Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

ERA-IB-2 Report Summary

Project ID: 291814
Funded under: FP7-KBBE
Country: Germany

Final Report Summary - ERA-IB-2 (ERA-Net for Industrial Biotechnology 2)

Executive Summary:
The ERA-NET on Industrial Biotechnology (ERA-IB-2) brought together 18 owners and managers of national and regional Research & Development (R&D) programmes from 15 partner countries from all over Europe, as far west as Portugal and as far east as Russia, from Norway in the North to Israel in the south. ERA-IB-2 ran from 12/2011 until 05/2016 and was accompanied by seven observers from FI, IT, HR, SI, LI, SE, UK.
The keystone activity of ERA-IB-2 was the planning, preparation, implementation and follow-up of annual joint calls for R&D proposals. Five joint calls were implemented by ERA-IB-2 resulting in a total of 44 projects funded (+ probably nine projects of the last call, still under negotiation) summing up to ~ 60 Million € funding (+ probably 15 Mio € via the last call, still under negotiation), with Partners from academia and industry from 17 countries: AT, BE, HR, DK, FI, FR, DE, IS, NL, PL, PT, RO, ES, UK, NO, RU, TK. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th call were supported by the ERA-Net EuroTransBio (ETB), which focusses on funding small and medium enterprises (SME) in all areas of biotechnology. The last joint call again further widened the collaboration in terms of budget, scope and participating countries, as it was implemented in cooperation with the ERA-NETs ERASynBio and the ERA-NET on Marine Biotechnology ERA-MBT.
In order to find topics for the calls R&D needs were identified through active stakeholder dialogue (two stakeholder seminars 10/2011 Amsterdam & 10/2013 The Hague + survey 02/2014 Warsaw + seminar under ERA-IB in 10/2007 Brussels), where selected key members of industry and academia discussed and identified possible future call topics and compared especially industry needs with (national/regional) R&D priorities.
Scientific excellence was guaranteed by the 38 different evaluators who thoroughly evaluated the overall 259 (pre-)proposals of the five joint calls.
Looking at call preparation, the ERA-IB-2 consortium has learned and applied many lessons, for example, that there seem to be more advantages of broad vs. narrow calls for most funding agencies or that an increased SME and industry participation can best be achieved by including respective restrictions in call text and evaluation criteria. A balanced expert panel (50%-50% experts from academia and industry) has very positive effects as well.
Not only calls were launched, but also projects accompanied and monitored throughout their (usually three years-) runtime. A mid-term and a final report gave valuable insight to the funding agencies concerning the projects and collaborations. A (confidential) mid-term seminar helped the projects to discuss current research results and possible problems while external evaluators (from the former expert panel) gave feedback. Final seminars were organised for the projects of the first three calls (Paris, Warsaw and Berlin), which gave researchers a chance to present their results to the wider research community as well as to network, while the funding organisations could ask in-depth questions and witness lively discussions between experts working in the same field. Researchers were also asked for feedback which will be used to plan the next call cycle.
In summer 2016, there are 42 projects running: the 3rd call projects are going to finish in the end of 2016, 4th and 5th call projects are ongoing while the 13 international R&D consortia selected under the 6th joint call just started their work. A list of these projects and short descriptions of each consortium and their planned work is available on www.era-ib.net.
Additional to 13 lively project internal meetings (evaluation meetings, status seminars held back to back with executive board meetings) there was a variety of further networking activities – from the organisation of three “Platform meetings of IB-related ERA-Nets” (networking for IB related ERA-Nets and related initiatives like FACCE JPI, ETP SusChem, PPP BRIDGE, PLATFORM) to participating in a number of other events in order to represent ERA-IB-2 and/or to increase collaboration (e.g. workshops of PLATFORM, H2020, ERA-LEARN, related ERA-NETs, national IB events).
All results were disseminated to the wider network of IB in all the partner countries. There were in total 13 newsletters, three brochures presenting results of the joint calls, a poster, leaflets, a website etc.

