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Develop sustainable bio-based materials for high-volume consumer products


Develop bio-based materials with functional properties for high-volume consumer products, making them perform better than fossil-based plastics in comparable applications.

Proposals should test the properties of the new bio-based materials against those of fossil-based counterparts, and prove that the end products meet market requirements and have a higher performance on relevant aspects as compared with fossil-based counterparts.

Proposals should include sustainable solutions for the end-of-life phase of the resultant new bio-based products, increasing their competitive advantage as compared with their fossil-based counterparts. To that end, proposals should measure their environmental footprint at end of life and compare this with the fossil-based plastic counterparts.

Proposals may cover physical, chemical or biotechnological routes (or combinations thereof).

This topic includes any bio-based feedstock, provided it can be sourced in a way that is sustainable both from an environmental and an economic perspective.

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.

Bio-based materials are promising alternatives to fossil-based plastic counterparts in several high-volume consumer applications: for example, they can be used for transparent films, in packaging and hygiene products, non-woven products, superabsorbent polymers and reinforced bio-composites. These bio-based materials can be made biocompostable, and/or biodegradable or recyclable if not degradable, lowering the environmental burden versus fossil-based alternatives.

The specific challenge is to provide bio-based materials for high-volume consumer products with a lower environmental footprint at end of life than their fossil-based plastic counterparts.

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 5 – validate at least two new bio-based materials;
  • 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:

  • increase the environmental sustainability associated with the end of life of materials for high-volume consumer products;
  • increase the share of sustainable and efficient bio-based materials in the field of high-volume consumer products;
  • increase the overall resource efficiency;
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Economic impacts:

  • foster the future market uptake of the developed bio-based materials for high-volume consumer products;
  • increase income and business opportunities for stakeholders and actors (including primary producers) in the bio-based sectors.

Social impacts:

  • create new job opportunities in the bio-based sector, particularly the rural, coastal and/or urban areas.

Type of action: Research and innovation action.