BBI Call covering new bio-based economy research and support actions, demonstrators and flagships bio-refineries.
Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) officially launches its 2016 Call for Proposals today, supporting research on every type of action on topics ranging from waste treatment to marine tech.
In its third Call for Proposals, BBI JU will provide up to €189 million of new funding for the European bio-based industries, researchers and entrepreneurs across a broad range of 27 new topics, including two new flagship topics. The 2016 Call encourages collaboration through partnerships that cut across traditional industry boundaries. Unlike other Calls, this time the proposals do not have to be linked to a specific value chain.
Philippe Mengal, BBI JU’s Executive Director commented: “The 2016 Call appeals to all actors involved in the bio-based industries, including small and medium-sized businesses, academia, and new previously unconnected industry, particularly as it includes specific emphasis on proposals to tackle issues around better re-use and valorisation of agro-forestry side and waste streams, novel ways to extract value from municipal waste and innovative marine-based solutions to increasing sustainable supplies of new types of bio-mass.”
This year’s Call is expected to be more inclusive than ever before, as it reaches out to innovators who can turn their research into new and improved industrial processes. It is the latest in a series of Calls for Proposals launched by the BBI JU, whose programme is designed to support the coherent development of Europe’s bio-based economy.
Dirk Carrez, Executive Director of the Bio-based Industries Consortium acting as the private partner for the BBI JU initiative, explained: “The real added value of BBI is that it brings different sectors and industries together. This leads to the creation of new value chains, with different partners working together within a single project. With this 2016 Call, new areas were introduced such as research topics using algae and other aquatic biomass, demo projects focusing on industrial crop varieties and novel sources of biomass such as municipal solid waste or flagship actions addressing waste-streams and by-products from the food processing industry.”
The focus of the BBI programme does not stop at the research or pilot phase, but continues with demonstration projects, through the creation of small scale production plants which can be used to explore elements such as proof-of-concept, sustainability and competitiveness. And the so-called ‘flagship projects’ are innovative first-of-a-kind production plants in Europe. In this case funding is made available for the innovative aspects of such plants, and not the entire infrastructure. While this approach already exists in many other parts of the world, it is entirely new for Europe.
John Bell, Director for Bioeconomy with the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission stated: “The development of bio-based industries, if successful, can bring rewards for many European stakeholders: consumers who get access to new sustainable products based on renewable biological resources, bio-based industries that take technological and sustainability leadership and thereby build long-term competitive advantages; enhanced economic growth and new jobs in rural, coastal and industrial areas; and new revenue streams for the EU’s agri-food, forestry and marine sectors.”
The 2016 Call for Proposals will be formally launched in Brussels ahead of the BBI JU’s Open Info Day on 21 April, an information and awareness event on the 2016 Call gathering high-level speakers, programme managers and experts from business and industry.
The event, to be held at the European Commission Charlemagne Building, will offer guidance on how to take part in the 2016 Call, including tips and tricks on writing and submitting proposals. It will also provide information and advice on relevant local and national resources, networks and synergies between the BBI JU programme and other initiatives.