The Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) has signed the grant agreements with 18 new projects, selected for funding under the 2020 Call for proposals. 199 beneficiaries from 26 countries across the EU and beyond will receive BBI JU’s financial support worth €104.5 million. This is the seventh and last BBI JU call which will bring the total investment of the initiative to €821.6 million and the BBI JU’s portfolio to 142 projects.
The new BBI JU projects will reinforce resource efficiency and develop new bio-based products. In addition, they will create green jobs and support the European economy, especially in rural and coastal areas. At the same time, the BBI JU-funded projects will boost competitiveness and increase business opportunities to build a circular and sustainable bio-based industry in Europe. The projects’ consortia will promote innovations and introduce new tools for the actors of the bio-based economy sector. These projects will directly support the goals defined by the Strategic Innovation Research Agenda (SIRA).
Following the signature of the grant agreements, BBI JU Executive Director Philippe Mengal, commented: ‘It is the seventh and last call of the BBI JU before transitioning to the new Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking, a partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC). Over the last few years, we have seen an increasing number of participants in our calls for proposals. This year, Central and Eastern European countries were significantly engaged. I am very pleased by the diversity and the quality of the projects selected for funding. All sectors of the bio-based industries are represented, which shows the relevance of the BBI JU to develop the bio-based economy and its role for a greener Europe.’
From research to industry, leading the green recovery
The newly granted projects are divided into four different types of actions, ranging from close-to-market production lines to coordination and support actions:
- Three Flagship Actions will receive €45.2 million to build first-of-their-kind biorefineries in Europe.
- Four Demonstration Actions, obtaining almost €24 million, will establish demo-scale production facilities in Europe.
- Seven Research & Innovation Actions will receive €30.4 million to exploit new technologies and narrow the gaps within value chains.
- Four Coordination and Support Actions, holding nearly €5 million of BBI JU funding, will address challenges in the bioeconomy to accelerate the market uptake of bio-based products.
From building new biorefineries to reducing waste and enhancing digital accessibility
Three flagship projects will support the development of the European bio-based economy and create green jobs across the EU:
- VIOBOND will build a profitable plant to produce bio-based resin at an industrial scale and replace fossil-based chemicals in products such as plywood and sandpaper.
- SCALE will build a biorefinery to exploit components derived from microalgae to produce highly nutritional ingredients and materials for cosmetics.
- CIRCULAR BIOCARBON will convert the organic fraction of municipal wastes by turning them into bio-based fertilisers and bioplastics.
BBI JU funding will encourage the production of bio-based materials for a wide range of applications, such as cosmetics, agriculture and wine production. The Call 2020 will also support projects enabling digital connectivity to improve resource management and biomass availability. Their range of action will go from recycling solid, marine and food waste to reducing air pollution by providing bio-based components into current value chains. As examples:
- the REDWine project will receive nearly €5.7 million support, to capture the biogenic carbon dioxide from wine fermentation and build an innovative process to produce microalgae biomass.
- More than €4 million of the BBI JU funding will go to BBTWINS, a project contributing to the digitalisation of the agricultural food production and supplying high-quality biomass for bio-based application. BBTWINS is aiming to deliver logistical and technological support to producers through the optimisation of the bioprocessing operations. A new technological tool combining AI and machine learning will identify the losses and dispatch the feedstock efficiently.
- Almost €9 million funding will support two projects favouring the reduction of air pollution by promoting bio-based paints and decorative materials for the coating industry. By doing so, PERFECOAT and LIGNICOAT intend to introduce sustainable and high-quality products from forest-based feedstock and limit non-bio-based residues.
- An initiative transforming food and garden waste with technology tools is Tech4BioWaste. Almost €1 million will be allocated to this project that will create a database to ease the transformation of these wastes into value-added materials.