Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

SpecificChallenge:

Securing sufficient and sustainable biomass supply for both the food/feed industry and for the growing biobased market is a key challenge for the agricultural sector and also an opportunity for its further growth. Natural resources are limited and a more efficient and sustainable exploitation of land and water is required to preserve them for continued use; at the same time, the market demand for food is increasing due to growing population, as is the demand for agricultural biomass to be converted into materials and chemicals. The challenges is to achieve more with less: crops that deliver a higher and constant yield, and/or resilient crops that require less water and nutrients and/or crops that can grow on marginal lands. Another challenge is to reduce harvest and post-harvest losses.


ExpectedImpact:
  • Contribute to giving more value to agricultural production and introducing additional sources of income for the farmers.
  • Increase of the economic output of the production chain for biorefinery operators, by focusing on industrial crops with multiple applications.
  • Achieve a 10% increase in crop productivity (within 4 years) on the selected value chain with respect to state of the art.
  • Achieve an increase of the efficiency of nutrient uptake, water use and land regeneration, thus contributing to environmental benefits while having a positive impact on the creation of green jobs and revitalisation of rural areas.

Scope:

Development of new agricultural industrial multipurpose crop varieties that are resource efficient, have high production rates and have improved processability. This includes tools and methods enabling the enhancement of productivity in agricultural crops, leading to higher and more constant yields and lowering the pressure on natural resources. Developments should include improved multipurpose crop varieties, facilitating innovative crop production techniques, while enhancing downstream processing of biomass via cascading use of biomass approach into chemicals and/or new materials. Proposals should include innovative solutions for the engineering of the crop composition in such a way that it facilitates processing and/or yield chemicals customised for industrial needs of the biorefinery sector. Proposals should take particular account of field regeneration, management of residues and preservation of soil quality and soil carbon content including respect of residue incorporation/extraction rates based on latest research of expertise. Proposals are expected to address the full value chain from generating new crop varieties and feedstock production to pre-industrial evaluation of the crop, including by-products, in order to validate the feedstock quality according to application requirements, and to enhance the value of the developed products. Proposals should assess the impact of the developed processes on the environmental, social and economic performance of the whole value chain. Proposals should build upon the current activities of sustainable agriculture and meet the environmental conditions of the new Common Agricultural Policy. Proposals need to provide evidence that the new technologies could be commercially implemented in Europe within a reasonable time frame. Involvement of end-users could be considered in order to help assure the viability of the developed concepts in the value chain.

It is considered that proposals with a total eligible budget in the range of EUR 2-5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals with another budget.


Record Number: 700185 / Last updated on: 2016-09-23
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