The first ten projects of the new Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), a partnership between the EU and industry, will get underway with a total of €50 million from Horizon 2020, the EU's research funding programme, and a further €28 million from the industry. This is thanks to the signature of the grant agreements finalised today (15 June 2015).
The funded projects will cover research into specific bio-based materials with potential to replace fossil fuels and materials based on them. They also include an industrial-scale flagship project that will use oil crops such as cardoon, grown on arid and marginal lands, for the extraction of vegetable oils. These will then be converted into bio-products such as biolubricants, cosmetics, and bioplastics, and by- products from the process will be used to produce energy, animal feed and chemicals.
The investment announced today is a testament to the private and public sectors' commitment to building a strong bio-based industrial sector in Europe, leading to new jobs and growth for a fossil-free future.
Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "These projects will help Europe on the way towards a greener, more sustainable and fossil-free future. The Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking is stimulating regional development by diversifying the local economy, increasing investments in new industrial sectors as well as generating jobs and growth."
The BBI JU is a new €3.7bn public private partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium. It focuses on turning biological residues and wastes into greener everyday products through innovative technologies and biorefineries, which are at the heart of the bioeconomy
The Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking was launched in July 2014 as part of the Commission's Innovation investment Package. Its first call for proposals was launched the same month. 38 eligible proposals were submitted to the call of which ten will be funded.
Further private and public investments to support bioeconomy are already on the way. On 19 May 2015, BBI JU published a €100 million call, and another is expected to be launched in mid-2015. All calls are published on the Horizon 2020 Participant portal.
Bioeconomy is at the heart of the European Commission's investment agenda. Supported by the right policy framework, investment in the Bioeconomy could add 0.43% of additional EU GDP, as well as 436.000 additional jobs by 2025. A Bioeconomy Investment Summit on 9-10 November 2015 in Brussels will identify business opportunities in promising innovative value-chains of Bioeconomy, as well as possible ways to mobilise private and public investment.