2.R5 – Develop innovative single-step processes for conversion of a biomass feedstock into multiple readily usable intermediate streams

BBI 2018 SO2.R6 – Apply emerging breakthrough technologies to improve existing value chains

BBI 2018 SO2.R7 – Electrochemical processes for bio-based monomers and polymers

BBI 2018. SO2.D3 – Valorise sugars from the cellulosic and/or hemicellulosic fractions of lignocellulosic biomass

  • Systems modelling

BBI 2018. SO2.R8 – Develop adequate computational systems for modelling the design, start-up, scaling-up and continuous improvement of bioprocesses involving microorganisms

Strategic Orientation 3 – Develop innovative bio-based products for identified market applications:

  • Bio-based products that outperform fossil-based counterparts

BBI 2018. SO3.R9 – Develop functional molecules for bio-based coatings outperforming existing products and meeting market requirements

BBI 2018. SO3.R10 – Develop bio-based packaging products that are biodegradable/ compostable and/or recyclable

BBI 2018. SO3.R11 – Develop technologies and systems to produce bio-based aromatics that outperform fossil-based counterparts

BBI 2018. SO3.D4 – Produce biopesticides or bio-based fertilisers as components of sustainable agricultural management plans

BBI 2018. SO3.F1 – Produce on a large scale competitive bio-based building blocks, polymers and materials that outperform existing alternatives in identified market applications

  • Proteins and active ingredients for feed/food, pharma and cosmetics

BBI 2018. SO3.D5 – Produce sustainable and cost-efficient high-performance functional ingredients from alternative sources

BBI 2018. SO3.F2 – Large-scale production of proteins for food and feed applications from alternative, sustainable sources

Strategic orientation 4 – Create and accelerate the market-uptake of bio-based products and applications:

BBI 2018. SO4.S1 – Benefit from previous and current work to create a coherent and stimulating ‘environment’ for a sustainable bio-based industry in Europe

BBI 2018. SO4.S2 – Expand the bio-based industry across Europe

BBI 2018. SO4.S3 – Identify opportunities to promote careers, education and research activities in the European bio-based industry

All proposals should specifically demonstrate the benefits versus existing state–of–the–art technologies. This might include evidence of new processing solutions and new products obtained.

Within the Work plan, the following type of actions are foreseen:

  • Research and Innovation Actions:

RIA actions aim at filling the technological gaps within specific value chains. The impact for the whole value chain must be clearly shown. For RIA actions the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at the end of the project should be in the range of 4 to 5, except for some topics where another TRL is given.

  • Innovation Actions:

Innovation Actions should address the whole value chain from feedstock sourcing to the market applications.

Moreover, a “demonstration” action shall include the establishment of a demo–scale production facility in Europe, being it a new installation, substantial modification of an existing facility, or use of existing demo facilities.

A “flagship” action aims at supporting the first application/deployment in the market of an innovation that has already been demonstrated but not yet applied/deployed in the market due to market failure/barriers to uptake. Proposers for a flagship project shall provide clear evidence of previous validation of the proposed process at demonstration scale.

  • Coordination and support actions:

Coordination and Support Actions can address cross-sectorial challenges and supporting value chains through knowledge development (studies) and networking.

In 2018 the call has an indicative budget of EUR 115 million for a total of 21 topics with 11 RIAs topics, 3 CSAs, 5 DEMOs and 2 FLAGs. For the first time in BBI JU Calls the RIAs include 6 RIA topics with the additional eligibility criterion that at least one participant of each consortium has to be a constituent entity of the Bio–based Industry Consortium (BIC).


with regard to the Bio–Based Industries Joint Undertaking only the following participants will be eligible for funding for actions in the area of bio–based industries:

(a) small and medium–sized enterprises;

(b) secondary and higher education establishments;

(c) non–profit legal entities, including those carrying out research or technological development as one of their main objectives;

(d) the Joint Research Centre;

(e) international European interest organisations.


For research and innovation actions: total budget of EUR 41 million;

For Innovation actions: a total budget of EUR 72 million;

For coordination and support action: total budget of EUR 2 million;

Indicative deadline: 6 September 2018 17:00:00 (Brussels local time) – (single stage call).

Indicative budget: EUR 115 million.


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