Project Context and Objectives:
In order for Europe to become “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustained economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion", as stated in the March 2000 Lisbon European Council, it will be necessary to develop and implement sustainable, environmentally friendly industrial processes and products and to substitute fossil resources with biobased (renewable) ones.
The Europe 2020 Strategy displays Europe’s structural weaknesses – such as sluggish growth, low levels of investments in R&D, and barriers to market access for innovative products – and highlights the changes that are essential if Europe is to maintain its wealth and prosperity. The Strategy points out that growth will have to be smart, through an economy based on knowledge and innovation, as well as sustainable, meaning resource-efficient and low-carbon.
The tool to achieving both of these aims is the knowledge-based bio-economy (KBBE), with Industrial Biotechnology being one of the main drivers. IB is the key technology to process and produce a wide range of materials in a sustainable way, to create additional income for farmers by using novel, non-food biomass sources, to increase the volume and cost-efficiency of bio-based products and to thus reduce dependency on fossil fuels as well as environmental impacts of a number of industrial sectors from chemical to pharmaceutical, from paper to textiles.
However, this move from a fossil-based to a bio-based economy requires substantial efforts in research and development, as acknowledged both in the EC’s Flagship Initiative “Innovation Union” and in the recommendations by the LMI Ad-Hoc Advisory Group for Bio-based Products. Research supporting this Lead Market is currently fragmented and, in view of the sector’s market structures, under-funded.
In FP6, IB did not play a key role. Out of serious concerns that Europe might fall behind countries such as the United States, China and Japan, who dedicate substantial resources to R&D in this area, its role in FP7 became more prominent.
On Member State level, a number of programmes were launched in the past, such as BIP (“Bio-resources, Industry, Performances”) in France, ”Bio-economy 2030” in Germany, the National Framework Programme in Poland and “Greening of Industry” in Flanders. In order to make the most of these varied efforts, it was vital to bring the different players together, to share information on national and EU R&D funding on IB, and to gain synergies by streamlining the programmes.
In short, European Industrial Biotechnology can only achieve and maintain excellence on a global scale if R&D measures are coordinated in such a way as to stimulate knowledge transfer between countries.

