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Programme

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Provide insight on emerging technologies for bio-based value chains

Explore and quantify the expressed needs of actors in the bio-based sector for a user-friendly database of relevant technologies categorised by area of application and meet these needs with a well-maintained database that is accessible to everybody.

The results of a first study on demand and feasibility will determine possible next steps. One possible next step could be the implementation of such a database if there is enough interest in it and if there is commitment to maintain the database. Another next step could be to carry out a feasibility study for other application areas (value chains), and possibly also for bio-based products.

Proposals must therefore determine the feasibility of such a database. They must also estimate costs and the time it will take to set up, launch and — in particular — maintain it once the project has ended for a period of at least 10 years. Proposals must include a governance structure to maintain the database and keep it up to date by adding new information and correcting the database as new developments of technologies proceed.

This topic focuses in particular on industrial actors who are searching for new and innovative technologies that could improve their processes or enable new processes. But the scope also includes the providers of technologies and the research and technology-transfer communities. The research and technology-transfer communities should supply the database with the latest technologies and other relevant features. Proposals will ensure that both the ‘users’ and the ‘suppliers’ of the database help to maintain the database once it is operational.

Possible areas of application for the database include: biomass-feedstock preparation including pre-treatment; different conversion technologies (biotechnological, chemical, physicochemical, mechanical, etc.); downstream processing; and product formulation. The technologies for specific desired outcomes may differ for the various possible value chains. For example, they may use different feedstocks or different states of reactants.

This topic calls for proposals limiting the study to one ‘type’ of biomass feedstock that is based on either agricultural sources, forestry, marine/aquatic, food processing waste, or bio-waste. The result of this project will determine possible next steps for other types of biomass.

A similar system for just one sector, the food-processing sector, has been developed and could serve as inspiration for proposals under this topic [1].

Proposals are encouraged to use artificial intelligence as appropriate to accelerate the exploration and quantification of the needs in the selected value chain.

INDICATIVE FUNDING:
It is considered that proposals requesting a maximum of EUR 1 million and for a planned duration of not more than 2 years would be able to address this specific challenge appropriately. However, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts or for other durations.

[1] http://www.foodtech-portal.eu/index.php?title=Main_Page

Not all actors in the bio-based sector may be aware of or familiar with the existing and emerging technologies that could be used in bio-based value chains. Moreover, technologies are continuously evolving, and new technologies emerge so frequently that industry can hardly keep up. Without a clear overview of relevant technologies for specific applications, selecting the right one(s) for a particular value chain becomes difficult.

Mapping these technologies in a user-friendly database could resolve this situation and provide toolboxes for various cases. Such a database should categorise each technology by its characteristics: application fields, feedstock (e.g. source, size, and composition), working principle (e.g. chemical, biotechnological, mechanical), maturity (TRL), energy consumption, maximum capacity (tonne/hr), application conditions (e.g. temperature, pH), combined use with other technologies, relevant engineering studies, etc.

It would also be relevant to include information on: (i) organisations that are active in the development and licensing of the technology; (ii) where laboratory/pilot facilities are available; (iii) capital and operational costs; (iv) competing technologies; etc.

The specific challenge is to provide a complete overview of relevant technologies for the bio-based industry, both existing and emerging.

EXPECTED IMPACTS:

  • increase the efficiency of actors in the bio-based sector in finding and selecting the best technologies to improve and scale up their bio-based concepts;
  • increase business opportunities for actors in the bio-based sector through interaction with others when using the database;
  • improve bio-based processes and services by finding and applying the best technologies.

NUMBER OF PROJECTS: a maximum of one project will be funded under this topic.

EXPECTED DURATION: up to 2 years.

TYPE OF ACTION: Coordination and support action.