€215.5 million to propel Europe’s circular bio-based economy

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Image: © red_moon_rise | iStock

The CBU JU has announced its second call to further the circular bio-based economy and its respective European industries. With €215.5 million across 18 topics up for grabs, what are the real details?

According to the CBU JU, all stakeholders of the circular bio-based industries ecosystem – such as farmers, brand owners, companies, research organisations and local authorities, to name just a few – can apply by 20 September 2023.

The CBE JU’s newest call budget comes from Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation funding programme, and is published on the EU’s Funding & tender opportunities portal.

Continuing the CBE JU’s Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda:

This newest call from the CBE JU is designed to support three objectives as defined in the CBE JU’s research agenda:

  • Accelerate the innovation process and development of bio-based innovative solutions
  • Accelerate market deployment of existing mature and innovative bio-based solutions
  • Ensure a high level of the environmental performance of bio-based industrial systems
Image: © LinkedIn: Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE JU)

What are the types of projects invited for funding?

CBE JU has announced it will fund three types of actions:

  • RIAs – Research and innovation actions
    • RIAs that will establish new knowledge or explore the feasibility of new or improved technology, product, process, service or solution.
  • IAs – Innovation actions
    • IAs will scale up activities from prototype to product validation and market replication. Among them, Flagships will deploy the first-of-its-kind industrial and commercial scale production plant in the European market.
  • CSAs – Coordination and support actions
    • CSAs will structure stakeholder communities, support technological visions and outreach, and disseminate and exploit research results, among other objectives.

By accessing the call page, you will find more information available for each topic with details on the action requirements.

18 CBU JU topics to further the circular bio-based economy

Applicants will be expected to support and further the implementation of these three objectives via the following 18 topics, as listed by the CBU JU, with a combined total of €215.5 million:

Innovation Actions (IA)

  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-IA-01 Small-scale biorefining in rural areas – €15 million
  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-IA-02 Production of safe, sustainable, and efficient bio-based fertilisers to improve soil health and quality – €15 million
  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-IA-03 Improve fermentation processes (including downstream purification) to final bio-based products – €15 million
  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-IA-04 Recycling bio-based plastics increasing sorting and recycled content (upcycling) – €15 million
  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-IA-05 Development of scalable, safe bio-based surfactants with an improved sustainability profile – €15 million
  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-IA-06 Selective, sustainable production routes towards bio-based alternatives to fossil-based chemical building blocks – €15 million
  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-IA-07 High performance, circular-by design, bio-based composites – €15 million

Research and innovation actions (RIA)

  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-R-01 Phyto-management; curing soil with industrial crops, utilising contaminated and saline land for industrial crop production – €10 million
  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-R-02 Optimised forest-based value chains for high-value applications and improved forest management – €10 million
  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-R-03 Robust and optimised industrial biotech and chemical/industrial biotech processes – €10 million
  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-R-04 Development of novel, high-performance bio-based polymers and co-polymers – €10 million
  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-R-05 Pre-normative research to develop standards for biodegradability of bio-based products in controlled and open environments – €5 million

Coordination and support actions (CSA)

  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-S-01 EU-wide network of pilot plants and testing facilities, improving SMEs and start-ups’ access to scale-up – €1.5 million
  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-S-02 Supporting the capacity of regions in environmental sustainability assessment for the bio-based sectors – €3 million

When does proposal submission close, and what happens next?

The call is set to close on 20 September 2023. After this, the CBE JU will organise the evaluation of the submitted proposals with the help of external experts selected from the European Commission’s expert database.

According to the CBU JU, the proposals selected for funding will be known by the end of February 2024 at the latest. “If the subsequent Grant Agreement Preparation (GAP) is successful, the grant agreements with the selected project teams will be signed by the end of May 2024 at the latest.”


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