The ERA-Net Industrial Biotechnology 2 (ERA-IB-2) brought owners and managers of national and regional R&D programmes in the Member States together in order to strengthen the cooperation and coordination of their activities in the area of Industrial Biotechnology (IB). The key mission of ERA-IB-2 was to contribute to a European knowledge-based bio-economy by reducing fragmentation in IB R&D funding, by fostering the exchange of knowledge across borders and disciplines and to increase cost-effectiveness by pooling resources and optimising existing principles and mechanisms for planning and implementing joint activities.
In the course of ERA-IB, the predecessor of ERA-IB-2 funded under FP6, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of Industrial Biotechnology in Europe and in important non-European countries were assessed. It became clear that, while there are a number of companies active in IB in Europe, and government funding for R&D is available in all countries, there are still major obstacles which are unique to the European situation – especially compared to other important IB players such as the US, Japan and China.
One of the most prevalent of these barriers perceived by stakeholders from industry and academia is a lack of coordination in R&D funding. In addition, European companies active in biotechnology are very often small and lack the resources needed for high quality R&D. Access to finance is vital for these players if they are to make a contribution to the innovation Europe needs for future economic growth.
ERA-IB-2 stepped into this situation and developed a truly pan-European approach to IB R&D funding which made use of the full potential of European knowledge and activities in order to improve Europe’s competitiveness in the sector. For ERA-IB-2, it was deemed especially important to cover the whole breadth and width of European R&D programmes and therefore strengthened the active involvement of new and prospective Member States from East and Southeast Europe in the project (Romania, Latvia, Poland, Croatia).
National programmes of different scopes and foci will complement and benefit from each other, and the positive effects of synergies created will be fed back into the national R&D landscape as well as impact on EU-level R&D.
ERA-IB-2 not only responded to the need for trans-national cooperation in R&D support, but did so in the area of a sector which became a cornerstone of the bio-economy. In keeping with the EU 2020 targets, ERA-IB-2 improved access to finance in innovative technologies. The joint calls were designed in a way that the link between R&D and innovation was strengthened and gaps between research and market application became possible to be bridged. In joining together partners focussing on private or on public research, the network ensured that consortia can address the whole value chain of IB.
A lively exchange with European initiatives such as FACCE JPI, PPP SPIRE, BBI-JTI Biobased Industries or the PLATFORM project on KBBE relevant ERA-NETs provided ERA-IB-2 with an indication of the way the political framework developed. This resulted in Industrial Biotechnology being promoted in a coordinated and focussed way on both strategic and working level. This is especially beneficial to the area of IB because the classification of and boundaries between programme owners/managers and political decision-makers are not the same in all countries. An ongoing, productive exchange of information and ideas was therefore vital to streamline processes and align programmes and actions on the European level.
The overall goal of ERA-IB-2 was to “increase Europe’s competitiveness in the area of industrial biotechnology by providing a platform for long-lasting collaboration and cooperation, thus increasing quality & efficiency of national biotechnology R&D programmes”.
This goal was achieved by completing the following nine objectives (acc. to DoW):
Objective 1: “creating/maintaining a strong network of programme owners and managers, to share information on national/regional IB programmes/projects as well as relevant policies”
The strong network becomes visible looking at:
... the consortium: 18 partners from 15 countries + 7 observers
... the engagement: overall, there was ca. 75% participation of partners in 13 project meetings over 4,5 years
... the activities: 5 joint calls in 4,5 years
... the results: 44 projects funded (+ probably nine projects of the last call, still under negotiation) summing up to ~ 60 Million € funding (+ probably 15 Mio € via the last call, still under negotiation), with Partners from academia and industry from 17 countries. Jointly funding projects is a very effective way of learning about other countries programmes as well.
... future interest: for network continuation: 100% of ERA-IB-2 funding agencies are willing to cooperate further (see D7.4)
Objective 2: “aligning the network with other initiatives in the field of IB and of the KBBE”
The following paths successfully lead to aligning the network with other initiatives:
- “Platform meetings of IB-related ERA-Nets”: The organisation of three “Platform meetings” provided IB related ERA-Nets and related initiatives like FACCE JPI, ETP SusChem, BBI-JTI Biobased Industries and PLATFORM the chance to share contents, goals, experiences and good practices and thus helped to avoid overlaps and build up expertise.
- Collaboration with other ERA-NETs: The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th call were supported by the ERA-Net EuroTransBio (ETB), which focusses on funding small and medium enterprises (SME) in all areas of biotechnology. The last joint call again further widened the collaboration in terms of budget, scope and participating countries, as it was implemented in cooperation with the ERA-NETs ERASynBio and the ERA-NET on Marine Biotechnology ERA-MBT.
- Representation: Participation in a number of external events in order to represent ERA-IB-2 and/or to increase collaboration (e.g. workshops of PLATFORM, H2020, ERA-LEARN, related ERA-NETs, national IB events) (see Annex – Section A, Template A2)
- Identification of potential new partners for ERA-IB-2: in 2014 the Latvian Academy of Sciences (LV) successfully joined the consortium. Over the whole duration of ERA-IB-2 BBSRC (UK) was a very active partner joining in calls and meetings, although they did never formally become a partner of ERA-IB-2.
Objective 3: disseminating, at EU and national level, the results of ERA-IB-2 including results of R&D funded in its frame, and contributing to communicating role and benefits of IB to the general public.
The following channels were used for dissemination of results:
- Website frequently updated; over 20.000 users over the last two years
- 13 Newsletters sent to over 1300 recipients (the wider network of IB in all partner countries)
- three brochures presenting final project results of the joint calls
- a poster
- leaflets
- three final seminars of projects, 3 mid-term seminars
Objective 4: identifying R&D needs through stakeholder dialogue (WP4)
In order to find topics for the calls R&D needs were identified through active stakeholder dialogue (Two stakeholder seminars 10/2011 Amsterdam & 10/2013 The Hague + survey 02/2014 Warsaw), where selected key members of industry and academia discussed and identified possible future call topics and compared especially industry needs with (national/regional) R&D priorities.
Objective 5: responding to these needs with coordinated, joint actions (joint calls, WP5)
Five transnational calls for proposals in the area of Industrial Biotechnology were implemented, resulting in a total of 44 projects funded (+ probably nine projects of the last call, still under negotiation) summing up to ~ 60 Million € funding (+ probably 15 Mio € via the last call, still under negotiation), with Partners from academia and industry from 17 countries.
Objective 6: optimising efficiency of procedures for joint calls, to make them suitable for a future self-sustained network (WP4; followed up by WP7)
With the experience of now seven joint calls, the ERA-IB-2 consortium has learned and applied many lessons, for example:
- Broad calls vs. narrow calls: Call experience and surveys to funders and applicants show that broad calls are widely preferred as they ease finding a common research agenda (meet the interests of more partners) and avoid overlapping with other running calls as well as help to include all topics of interest without excluding possible applicants – and of course there is more freedom in topic selection from the applicants point of view as well.
- Increase SME and Industry participation: This is best done by carefully wording the call text and including: “... The focus is to support innovation and pre-competitive research by funding projects with challenging application aspects and a substantial industrial impact.” AND/OR “The active participation of at least one industry partner is highly recommended in each consortium” as well as to further adjust the scoring system during the evaluation procedure (give high impact into the industrial sector). Further it is well advised to compose a balanced expert panel (50%-50% experts from academia and industry)
- Optimising efficiency: The formerly planned Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to be signed by all funders participating in a joint call, proved to be not necessary for each call, but that sending an e-mail message confirming the participation of the partner was considered sufficient. This accelerated the process considerably.
Further, to avoid administrational bottlenecks at the end of the year, it was discussed and agreed that to move the whole procedure for this joint call forward by two months (Call launch 01.12. instead of 01.02.)
Objective 7: managing funded projects together in the frame of ERA-IB-2, with status seminars and expert evaluations (WP6)
A mid-term and a final report gave valuable insight to the funding agencies concerning the projects and collaborations. A (confidential) mid-term seminar helped the projects to discuss current research results and possible problems while external evaluators (from the former expert panel) gave feedback. Three final seminars were organised (Paris, Warsaw and Berlin), which gave researchers a chance to present their results to the wider research community as well as to network, while the funding organisations could ask in-depth questions and witness lively discussions between experts working in the same field.
During contract negotiations of funders with the consortia recommended for funding, it was endeavoured to find common start and end dates of the research projects, which eased later reporting.
Objective 8: assessing and optimising the existing structures and processes of ERA-IB-2
The expectations of all ERA-IB-2 partners were assessed in the beginning of the project and were a crucial element to strengthen the transnational network made up of partners with different motivations and levels of commitment. The operational processes underlying ERA-IB-2 activities and achievements were later on monitored at different points in time, using monitoring indicators. These results were compared with partners’ expectations.
The examination of ERA-IB-2 project activities regarding the results and achievements enumerated gave a very positive impression overall. The target values, which expressed the expectations of all ERA-IB-2 partners in the beginning, were mostly very well achieved and valuable outcomes generated.
Also, there was much work involved discussing and describing procedures for a self-sustained continuation of ERA-IB (including the definition of and an agreement on the necessary management structures and documentation required for the implementation of the network).
Objective 9: developing a vision and framework for the future of ERA-IB (self-sustained network, WP7)
In the beginning of ERA-IB-2 it was planned to prepare a final framework for a European network, ready to be launched in self-sustained mode. The realisation of this network would be proof of a solid commitment among the European funding organisations to support the ERA in Industrial Biotechnology in accordance with the vision solidly built in the last 10 years through both the ERA-IB and ERA-IB-2 initiatives.
The preparatory activities started in April 2013 and proceeded until mid-2015, when the Biotech Cofund call materialized. Along the way, two surveys and many discussions in the ERA-IB-2 meetings allowed to design a framework for a self-sustained network.
However, and due to the recognised strategic importance to keep the European Leadership in Biotechnology, the European Commission decided to continue to support Biotechnology in Europe by way of the topic BIOTEC-1-2016 (ERA-NET Cofund on Biotechnologies) in the work Programme 2016-2017. The future Biotech Cofund will develop the European network further, by integrating systems biology and synthetic biology as technology drivers for innovation in the field of industrial biotechnology. This ERA-NET Cofund CoBioTech will provide, albeit in a wider context and embracing ERASynBio and ERASysApp, the continuity for ERA-IB-2.
Under these new circumstances, the envisioned Industrial Biotechnology self-sustained network lost its purpose, at least for the near future. Nevertheless, the preparatory work and envisaged structure may still prove useful in the future, i.e. in the final stages of the Biotech Cofund.

