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New and optimised biorefinery approaches enabling the creation of local value chains in underdeveloped or unexploited areas


Demonstrate the techno-economic viability of local deployment of innovative modular and decentralised biorefinery concepts for the build-up of local value chains. A highly efficient, locally (in the close vicinity of the biomass source) deployed value chain model can minimise the impact of feedstock logistics on the economic and environmental sustainability of the value chain.

Proposals can address both the manufacture of end-products in low volume, high added-value applications as well as the production of intermediates to be transported to a central facility for further conversion. In the latter case proposals should demonstrate innovative approaches to logistics, transport and storage that enable the creation of a new value chain that would not have been possible (or competitive) otherwise.

Proposals should present a thorough business case for the new value chain, showing the integration of actors from the supply side through the end-market for the intended materials/products and its cost-competitiveness with existing competing solutions (if any).

Proposals should also include regulatory aspects and the market pull of the targeted chemicals, in order to match legislation requirements and those by costumers and end-users, with technical, environmental and economic aspects linked to the bio-based value chain. These aspects include safety, quality and purity of the products by actively building upon existing knowledge and standardisation activities.

Proposals should achieve technology demonstrated in an industrial environment, or a system prototype demonstration in operational environment. Proposals need to address the whole value chain, from feedstock sourcing to market applications (Technology Readiness Levels 6-7).

Proposals should also include a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in order to evaluate the environmental and socio-economic performance of the whole value chain.

It is considered that proposals with a total eligible budget of up to EUR 15 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals with another budget.

The European bioeconomy starts expanding to include new actors and less developed regions. This expansion is needed to build a bioeconomy at sufficiently large scale to sustain itself, and to fully exploit the European biomass potential. However, it also requires the removal of several hurdles in the development of new business approaches and models to realise the value chain build-up. Among the major challenges in expanding the bioeconomy in new areas is the scale of operation. Many innovative actors like SME’s, spin-offs and start-ups, willing to play their role, do not have the resources to set up large plants even if these may have a high return of investment. Smaller, modular, ready-to-deploy model would be beneficial for unlocking this potential. Also, logistics constraints and supply chain uncertainties play a big role in ensuring the sustainability of new value chains.

The challenge is to design innovative models to enable the build-up of sustainable new, local bio-based value chains involving biomass producers, waste management operators, logistics operators, government administrations and the processing and end-market actors. Where necessary, actions need to compare with ongoing programmes in Horizon 2020 addressing Rural Renaissance to avoid overlap, but seeking synergies.

  • Diversification and increase of feedstock suppliers’ revenues through access to new markets and increased mobilisation of biomass.
  • Creation of new green jobs in rural areas.
  • Reduction of 10% of logistic and transport costs in comparison with current similar value chains.
  • Projects under this topic should result in 1 new building block based on biomass of European origin validated at demonstration scale (KPI 4) and/or at least 1 new bio-based material (KPI 5).
  • Contribution to other BBI JU Key Performance Indicators (KPI), specifically:
    • Creation of at least 1 new cross-sectorial interconnection in bio-based economy clusters (KPI 1), at least 1 new bio-based value chain (KPI 2) and at least 1 new cooperation project involving farmers and biomass suppliers, industrial stakeholders and end-users (KPI 3).