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Circular bioeconomy start-up villages
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 line with the European Green Deal priorities, the EU’s climate ambition for 2030 and 2050, the long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas and its flagship initiative on research and innovation for rural communities, the European innovation agenda, the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030, the bioeconomy strategy and its vision of an economic system that acts within planetary boundaries and fosters a just transition, the successful proposal will support the development of circular systemic bioeconomy solutions in start-up villages across Europe. The proposal will contribute to the expected impacts of Destination 3 ‘Circular economy and bioeconomy sectors’, by accelerating rural fair and just transitions, developing innovative and sustainable value-chains and sharing platforms (e.g. Startup Village Forum).
Applicants should demonstrate how they will provide innovative circular, sustainable and socially fair bioeconomy solutions for:
- food systems transformation;
- bio-based sectors, covering biological waste/residues and bio-based materials and products;
- employing digital technologies and approaches.
Applicants should address only one of the thematic areas above, and clearly indicate it in their proposal.
Proposals are expected to contribute to the creation and support of a thematic network of start-up villages based on bioeconomy concepts, including all of the following activities:
- Provide assistance and advisory support for the development and linking of startup villages and raise awareness of the rural innovators on sustainable and circular systemic bioeconomy solutions.
- Develop the Start Up Village Forum initiative through a community of practice to support active engagement of all relevant actors (local and regional authorities, entrepreneurs, investors, rural cooperatives, rural communities and others) in the start-up villages and foster knowledge exchange and mutual learning between them, as well as share research, data and analytical findings.
- Develop a list of case studies of local and regional start-up villages focusing on bioeconomy including sustainable food systems and bio-based solutions, identifying and presenting the respective strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. These case studies could be used for replication and dissemination across Europe in the context of the Startup Village Forum. Proposals should involve at least three start-up villages from three different Member States / Associated Countries, ensuring geographical coverage of different regions.
- Identify the challenges and development pathways for developing and scaling up of start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for a sustainable bioeconomy, including businesses linked to agriculture, food, forestry, bio-based innovation and non-agricultural activities in rural areas related to the community-led local development strategies.
- Address the challenges of Europe’s fragmented start-up scene and of entrepreneurship education and capacity building.
- Assess possible options and create guidelines and recommendations for policy makers, investors and rural innovators summarizing, sharing and presenting existing best practices and innovations to enable replication of successful cases across Europe.
- The proposals should build on the knowledge and tools already generated by the BioeconomyVentures and Pilots4U projects developed under Horizon 2020, as well as seek complementarities with related actions and existing and upcoming relevant projects on bioeconomy governance and ensure inclusiveness and engagement of all actors. It is also relevant to cooperate and establish links with the Circular Bio-based Europe (CBE) JU, and relevant EIT KICs.
- Seek synergies and complement the knowledge and cooperation activities of the Startup Village Forum. Cooperate with “Rural networks” (soon to become the CAP networks) including the European innovation partnership on agriculture productivity and sustainability (EIP-AGRI) and the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD), and Horizon Europe Partnership Sustainable Food Systems.
- Proposals should explore all available financing instruments on a European level, including relevant regional instruments (Cohesion Fund, CAP, ESF and others). Proposals should also describe how they plan to complement the ongoing activities of bodies such as the European Innovation Council, the Circular Bioeconomy Investment Platform, and the Enterprise Europe Network and European Institute of Technology (EIT) initiatives.
- Social innovation is relevant for this topic as it contributes to strengthened rural innovation ecosystems and to find solutions for rural communities when the solution is at the socio-technical interface and requires social and behavioural change, new social practices, social ownership or market uptake. Proposal should contribute to improve the quality of life and long-term socio-economic prospects of rural and coastal communities, including women (especially supporting women-led SMEs and start-ups), youth and the most vulnerable groups like indigenous people or minorities and refugees.
- This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines.
Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:
- Development and transfer of the concept of sustainable circular bioeconomy solutions in start-up villages;
- Showcased novel governance and business models for circular systemic bioeconomy solutions in start-up villages or their groupings;
- Strengthened position of bioeconomy start-ups in rural innovation ecosystems for the development of new value-added products, technologies and approaches;
- Enhanced training opportunities and knowledge exchange and cooperation among rural innovators;
- Improved rural innovation ecosystems to build a sustainable bioeconomy within ecological boundaries based on local resources, in particular contributing to climate and biodiversity policies and targets.
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.
To ensure a balanced portfolio, grants will be awarded to applications not only in order of ranking but at least also to one project within the area A that is the highest ranked, one project highest ranked within the area B, and one project highest ranked within the area C, provided that the applications attain all thresholds. Proposals shall clearly indicate the area they are applying to.
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.