Project Results:
ERA-IB-2 is an ERA-NET, a consortium of funding agencies and programme owners. As the consortium did not do research itself, the main science and technology results are (1) the definition of an up-to-date research agenda that was integrated into the joint call topics and (2) the 53 research projects that were (and are still) jointly funded by the ERA-IB network. Both results will be explained in more detail hereafter.
(1) Definition of joint call topics by stakeholder dialogue
An active stakeholder dialogue is the key to identify current R&D needs and to define an up-to-date research agenda that can be integrated in the topics of joint calls for proposals. During two stakeholder seminars and one survey, organised by ERA-IB-2, selected key members of industry and academia discussed and identified possible future call topics and compared especially industry needs with (national/regional) R&D priorities.
1. The 1st seminar for stakeholders from academia & industry was held 10/2011 Amsterdam
Prior to this a short online questionnaire was prepared and sent to each partner organisation. The questions were designed to identify the most important barriers to participate in transnational R&D, to give an input to the future call topics, and to check whether industry needs and (national/regional) R&D priorities match. The questionnaire was distributed through the potential IB stakeholders via national contact persons. The questionnaire was answered by about 400 stakeholders (especially SMEs) from 15 partner countries. The results of the questionnaire were discussed during the stakeholder workshop in Amsterdam.
The participants of the workshop were stakeholders from industry and academia. From each partner country representatives of 1 industrial and 1 academic participant were involved. The output of the workshop was a short list of call topics in priority order:
1. Improved enzymes and micro-organisms for new and more efficient bioprocesses (including design)
2. Biotechnology for the conversion of industrial by-products and biomass into valuable added products
3. Innovative fermentation and bio-catalysis, process development (incl. downstream and scale-up) & Innovative fermentation science, engineering and downstream processing
4. Development of new platform chemicals, incl. biomonomers, oligomers and polymers
5. Renewable and other carbon sources for chiral products and speciality chemicals (screening, incl. enzyme design, bio- catalytic process design, metabolic engineering)
6. Lignocellulose /syngas fermentation to platform chemicals and fuels
This short list was used when designing the call topics of the 3rd joint call2 (1st of ERA-IB-2) which was officially announced 01.03.2012:
- Improved enzyme systems for new and more efficient bioprocesses
- Improvement of microorganisms by metabolic engineering and synthetic and systems biology approaches
- Innovative down-stream processing
- Innovative fermentation and bio-catalytic processes, e.g. for platform chemicals, including bio-monomers, oligomers and polymers
- Biological processing (including separation and conversion) of biomass, including from side streams, and other renewable carbon sources into value added products
- New valuable products by plant and animal cell cultures

