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Produce high-performance bio-based alternatives to harmful products or processes to protect and enhance human health and the environment


Produce high-performance bio-based alternatives to potentially harmful products and/or production processes in a successfully operating, commercially viable, first-of-its-kind plant dedicated to this purpose.

Proposals should focus on replacing chemicals, materials or processes that have a known direct negative impact on human health and the environment. Human health is to be interpreted in the broad sense as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’1.

The scope excludes proposals that only result in indirect positive impact such as lowering carbon footprint. This topic includes any biomass feedstock and any application that may affect human health and the environment.

Proposals should provide evidence of the targeted chemical’s or material’s risks to human health and its environmental burden, and clearly show how the proposed replacement would increase protection of human health and the environment in the intended application.

Proposals should build on optimised processing technologies to deliver products with targeted functionalities to meet identified market demand at competitive prices. Proposals should demonstrate effective and cost-efficient operation at a commercial level, applying where relevant the cascading use of biomass to maximise resource efficiency and sustainability.

Proposals may include any processing technology or combination of technologies in the value chain. Proposals may include any applicable processing technology that has been demonstrated in an optimised value chain at TRL 6-7 and should encompass all processing stages leading to intermediate and end products.

Proposals should address all requirements for IA - flagship actions as shown in Table 3 of the Annual Work Plan.

The technology readiness level (TRL) at the end of the project should be 8. Proposals should clearly state the starting and end TRLs of the key technology or technologies targeted in the project.

INDICATIVE FUNDING: It is considered that proposals requesting a maximum contribution of EUR 12 million would be able to address this specific challenge appropriately. However, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

1 World Health Organization (WHO); see:

Industry and society in general are increasingly looking for bio-based, high-performance, non-toxic and fully biodegradable alternatives to conventional compounds, production processes or products that may be harmful to human health and/or the environment. Applications under scrutiny are, among others, related to the working environment in industrial settings and households, or operations close to freshwater reservoirs and marine environments. The specific challenge is to increase the protection of human health and the environment in different application sectors with novel bio-based product alternatives


▪ contribute to KPI 1 – create at least two new cross-sector interconnection in the bio-based economy;

▪ contribute to KPI 2 – create at least two new bio-based value chains;

▪ contribute to KPI 5 – produce at least two new bio-based materials able to generate a direct benefit on human health and/or the environment;

▪ contribute to KPI 6 – demonstrate at least three new bio-based applications that meet market requirements


▪ increase the overall resource efficiency;

▪ increase the environmental performance of the obtained products or materials as compared with existing benchmarks;

▪ reduce quantities of fossil-based products used in specific market sectors;

▪ reduce risks for the environment linked to specific product categories


▪ increase the economic performance of the obtained products or materials as compared with existing benchmarks;

▪ increase income and business opportunities for stakeholders and actors (including primary producers) in the bio-based sectors.


▪ reduce risks for human health linked to specific product categories;

▪ increase the health-related performance of the obtained products or materials as compared with existing benchmarks;

▪ create new job opportunities in the targeted sectors, particularly the rural, coastal and/or urban areas;

▪ retain and/or develop new skills.

Type of action: Innovation action – flagship action.