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Contained biomass solutions for sustainable and zero-Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) production systems for high value applications

The innovative bioeconomy sectors need to diversify and deliver technological and industrial solutions based on available and sustainably sourced biomass. In particular, this covers sustainable application in various industrial systems for high value products and uses, such as in the pharmaceutical, diagnostic and veterinary sectors[[e.g. antibodies, vaccines, proteins, peptides, bioactive metabolites, linking with Horizon Europe Cluster 1 Health and topic HORIZON-CL6-2021-CIRCBIO-01-05: Novel non-plant feedstocks for industrial applications]], especially in the context of biorefining and other (industrial) high-value uses[[e.g. cosmetics, food ingredients]].

This calls for identifying, optimising, screening and monitoring of the growing conditions in suitable systems such as bioreactors[[The proposals should cover size of the chosen contained systems, to enable upscaling and replication. ]], from where they need to be efficiently processed, extracted and converted into industrial outputs of interest. The scope covers innovative multi-scale bioreactor designs, and related innovations such as hydroponics systems and phenotyping platforms for increased sustainability of biomass production, and its efficient, pathogen-free processing and use.

Where relevant, proposals should seek links with and capitalise on the results of past and ongoing research projects (under Horizon 2020 and other EU-funded initiatives). Proposals should:

  1. Develop bio-based production platforms applying resource-efficient principles (ensuring savings on water, energy, chemical inputs, biomass side-streams or residues), including the study of mixed multi-species communities, and applying modern biotechnological principles, as well as efficient separation and extraction approaches for products of interest.
  2. Identify and implement the best combination of appropriate technical solutions and practices for specific industrial value chains (justifying the choice, including on business viability), as well as the barriers and drivers derived from governance and market aspects, while seeking engagement and understanding of all actors. Participation of industry and SMEs is considered essential.
  3. Develop and transparently communicate: (i) the key parameters to monitor and measure the qualitative and quantitative impacts of these solutions and practices for different optimization and production systems, (ii) the potential of replacing available traditional alternatives, if relevant, and trade-offs, including with respect to biodiversity, patient perspective, and (iii) the associated improvement of socio-economic resilience of the businesses for the jobs creation and industrial competitiveness.
  4. Develop and test mechanisms involving all actors and specifically including the research community and bio-based industries in knowledge co-creation, exchange, feedback and communication to demonstrate and accompany all actors (e.g. civil society including patient and other related groups) to implement and understand of solutions for improved bio-based products and processes and to address other environmental impacts. Develop specific recommendations for policy makers, while seeking involvement of broader civil society.
  5. Consider contribute data and results to the European Commission’s Knowledge Centre for Bioeconomy hosted by the JRC.

For this topic, it is not mandatory to integrate the gender dimension (sex and gender analysis) into research and innovation.