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Bioeconomy related open access research infrastructure and assessing its capabilities for industry driven development projects

Map the existing bio-economy related open access research infrastructure in Europe (equipment and supporting facilities), its current utilisation, major achievements, best practices and assess its main capabilities.

Share the obtained overview and insight for improved access. Analyse the demand for infrastructure by bio-based industries in the future (2020+), assess needed expansion of its capabilities to meet the demand and specify conditions to realise this. Proposals should address the following elements:

  • Coordinate the interconnection of major European bio-economy related open access research infrastructure (including multipurpose demonstrators) into an efficient EU infrastructure that will create possibilities for complementarity and synergies and optimal circumstances for future investments.
  • Improve access to existing infrastructure via communication, publishing the accessible inventory, etc. for the bio-based industry, including SME.
  • Estimate the need for open access research infrastructure by the bio-based industries in the EU now and in the future (2020+).
  • Assess the current capabilities, specific and in detail for each institute/unit of the existing infrastructure and define needed expansion to meet future demand.
  • Exchange Best Practices on model contracts to safeguard IP rights and facilitate the use of open access infrastructures.
  • Coordinate and build on H2020 programmes and Regional activities to achieve synergy.
  • Assess the openings for the use public-private financing to make viable a number of multipurpose demonstrators.

The Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) will set up an industry expert group from among its members which will provide expertise in the implementation and follow-up of the different tasks and also provide support to the organisation of meetings or workshops. This expert group should be a central part of the governance structure of the project.

Indicative funding: It is considered that proposals with a total eligible budget of up to EUR 1 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately.

Today, there are some open access research infrastructures (including private) spread across Europe, where applicants or interested parties can ‘shop’ for equipment and facilities they may need to carry out lab, test or pilot work. There is also a limited number of open access multipurpose demonstration facilities which are seen as a crucial alternative to effectively reduce the high capital investment requirements for bio-based industries from invention to the market. These infrastructures are not well known in the broad R&D&I communities across Europe. Neither are these communities aware of the type and available equipment and facilities that the various infrastructures have to offer. There is not enough insight into the extent that the available infrastructure meets the needs by bio-based industries in their ambitions to set up and implement development projects and contribute to the goals of the Bio-based Industries JU.

In addition, there are specific needs for the agro- and the forest-based bioeconomy that have to be taken into account.

The challenge is two-fold:

  1. improve access to existing bio-economy related open access research infrastructure in Europe, ‘interconnect’ these to create a Europe-wide open access infrastructure for the bio-based industry; and
  2. catalyse the expansion of capabilities of the infrastructure to cost-efficiently meet the (future) needs of bio-based industries. This should including multi-purpose demonstrators which enable SMEs and larger industries to progress from technology development to demonstration and subsequently into deployment and the commercialisation stage.

The Europe-wide open access infrastructure must be capable to protect IP Rights of users.

There are ongoing activities to open up key national and regional research infrastructures to all European researchers from academia and industry and ensuring their optimal use and joint development. Actions within BBI JU should seek synergies with these activities. Additionally, BBI-actions should be complementary with results from FP7 project BRISK.

  • A transparent, globally competitive, open access research infrastructure Europe-wide that caters to the need of the bio-based industries in Europe departing from lignocellulosic biomass, by offering facilities cost-efficiently. The Europe-wide infrastructure will be capable of protecting IP rights of the users.
  • Identified need for research infrastructure by the European bio-based industries and the capabilities of the existing infrastructure to meet the demand.
  • Measured increase of utilisation of open access infrastructure by bio-based industries, in particular by SME.
  • An efficient cooperation between established major RTD providers in Europe and the research infrastructure.
  • Quantified the gap of public-private financing needed to create a viable number of multipurpose demonstrators.