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From silos to diversity – small-scale bio-based demonstration pilots
Horizon Europe - Cluster 6 - Destination 3: Circular Economy and Bioeconomy Sectors
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
This topic supports the bioeconomy strategy and the common agriculture policy (CAP) by promoting new business models for the green transition in line with the European Green Deal objectives.
The current economy system is based on an intensive consumption of fossil fuels in a way that severely compromise the future of the planet due to the severe consequences in climate change. Europe's future economic growth and jobs will increasingly have to come from innovation in sustainable products based on renewable resources and in line with the climate and biodiversity objectives. This topic addresses innovative business models and technology options in primary production sectors to unlock the potential of the bioeconomy in rural areas and to efficiently use underutilised biomass, in particular side streams from agriculture and forestry, for high value applications in small-scale bio-based demonstration pilots.
- Develop new business models for the economic-viable valorisation of local underutilised feedstock, such as by-products, residues, and waste, from land and livestock.
- Demonstrate suitable processes and technologies to produce high-value bio-based materials and products in rural conditions with an active role of primary producers (farmers and foresters) in the value chains.
- Build-upon existing food, feed, or bioenergy value chains to further strengthen their economic and environmental sustainability through synergistic interlinkages and in line with the cascading principle.
- Improve the knowledge on the quantitative and qualitative requirements, harvesting, logistics, pre-treatment (e.g. mechanical, thermal) and conversion of the feedstock.
- Ensure that the bio-based materials and products are based on the latest safety standards.
- Evaluate the environmental and socio-economic performance of the demonstrated value chains.
- Demonstrate the economic feasibility of seeking access to sufficient quantities of raw materials needed to set-up new supply chains and provide evidence that the feedstock streams in question are produced on land that is unsuitable for food production or represent underutilized residues from the agro-food industry.
- Closely interact with other selected projects under this topic and create a joint stakeholder platform to promote best-practice examples for primary producers and SMEs at national and EU-level.
A close cooperation with selected projects from topic HORIZON-CL6-2021-CIRCBIO-01-08 is strongly advised.
Proposals shall apply the concept of the 'multi-actor approach’ and ensure adequate involvement of primary producers and other actors active in rural areas.
Proposals may involve financial support to third parties e.g. to primary producers, academic researchers, start-ups, SMEs, and other multidisciplinary actors, to, for instance, develop, test or validate developed applications. Consortia need to define the selection process of organisations, for which financial support may be granted. Maximum 20% of the EU funding can be allocated to this purpose.
Proposals are encouraged to include regions where pilot plants and demonstrational sites are missing or underrepresented.
Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following outcomes:
- Demonstration of replicable and scalable, innovative bioeconomy-oriented production and business models with an active involvement of primary producers.
- Enhanced knowledge and awareness on feedstock availability and technology options to better valorise underutilised biomass, residues and waste streams from agriculture and forestry.
- Improved innovation capacities and product portfolio extension in primary production sectors and SMEs.
- Development of new materials, products, and services with considerably lower environmental impacts and at higher value.
- Climate-neutral land sector by 2035 and climate-neutral economy by 2050.
- Diversification and enhancement of agricultural incomes (organic and conventional farming).
- Creation of a stakeholder platform to share best-practice examples and promote new business models in the primary production sectors.
- Promotion of bioeconomy-related interventions in the new CAP and advice and technical guidance for Member States.
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.
other eligibility criteria
The proposals must use the multi-actor approach. See definition of the multi-actor approach in the introduction to the work programme.
Activities should reach TRL 6-7 by the end of the project.
Beneficiaries may provide financial support to third parties. The support to third parties can only be provided in the form of grants. The maximum amount to be granted to each third party is EUR 60 000.
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).
This call follows a two-stage approach.
This topic is part of the blind evaluation pilot under which first stage proposals will be evaluated blindly. Applicants submitting a proposal under the blind evaluation pilot (see General Annex F) must not disclose their organisation names, acronyms, logos, nor names of personnel in Part B of their first stage application (see General Annex E).
The limit for a first-stage application is 10 pages. The limit for a full application (Part B) is 45 pages.