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Circular design of bio-based processes and products
Horizon Europe - Cluster 6 - Destination 3: Circular Economy and Bioeconomy Sectors
date - 2nd stage
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
Successful proposals will enable the bio-based industries in the Union, including SMEs, to contribute to the enhancement of European industrial sustainability, competitiveness and resource independence and to the deployment 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 and the EU zero pollution action plans, the bioeconomy strategy and the communication on sustainable carbon cycles.
The bio-based processes and products within the scope of this topic do not include food, feed, biofuels, bioenergy and cultural and recreation sectors. The establishment of safe, resilient, competitive and equitable production and consumption systems with reduced environmental impacts on soil, water, and air quality, biodiversity and climate, is part of the objectives of the EU circular economy.
To improve the capacity of the industrial bio-based sectors within the scope of the topic, especially the manufacturing sectors, to contributing to that objective, proposals should:
- Develop optimized design of bio-based processes and bio-based products to improve their circularity, taking into account the opportunity to re-use recycled materials in the local market. This could be achieved through increasing resources and energy efficiency of processes, improving high-quality recycling technologies, increasing the durability of products and their suitability to be safely re-used and re-manufactured, improved products end-of-life options, increasing the safe recycled content in new products, etc.;
- Assess the safety, environmental sustainability and climate neutrality of circular bio-based processes and products along their value chains, including of the biological feedstock from land and sea used in the production processes. The environmental impacts of processes and products on soil, water, and air quality, biodiversity and climate should be based on existing and validated assessment methods, also developed and improved in past and ongoing R&I projects. In particular, the climate neutrality should be assessed based both on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and on the increase of carbon removals and should include an assessment of the energy efficiency improvement;
- Include the assessment of economic and social aspects of the improved production and consumption bio-based systems in terms of increased economic value along the whole value chains, circular patterns of products involving consumers, i.e., durability, reuse, repair, remanufacturing and recycling patterns, improved economic value of recycled materials, job opportunities, etc.;
- Develop product information systems demonstrating the safe and sustainable use of biological resources and the resource efficiency along value chains, from the production to the extended circular product lifetimes and appropriate disposal. Transparent information should aim at improving the societal acceptance of bio-based innovation and at supporting consumers and customers in making responsible and informed choices.
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. 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 practice, 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, the Processes 4 Planet partnership and other European partnerships of Horizon Europe.
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:
- Circular design of bio-based processes and products: increasing resources and energy efficiency of bio-based technologies, decreasing their environmental impacts on soil, water, and air quality, biodiversity and climate, improving durability and suitability of bio-based products to be safely re-used and re-manufactured, allowing for high-quality recycling, increasing the safe recycled content in new products;
- Product information systems enabling the circularity, safety and environmental sustainability of the bio-based manufacturing sectors and of the use of products at consumers’ level.
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
Activities should reach TRL 5 by the end of the project.
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.