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Resolve logistical, infrastructural and technological challenges to valorise residual and side streams from aquaculture, fisheries and the aquatic biomass processing industries

Develop and test an efficient and sustainable supply system for residual and side streams from aquaculture, fisheries and the aquatic processing industries to the bio-based industry for valorisation into more commercially viable applications.

Proposals should address the elimination of hurdles and bottlenecks regarding the logistics, transport modes and associated infrastructure in the targeted biomass feedstock supply systems. These include collection systems, intermediate storage and safety aspects (see introduction – section 2.2.5 - published in the BBI JU AWP 2018).

Proposals should test the different biomass types by applying existing quality parameters and/or standards and by generating novel ones if needed.

Proposals should focus on selecting, extracting or producing specific compounds from these residual streams into products for further applications in the chemistry, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and human or animal nutrition. Proposals may address more than one feedstock and production chain.

This topic excludes biomass from the agricultural and forestry sectors. It focuses on biomass other than algae (both micro and macro) and covers both fresh water and marine sources.

Proposals should include steps through the selection, extraction or production of at least two compounds with potential for further valorisation into market applications.

The industry should actively participate to demonstrate the potential for integrating the developed concepts into current industrial landscapes or existing plants so that the concepts can be deployed more quickly and scaled up to apply industrial-wide.

Proposals should specifically demonstrate the benefits versus the state-of-the-art and existing technologies. This could be done by providing evidence of new processing solutions and new products obtained.

Proposals should commit to assessing the environmental and economic impacts of the developed products or processes, using LCA methodologies based on available standards, certification, accepted and validated approaches (see introduction – section 2.2.5 - published in the BBI JU AWP 2018)1.

Proposals should also include an economic viability performance check (value chain and market analysis) of the developed products and processes, along with an analysis of social impacts where applicable.

If relevant, proposals should also allow for pre- and co-normative research necessary for developing the needed product quality standards.

The technology readiness level (TRL)2 at the end of the project should be 4-5. Proposals should clearly state the starting TRL.

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.

1 The LCA may focus on a set of critical issues early on to steer the development process in the right direction. In this case, it is essential that this selection is carefully explained in the proposal in order to allow for expert assessment. See also in the introduction.

2 Technology readiness levels as defined in annex G of the General Annexes to the Horizon 2020 Work Programme:

Residual streams from aquaculture, fisheries and the aquatic processing industries contain a varied mixture of bone, cartilage, skin and shells, liquid streams and other material. Some is processed into animal feed or fertilisers, but a large proportion is treated as waste, despite containing interesting molecules for cosmetics, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications, among others. Moreover, associated disposal costs are high.

Handling bycatch and residual streams at high seas, and storing and transporting them to land for valorisation into compounds for value-added applications, present many challenges. This sea-land connection needs to consist of sustainable steps to build value chains through market applications.

On land, further development and testing of (bio)technological processes is needed to efficiently convert the residual streams from aquaculture, fisheries and the aquatic processing industries before upscaling towards further valorisation steps. The initial stages of the valorisation processes must identify and specify the potential of the different types of these residual streams to obtain sufficient compounds for next steps towards value-added applications.

The specific challenge for this topic is to resolve the logistical, infrastructural and technological challenges to efficiently deliver residual and side streams from the aquaculture, fisheries and the aquatic processing industries to biorefining operations.

  • contribute to KPI 1: create at least one new cross-sector interconnection in 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;
  • reduce quantities of landfilled/incinerated residues by 30 % as compared with the relevant benchmark;
  • increase income and business opportunities for stakeholders and actors in the aquaculture, fisheries and seafood processing industries.

Type of action: Research and innovation action.