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Use tree species and/or varieties to create new bio-based value chains


Identify and screen tree species and/or varieties (both coniferous and non-coniferous) capable of growing as new wood-based feedstock for the bio-based industry without compromising existing forest-based value chains.

Proposals should describe the methods of selecting the appropriate tree species and/or varieties to fit their adaptability to the changing environment, availability, quality and logistics with targeted products and applications. The envisaged value chains based on the new feedstocks should be sustainable and lead to bio-based products that can compete with existing fossil-based alternatives.

The scope of this topic excludes energy carriers (such as liquid fuels or hydrogen) as the main products.

Proposals should specifically involve the primary sector actors so as to benefit from their knowledge and expertise, and to secure their support for the outcomes.

Proposals should aim to include currently underutilised land for growing the new feedstock for the bio-based sector or at growing new advantaged species/varieties on already utilised land and include the benefits of the new feedstock. In this framework, proposals should also include biodiversity and land use change impact studies aiming to assess whether (or not) land exploitation and management for such new feedstock does entail any impacts.

Proposals should address all requirements for RIA as shown in Table 3 in the Introduction of the Annual Work plan 2019.

The technology readiness level (TRL) at the end of the project should be 4-5 for the bio-based value chain in question. Proposals should clearly state the starting and end TRLs of the key technology or technologies targeted in the project.

Industry participation in the project would be considered as an added value because it can play a supportive role to demonstrate the potential for integrating the developed concepts and technologies into current industrial landscapes or existing plants so they can be deployed more quickly and scaled up to apply industry-wide.

Indicative funding:

It is considered that proposals requesting a contribution of between EUR 2 million and EUR 5 million would be able to address this specific challenge appropriately. However, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

The forest-based sector has the potential to mobilise new biomass feedstock for the bio-based industry by using as yet underutilised tree biomass from both coniferous and non-coniferous species. Leaving the traditional applications of wood intact, the envisaged tree species and varieties could lay the groundwork for cultivating and using new feedstock for the bio-based industry.

The specific challenge is to identify as yet underutilised tree species and/or varieties that may have the largest impact in expanding and diversifying the forest-based feedstock for the bio-based industry.

Expected impacts linked to BBI JU KPIs:

  • contribute to KPI 1 – create at least one new cross-sector inter­connection in the bio-based economy;
  • contribute to KPI 2 – set the basis for at least one new bio-based value chain;
  • contribute to KPI 8 – validate at least one new and improved processing technology reflecting the ‘TRL gain’ since the start of the project.

Environmental impacts:

  • diversify the forest-based biomass able to be exploit for bio-based value chains while avoiding ILUC issues;
  • generate positive impacts on biodiversity and the eco-system.

Economic impacts:

  • increase income and business opportunities for stakeholders and actors (including primary producers) in the bio-based sectors, in particular in the forest-based sector.

Social impacts:

  • create new job opportunities in the bio-based sector, particularly in the forest-based sector.

Type of action: Research and innovation action.