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Best available techniques to recover or recycle fertilising products from secondary raw materials
Horizon Europe - Cluster 6 - Destination 4: Clean Environment and Zero Pollution
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
Successful proposals will deliver recommendation to policy makers and stakeholders on the alternative fertilising products able to balance nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) flows within safe ecological boundaries at regional and local scale, thereby contributing to restoring ecosystems. Projects will contribute to deliver alternative fertilising products with reduced environmental impacts on soil, water, and air quality, biodiversity and climate, in line with the European Green Deal and the EU zero pollution action plan.
The scope of this CSA is the analysis of best available technologies for recovering/recycling fertilising products from secondary raw materials in Europe while limiting nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in soil, water and air and any other form of pollution from the use of such fertilising products and from the replacement of nitrogen- and phosphorus-based fertilisers produced from conventional processes (including mining and fossil-based processes). Examples of fertilising products within the scope are: recycled nutrients from urban and industrial waste water and sewage sludge, organic fertilising products from bio-waste, digestate and treated manure as well as other fertilising products from biological resources.
To deliver on the expected outcomes, proposals should:
- Collect data on case studies of existing installations converting secondary raw materials into fertilising products in Europe and outside. Secondary raw materials should include: urban and industrial waste water and sewage sludge, bio-waste, digestate, treated manure, others. Case studies of existing installations should range in volume and type of secondary materials treated, as well as in technologies employed in the installations;
- Analyse the technical aspects of the available technologies, such as on the characterisation of secondary raw materials, the recovery/recycling processes and their environmental impacts on soil, water and air quality, biodiversity and climate, their resources efficiency (including energy), as well as the pollution prevention operations. The analysis should also include the assessment of the costs for installation, maintenance and upgrade of both recovery/recycling and pollution prevention operations;
- Compare the environmental impacts and the resources efficiency (including energy) of the available technologies in the scope with the impacts of the conventional processes producing nitrogen- and phosphorus-based fertilisers. The comparison should be performed based on appropriate selection of the functional unit;
- Analyse the fertilising products from each case study selected at the first step: e.g., their composition (in a range of values of main components, following the current content of labelling provisions of EU fertilising products), with special focus on any potential polluting substance, including microplastics and persistent substances and their impacts on soil, water, air quality, biodiversity and climate, their suggested use and management, especially preventing the emissions of nitrogen and phosphorus to the environment but also any other pollutants, their compliance with certifications and labels, etc.;
- Analyse the market and the regulatory framework of the identified practices (according to the EU legislation, certification and standardization schemes) and their potential to enable or prevent the wider uptake of these technologies;
- Analyse the technical availability of feedstock supply and potential to upscale the identified practices and the production of fertilising products from secondary raw materials;
- Select the best available technologies based on: the analysis carried out on the whole database of case studies, the market and the regulatory framework and the availability of feedstock supply. The best techniques should meet the best performances, especially in terms of lower impacts on soil, water, and air quality, biodiversity and climate;
- Deliver specific datasheets of relevant techniques with their technical and environmental performances, as well as with economic and social analysis;
- Build links with the European Mission ‘Restore our ocean and waters by 2030’, in particular with the Mission activities under objective 2 – prevent, minimise and eliminate pollution in marine and freshwater environment, and with the Mission lighthouse activities in the Mediterranean sea basin focusing on prevention, reduction and elimination of all kinds of pollution in marine and freshwater ecosystems, including pollution from excess nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen);
- Build links with the European Mission ‘A Soil Deal for Europe’, especially with the activities under objective -reduce soil pollution and enhance restoration.
- Provide recommendations to policy makers and practitioners to ensure the deployment of the best available technologies preventing the emissions of nitrogen and phosphorus to soil, water and air;
- Establish a forum of stakeholders from the whole supply and value chain, in order to feed the projects with advice and discussion and share best practices eventually. The forum will be open to stakeholders from Europe and outside.
Applicants from different groups of stakeholders will cover all the technical, environmental, economic and social aspects of supply chains of secondary raw materials, installations and processes converting those materials into fertilising products and end users.
In order to achieve the expected outcomes, and in line with the EU strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation, international cooperation is encouraged.
Where relevant, proposals should seek links with and capitalise on the results of past and ongoing EU funded projects.
The projects funded under this topic should develop their tasks in synergy, in order to select the best available technologies on the broader base of case studies, possibly covering all different conditions in Europe (i.e., different secondary raw materials available, different techniques, regulatory and market frameworks, etc.). The projects should also establish common formats of the specific datasheets of relevant techniques and of the recommendations to policy makers and practitioners, both described in the scope. Moreover, they should establish together the forum of stakeholder, which will be unique for all projects.
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.
Projects results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:
- Lower environmental impacts on soil, water, and air quality, biodiversity and climate from alternative fertilising products recovered from secondary raw materials;
- Circular use of alternative fertilising products recovered from secondary raw materials;
- Best available techniques for recovering/recycling fertilising products from secondary raw materials, in terms of technical feasibility, environmental performance and socio-economic aspects: collection and sharing among European and international stakeholder.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan), Belarus (Беларусь), 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), New Zealand (Aotearoa), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
Education and training institution, International organization, 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
Only legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes, as beneficiaries, three legal entities independent from each other and each established in a different country as follows:
- at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State; and
- at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
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).
Eligible costs will take the form of a lump sum.
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 33 pages.