2. In October 2013 the 2nd seminar for stakeholders from academia and industry was organised in The Hague (Netherlands)
Again, prior to the seminar, an online questionnaire, including the suggested call topics for future calls, was sent to biotechnology experts in summer 2013. The outcome of this questionnaire was discussed in the technical seminar which was held in The Hague, the Netherlands, on 08.10.2013 with 45 experts from all over the Europe, including experts from industry and academia of IB related fields, observers of ERA-IB-2 partners and representatives of other related ERA-Nets (EuroTransBio, SusChem and ERA-Net MarineBiotech platforms).
The seminar was held in two parts; the brainstorming session and the group working session. In the brainstorming session 25 topics were selected for further study in the working group. In this session, the participants were divided into groups with different tasks, to study the 25 topics from different perspectives; social/ethical impact, their environmental perspective, their impact on industrial competitiveness and on human resources. With this methodology, the IB researches and their possible economic/social benefits were observed from each possible angle.
The output of the technical seminar was discussed at the Executive Board Meeting and a consolidated list of call topics was obtained:
Processes
1. Conversion of industrial by-products and biomass into value-added products
2. Novel systems for new, more sustainable processes (bio-catalysts such as enzymes, micro-organism and cell-free biosynthesis systems)
3. New compounds from existing, but not well studied biological systems, by understanding their metabolic pathways
4. Modelling and optimization of biological unit operations / modelling for the improvement of cellular bio-processes
5. Process development, intensification and/or integration in existing industrial processes (e.g. downstream and scale-up, process design, scalability)
Products/markets
1. Development of new functional materials / properties from renewable resources
2. Development of platform chemicals including bio-monomers, oligomers and polymers
3. Biomaterials, pharmaceuticals, functional food/feed ingredients *
Function-based bio-products: from function to process
1. Function-based bio-products and bio-process design
Projects are required to assess environmental impacts.
This list was included in the Call Text of the 5th joint call for proposals (3rd under ERA-IB-2) that was published on 01.02.2014:

3. Stakeholder survey 02/2014 Warsaw
The Executive Board decided that instead of organising another seminar with stakeholders from academia and industry (D4.5) a questionnaire would be sufficient. This questionnaire, including an updated list of short call topics was distributed to participants of the meeting for the 2nd Call Funded Projects Final seminar in Warsaw on 26.02.2014. Twenty participants answered the questionnaire, 15 of which were from academia with 5 from industry. The participants were Project Coordinators of the 2nd call and also other stakeholders interested in ERA-IB calls. This group was regarded as a target group of potential applicants for next calls.
According to the results of the questionnaire, the preferred call topics did not change as compared to the previous call. The reason behind this situation is that the output of the previous technical seminar nearly covered most of the important IB topics. The list of topics was therefore apparently well designed and addressed the key areas of IB for both academia and industry. For this reason the Executive Board decided that it is not necessary to further send the questionnaire in the online form to IB stakeholders. The 6th call (which was preferred to be a broad one again) did include the same call topics as the 5th call (see above), only a little re-structured.
1. Conversion of industrial by-products and biomass into value-added products
2. Novel systems for new or more sustainable processes e.g. the use of enzymes, micro-organism and cell-free biosynthesis systems
3. New compounds from existing, but not well studied biological systems, through a greater understanding of their metabolic pathways
4. Modelling and optimisation of biological processes
5. Process development, intensification and/or integration in existing industrial processes e.g. upstream or downstream design, scale-up of biotechnological processes.
Projects should clearly address the product and market to be addressed, produced by biotechnological processes, e.g.
1. Bio-based materials
2. Platform chemicals e.g. bio-monomers, oligomers and polymers
3. Pharmaceuticals, functional food/feed ingredients
Call topics for the additional, 7th joint call, were agreed upon in cooperation with the other two neighbouring ERA-NETs ERASynBio and ERA-MBT.

