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Symbiosis in the bio-based industrial ecosystems
Horizon Europe - Cluster 6 - Destination 3: Circular Economy and Bioeconomy Sectors
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
In the transition towards an effective circularity and zero pollution within the industrial ecosystems in the Union, the production of goods and services must optimize the use of any resource. Industrial symbiosis is instrumental to this goal, as it is based on the sharing of resources between facilities when wastes or by-products from an industry or industrial process becomes the raw material for another. A well-developed symbiosis across bio-based facilities aims at zero-waste value chains, ensuring more local supply chains, minimizing the use of input material resources, while reducing all the environmental impacts on soil, water, and air quality, biodiversity and climate, of all the processes involved. This should also bring an increase in the economic value of final products and a better distribution of economic and social benefits among the stakeholders. Industrial bio-based facilities within the scope of this topic include those producing bio-based materials and products (e.g., paints, coatings, inks and dyes, polymers, construction materials, fibres, personal care products, plasticisers, adhesive, lubricants, platform chemicals, solvents, surfactants, etc.).
To improve the knowledge for the implementation and scaling up of industrial symbiosis in the bio-based industries proposals should:
- Analyse the applicability of existing methods and approaches individuating and assessing technical solutions enabling the symbiosis to specific sectors/facilities within the bio-based industrial ecosystems (but also their symbiosis with non-bio-based industrial assets), including supported by digital innovation and AI, based on existing studies and on the knowledge collected and elaborated under the European Community of Practice (ECoP);
- Improve existing and/or develop new methods to assess the circularity and symbiosis of bio-based industrial ecosystems, taking into considerations specific KPIs developed in the above-mentioned ECoP;
- Assess and optimize the environmental sustainability of symbiotic processes in terms of (decreased) impacts on soil, water, and air quality, biodiversity and climate;
- Evaluate the economic and social benefits of the industrial symbiosis assets in terms of increased economic value of final industrial products, better distribution of economic and social benefits among the stakeholders, improved utilisation of local supply chains, and integration in local (national and regional) strategies supporting circular approaches;
- Individuate high-potential regions/areas, or specific industrial hubs for the demonstration of the developed symbiotic approach. Criteria for the individuation of such sites should focus on process level, symbiosis process implementation, commitment level of the local authorities and communities, regional specificities (business/industrial policy and strategies), additional funding, potential private investors, etc., also taking stock from the EU Hubs for Circularity (H4C) experiences;
- Engage with stakeholders, including local authorities and communities to disseminate the social and economic benefits from innovation in industrial symbiosis, bio-based industries, universities or other educational institutions to facilitate the training of circular practitioners;
- Develop a targeted reporting system of the effectiveness of the technical solutions, based on ad-hoc monitoring capacity along the bio-based value chains working in symbiosis.
Projects are expected to contribute to the New European Bauhaus (NEB) initiative by interacting with the NEB Community, NEB Lab and other relevant actions of the NEB initiative through sharing information, best practices, and, where relevant, results.
Where relevant, proposals should seek links with and capitalise on the results of past and ongoing EU funded projects, including under the Circular Bio-based Europe JU and other partnerships of Horizon Europe and beyond.
This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities.
In this topic the integration of the gender dimension (sex and gender analysis) in research and innovation content is not a mandatory requirement.
Expected effects and impacts
Successful proposals will enable the bio-based industries in the Union to contribute to the enhancement of European industrial sustainability, competitiveness and resource independence, developing industrial symbiosis and circularity by design and to the development of innovative and sustainable value-chains in the bio-based sectors as a prerequisite and driver of future solutions for a circular economy and the bioeconomy transitions. Projects results will contribute to deliver bio-based solutions with reduced environmental impacts on soil, water, and air quality, biodiversity and climate, in line with the EGD objectives, the EU circular economy action plan, the bioeconomy strategy and the implementation of the transition pathway for the EU chemicals industry.
- Innovative processes and industrial symbiosis approaches in the bio-based industrial value chains, enabling local security of supply chains and the maximum valorisation of biological resources while minimizing the use of hazardous substances and waste streams;
- Monitoring systems of the industrial symbiosis in the bio-based industrial value chains.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
EU Body, Education and training institution, International organization, Natural Person, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
- third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries
Applications may be submitted by one or more legal entities, which may be established in a Member State, Associated Country or, in exceptional cases and if provided for in the specific call conditions, in another third country.
Legal entities established in non-associated third countries may exceptionally participate in this Coordination and support action in a capacity other than as an associated partner.
Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.
A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.
- Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
- Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
- Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
- EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
- Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
- Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible.
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have two parts:
- Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
- Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.
Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 33 pages.
Eligible costs will take the form of a lump sum.