Horizon 2020: funding new technology for the UK biobased economy

NNFCC workshop attendees discussed EU funding opportunities and new technologies

More than 20 delegates attended the Horizon 2020 funding workshop hosted by the NNFCC at the York Science Park on 28 January. There were representatives from over 18 different institutions and companies, including Yorkshire Universities, FERA, Biomimicry UK, Eon, Enterprise Europe Network, ADAS and the University of York. The attendees discussed EU funding opportunities and new technology in the biobased economy.

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme to date with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020).  It aims to facilitate breakthroughs and discoveries in science by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.

The event was supported by Bio Base NWE, a three-year and €6.2 million project launched by the European Commission in 2013 to support the development of the biobased economy in North West Europe (NWE). The Bio Base NWE partnership includes organisations from five different countries and works mainly with small and medium businesses (SME’s) to help facilitate innovation and business development in bio-based technologies.

Ewa Bloch, from Innovate UK (the new name for the Government’s Technology Strategy Board) is the UK’s national contact point on Horizon 2020. She explained the funding opportunities available for biobased industries, biotechnology, and other related areas such as Agriculture & Forestry and Environment & Climate Action.

The new focus of Horizon 2020 is that it’s open to everyone, including small to medium enterprises, with a simplified structure that reduces red tape and time. This approach makes sure new projects get off the ground quickly – and achieve results faster.

Ewa highlighted the fact that the UK receives the second largest share of funding from the European Commission, and has so far has received 15.5% of the total FP7 funding of €6.643 million. Only Germany has obtained more EU funding for research and innovation projects.

Bioenergy topics which are included in the 2015 calls for proposals include:

• LCE12 2015: Demonstrating advanced biofuel technologies
• LCE14 2015: Market uptake of existing and emerging sustainable bioenergy.
• Ewa also revealed the four funding priorities for SC5 2016-17:

• Systemic eco-innovation
• Climate services
• Nature-based solutions
• Sustainable supply of raw materials

For more information on funding calls and deadlines, visit the Horizon 2020UK website. To contact Ewa Bloch email ewa.bloch@innovateuk.gov.uk

To find out more about the Bio Base NWE project click here.


NNFCC, press release, 2015-02-29.


Bio Base NWE
Biomimicry UK
Enterprise Europe Network
European Commission
Horizon 2020
Innovate UK
UK Government
University of York (UK)


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