(2) Overview of research projects funded under ERA-IB-2:

3rd call (1st under ERA-IB-2):
1. CESBIC - Critical Enzymes for Sustainable Biofuels from Cellulose
2. CONTIbugs - Overcoming metabolic stochasticity and population dynamics in microbial cell factories
3. Cellulect - A Synthetic Biology Platform for Optimization of Enzymic Biomass Processing
4. FiberFuel - Improved Cellulosomes to Enhance Saccharification of Industrially-Suitable Lignocellulosic Biomass Residues
5. HyPerIn - Integrative Approach to Promote Hydroxylations with Novel P450 Enzymes for Industrial Processes
6. MICROTOOLS - MICROscale downstream processing TOOLbox for Screening and process development
7. MySterI - Novel industrial bioprocesses for production of key valuable steroid precursors from phytosterol
8. POAP - Production of Organic Acids for Polyester Synthesis
9. PRODuCE - Tailor-made expression hosts depleted in protease activity for recombinant protein production
10. REACTIF - Rational Engineering of Advanced Clostridia for Transformational Improvements in Fermentation
11. SCILS - Systematic consideration of inhomogeneity at the large scale: towards a stringent development of industrial bioprocesses
12. THERMOGENE - Novel thermostable enzymes for industrial biotechnology
4th call (2nd under ERA-IB-2):
1. ANTHOPLUS – ANTHOcyanin production PLatform Using Suspension cultures
2. TERPENOSOME – Engineered compartments for monoterpenoid production using synthetic biology
3. NBCPBH – Production of new bioactive compounds by plants and bacteria using new and improved halogenases
4. INNOVATE – Investigating NOvel VAluable bio-Therapeutics and Expression systems
5. ProSeCa – Recovery of high value Proteins from Serum by innovative direct Capture techniques
6. CHImerASE - Integrated Platform for de novo Design and Development of a Chimeric Enzyme for high-value chemicals
7. ELMO – Novel carbohydrate-modifying enzymes for fibre modification
8. DeYeast Library – Designer yeast strain library optimized for metabolic engineering applications
9. IPCRES – Integrated Process & Cell Refactoring Systems for enhanced industrial biotechnology
5th call (3rd under ERA-IB-2):
1. MetaCat - A metagenomic collection of novel and highly efficient biocatalysts for industrial biotechnology
2. CO2CHEM - Biological conversion of CO2 to platform chemical 3-hydroxypropanoic acid
3. ChitoTex - Development & production of new insect chitosan & chitosan based functional coatings for yarns and textile fabrics
4. LIGBIO - A Synthetic Biology approach for bacterial bioconversion of lignin into renewable chemicals
5. NeBrasCa - Next Generation Immunosuppressants: Brasilicardin synthesized by Nocardia spp.
6. OXYPOL - Optimized laccase systems for high-value bioplastics production from biomass
7. PROCAR - The exploitation of Xanthophyllo-myces dendrorhous as sustainable platform for PROduction of high-value CARotenoids
8. FILAZYME - Novel approaches to develop filamentous micro-organisms for enzyme production
9. EcoYeast: Mastering the economics of adaptation through constraint-based modeling in yeast
10. DYNAMICS: Analysis and optimization of industrial microorganisms under dynamic process conditions.
6th call (4th under ERA-IB-2):
1. ASTINPROD - Enhancing production of the anti-tumor compound astin by a novel fungal endophyte of Aster tataricus
2. BioProMo - Biotechnological production of monoterpenoids
3. Convert-Si - Conversion of phytogenic silica reach food industry by-products into value-added products
4. CrossCat - Symbiosis of bio - and chemo-catalysts for the sustainable conversion of hemicelluloses
5. FAPA - Fumaric acid for polymer applications
6. FunBioPlas - Novel synthetic biocomposites for biomedical devices
7. FunChi - Fungal chitosans from fermentation mycelia for plant biostimulants
8. No-P - Enzymatic sugar coupling
9. SurfGlyco - Enhanced fermentative and biocatalytic conversion strategies of renewables to tailor-made glycolipid biosurfactants
10. TTRaFFIC - Toxicity and transport for fungal production of industrial compounds
11. YeastTempTation - Tailoring thermo-tolerant yeasts for more sustainable, eco-efficient and competitive industrial fermentations
12. Z-Fuels: A novel bacterial system with integrated micro-bubble distillation for the production of acetaldehyde
13. 2GEnzymes: Enzymes for 2G sugars
7th call (5th under ERA-IB-2):
1. YEASTPEC - Engineering of yeast Saccha- romyces cerevisiae for bioconversion of pectin-containing agro-industrial sidestreams
2. SafeFood - Development of a novel industrial process for safe, sustainable and higher quality foods, using biotechnology & cybernetic approach
3. TACRODRUGS – Streptomyces-based cell factories for production of tacrologues drugs
4. OBAC - Overcoming energetic barriers in acetogenic conversion of carbon dioxide
5. BIOCHEM - Novel BIOrefinery platform methodology for a driven production of CHEMicals from low-grade biomass
6. TIPs - Thermostable Isomerase Processes for Biotechnology
7. ProWood - Wood and derivatives protection by novel bio-coating solutions
8. PolyBugs - In vivo cascades for sustainable access to monomers of high volume polymers
9. PHB2MARKET - Development of tailor-made PHB composites for technical applications

The list of these projects and short descriptions of each consortium and their planned and achieved work is available on www.era-ib.net.
ERA-IB-2 also addressed the KBBE-concept in that it strived to integrate IB into the whole value chain. With Industrial Biotechnology being, by nature, a cross-cutting topic, the R&D performed by the funded projects went beyond the limits of “traditional” sector boundaries and bridged the gaps between different steps from renewable raw materials to end products.

Potential Impact:
ERA-IB-2 contributed to bringing IB processes and products on the market by fostering the integration of R&D actors in the area of IB. The project facilitated cross-disciplinary, transnational research projects which resulted in innovative, marketable and economic solutions for the bio-economy.
The identification of R&D needs through face-to-face communication with relevant stakeholders from partner countries and European institutions showed decisive impact in call development, increasing market (industry) pull. Industry participation – and thus industry investments – in IB, ultimately, helps to maintain Europes competitiveness with major global players such as China or the US.
It is recognised that Europe, if it is not to fall behind on this technology, will have to play on its strengths and bundle its human and monetary resources in an optimal way. The access to a large number of IB-related national and regional programmes therefore constituted another major impact of ERA-IB-2 and contributed substantially to the quality and cost-effectiveness of biotechnology research. National and regional R&D programmes from Portugal to Russia and from Norway to Turkey worked together in designing and implementing actions – especially joint calls for proposals – which addressed these needs in an optimal way and jointly supervised and evaluated the ensuing R&D projects.
Just as importantly, ERA-IB-2 resulted in a pooling of national/regional resources for R&D funding, and dissemination of results throughout the European Union. As a consequence, the limited resources of each Member State were used more efficiently.
Of tremendous advantage not solely, but especially, for smaller countries was the fact that they will benefit from the knowledge bundled in large institutions in many different fields, i.e. they receive access to R&D infrastructures more varied than a single country could hope to support.
ERA-IB-2 did have such major impacts due to its prominent place in the European IB landscape: industrial biotechnology being a very cross-disciplinary topic, touching biology and microbiology as well as chemistry, biochemistry, engineering and other areas of science, and influencing extensive value chains from the production of renewable raw materials up to very different types of end products. ERA-IB-2 therefore brought together a number of different stakeholders and involved partners with national/regional programmes which cover a number or all of these areas.
Moreover, other important initiatives such as ETP SusChem have a clear industry focus, while ERA-IB-2 partners, through the national/regional programmes, have strong links to research, industry and government alike and many explicitly aim to link the different sectors.
A European approach on IB funding was necessary in order to reduce fragmentation. ERA-IB-2 resulting in being a coherent approach as well, did, on the one hand, enable EU-wide comparison, i.e. increase resource effectiveness (through increased R&D quality), and on the other hand avoided duplication, i.e., increased resource efficiency. In this respect, and especially with a view to the fact that IB strongly depends on industry investments, the European approach of ERA-IB-2 also represented the possibility to achieve critical mass.
Finally, with a total of 44 projects funded (+ probably nine projects of the last call, still under negotiation) summing up to ~ 60 Million € funding (+ probably 15 Mio € via the last call, still under negotiation), with Partners from academia and industry from 17 countries, ERA-IB-2 majorly contributed to secure Europe’s competitiveness in the field of Industrial Biotechnology.

The main dissemination activities and exploitation of results included:
A. The external website www.era-ib.net: Throughout the entire reporting period, the public website was kept up-to-date. It was frequently updated concerning joint calls in general (info on granted projects, call launches and project results), news and events, updating publications, partner overview etc. In total there were 34,125 sessions during over the last two years (sessions mean each time someone visits the websites and clicks from one page to another). 21,274 users (visitors) of which 61% are new ones and 39% are returning visitors. The most visited pages were the ones about the joint calls.
B. Platform for IB-related ERA-Nets (SMWK): Three “Platform meetings of IB-related ERA-Nets” (+ three under ERA-IB) provided IB related ERA-Nets and related initiatives like FACCE JPI, ETP SusChem, PPP BRIDGE, PLATFORM project of KBBE-relevant ERA-Nets the chance to share contents, goals, experiences and good practices and thus helped to avoid overlaps and build up expertise. These platform meeting were usually hosted in Dresden, Germany, but took place in Berlin and Riga, Latvia as well
C. Electronic newsletters: Thirteen newsletters were published in PDF format and are made available via the website www.era-ib.net under ‘Publications’. The number of recipients has increased to over 1300 in May 2016, but the percentage of people who consult our newsletter has remained (roughly) stable.
D. Leaflet: A first threefold with an introduction to Industrial Biotechnology, to ERA-IB-2 and to the joint calls was developed in 2012. After every new joint call, an updated version of the leaflet was prepared and presented on the ERA-IB-2 website (the last four updates in 09/2014; 09/2015; 02/2016 and 05/2016.
E. Call brochures: Two call brochures for the projects of the 1st and 2nd joint call were produced, showing the final results of the projects. E.g. the call brochure of the 2nd call has been downloaded 200 times and app. 120 copies have been distributed during the meetings in Brussels, Riga and during the final conference in Berlin 02/2016.
The publication of the call brochure with the results of the 3rd joint call was foreseen for 2016. But due to some delay of start and ending dates this has been postponed to early 2017. These brochures will only be available online via the ERA-IB website.
F. Press releases: seven press releases were sent to about 1,300 interested European stakeholders and organisations working in the field of IB informing about launches of the joint calls.
G. Poster: The first poster was developed in 2012. A second version was a roll-up poster with a foot stand, which was up to date until the end of the project. The poster was used in various external events promoting ERA-IB-2.
H. Power Point Presentation: A PPT was developed to be used by all partners representing ERA_IB-2 at relevant conferences and seminars at national and EU level. The PPT was updated with major results over time.
I. External representation of ERA-IB-2: Participation in a number of external events in order to represent ERA-IB-2 and/or to increase collaboration (e.g. workshops of PLATFORM, H2020, ERA-LEARN, related ERA-NETs, national IB events) (see Annex – Section A, Template A2)

List of Websites:
Web Adress: www.era-ib.net
Partners:
(1) FNR Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e.V (coordinator) - Agency for Renewable Resources – Germany Carina Lemke, c.lemke@fnr.de, 0049 3843 6930 169
(2) NWO Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek; The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research - The Netherlands Marijn Hollestelle, m.hollestelle@nwo.nl
(3) EWI Departement Economie, Wetenschap en Innovatie; Flemish Department of Economy, Science and Innovation – Belgium Monika Sormann, monika.sormann@ewi.vlaanderen.be
(4) VLAIO (formerly IWT Agentschap voor Innovatie door Wetenschap en Technologie) Marianne Claessens, marianne.claessens@vlaio.be
(5) JUELICH Forschungszentrum Jülich; Research Centre Jülich – Germany Marion Karrasch, m.karrasch@fz-juelich.de
(6) Innovate UK; United Kingdom Graham Mobbs graham.mobbs@innovateuk.gov.uk
(7) FCT Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia ; Foundation for Science and Technology – Portugal marta.norton@fct.pt
(8) ADEME Agence de l'Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l'Energie ; French Environment and Energy Management Agency – France virginie.leravalec@ademe.fr
(9) SMWK Sächsisches Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst - Saxon State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts – Germany gabriele.sueptitz@smwk.sachsen.de
(10) TUBITAK Türkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Arastirma Kurumu - Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey – Turkey Dilek Sahin, dilek.sahin@tubitak.gov.tr
(11) NCBR Naradowe Centrum Badan i Rozwoju; National Centre for Research & Development – Poland Marlgorzata Zieminska, malgorzata.zieminska@ncbr.gov.pl
(12) MOARD Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Israel; MOARD – Israel orit.shmueli@gmail.com
(13) UEFISCDI Unitatea Executiva pentru Finantarea Invatamantului Superior, a Cercetarii, Dezvoltarii si Inovarii; Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding – Romania Adrian Asanica, adrian.asanica@uefiscdi.ro
(14) MINECO Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness – Spain era-ib@mineco.es
(15) RCN Norges forskningsråd; Research Council of Norway; RCN – Norway oro@forskningsradet.no
(16) FASIE Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises; FASIE – Russia Olga Levchenko, levchenko@fasie.ru,
(17) BMBF Bundesministerium für Bildung & Forschung; Federal Ministry of Education & Research – Germany, Ramon Kucharzak, ramon.kucharzak@bmbf.bund.de
(18) Innofond InnovationsFonden Denmark Lars Winther, lars.winther@innofond.dk
(19) LAS Latvian Academy of Sciences LAS, Latvia Dace Tirzite; dace.tirzite@lza.lv

Related information

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Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e.V.
Germany
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