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CBE JU supporting activities for the New European Bauhaus Academy, a network for re-skilling and upskilling towards a sustainable construction ecosystem


In the EU, almost 40% of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions stem from the operation of buildings and additional 10-20 % of GHG emissions are embodied emissions from buildings, including construction products, transport, and demolition[[Eurostat, 2020]]. In order to achieve climate neutrality in 2050, the EU should therefore reduce buildings’ GHG emissions by 60% by 2030.

To make the European Green Deal a success while maintaining the competitiveness of the European construction ecosystem, the sector must advance sustainable local solutions, taking into account ecological limitations, circularity, waste reduction, technical innovations and novel construction materials. Significant potential lies in the use of bio-based products and material in construction, to replace fossil-based ones and enable the uptake of innovative bio-based solutions with superior characteristics, including, but not limited to, wood-based solutions. Examples of solutions resulting from the circular and cascading use of biomass that can be used in the construction ecosystem are insulation, panelling, and bio-based chemicals used in various industrial sectors relevant for the construction and housing sectors, such as paints, adhesives, and composites, and many others.

The New European Bauhaus (NEB) Initiative[[]] was launched in 2020 by the European Commission to advance the green transition of our societies. It translates the European Green Deal into tangible change on the ground, making our neighbourhoods, public spaces, industrial ecosystems (e.g. construction), behaviours, and lifestyles more sustainable, inclusive, and beautiful.

By 2030, an additional 160 000 green jobs could be created in the EU construction sector through a renovation wave[[Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. A Renovation Wave for Europe - greening our buildings, creating jobs, improving lives - COM (2020) 662 final (]]. Lack of skills and knowledge in the construction ecosystem is a major obstacle to the green transition of our society. At present, training modules are not sufficiently available or accessible to meet rapidly growing skills demands and interest in the areas of sufficiency, circularity, and bio-based solutions for the construction ecosystem. Therefore, there is scope for up- and re-skilling in this domain, notably to benefit from the low-toxicity and zero-pollution characteristics of bio-based solutions in the construction sector.

As a flagship initiative of the European Year of Skills, the NEB initiative launched the New European Bauhaus Academy[[]] on skills for sustainable construction, to provide a coherent and accessible set of online and on-site trainings at the European scale, and promote inter-regional exchange of skills and best practices. This will be ensured through a network of NEB Academy Hubs, linked by a collaborative online platform. NEB Academy Hubs will be established by existing education/training providers (e.g. universities, research centres, professional chambers) and/or newly formed consortia, for which the project under this topic will set up selection criteria according to EU rules and the values and objectives of the New European Bauhaus.

With this topic, the Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking aims to support the establishment of the NEB Academy network in order to facilitate the re-skilling and upskilling of the construction ecosystem, to make it more attractive for younger people, and to enable the uptake of new, innovative circular and bio-based solutions. This topic will help advance the transition from an extractive, mineral-based and fossil hydrocarbon-fuelled construction economy to a regenerative bio-economy and circular system of material reuse. Proposals under this topic should:

  • Accompany the first stage of the NEB Academy’s development by designing the structure (including governance and model for quality assurance) of its network, as well as the procedures to ensure a progressive growth of the network, assurance for its long-term sustainability and formalization, and a balanced geographical coverage of its work.
  • Facilitate the development of a structured, tailored, and high-quality co-created offer of training services, curricula, and programmes, notably on bio-based solutions, by the NEB Academy network in alignment with the New European Bauhaus Initiative and the activities funded by the CBE JU. To do so, the proposal will:
    • Set-up a framework for the creation of NEB Academy Hubs, including selection criteria according to EU Rules and the values and objectives of the New European Bauhaus.
    • Establish an on-line collaborative space that will remain active after the end of the project and will ensure availability of coherent and accessible (including in terms of diversity of languages) learning materials on sustainable construction in the long term. The platform should facilitate exchange of scientific expertise between academia, research centres, and companies (especially innovative SMEs) active in sustainable construction, notably from the bio-based industry sector.
  • Identify and map possible relations and synergies with relevant networks, projects, initiatives and policy, as well as funding instruments at regional, national and European level that could help build, disseminate, and exploit knowledge and results.
  • Foster networking and collaborations among relevant stakeholders and initiatives in sustainable construction, notably in the bio-based sector and between academia and industrial actors, by actively engaging with ongoing or recently concluded CBE JU funded projects and other relevant projects. Put in place mechanisms ensuring the future sustainability of the community of practice.

The project is expected to contribute to the NEB initiative by interacting with the NEB Community, NEB Lab and other relevant actions of the NEB initiative through sharing information, best practices, and, where relevant, results. The trainings and support services resulting from this action should be aligned with the NEB values and objectives, and developed with the engagement of stakeholders from the construction ecosystem.

The implementation of this Coordination and Support Action should take into consideration the outputs produced by the project UrBIOfuture[[UrBIOfuture has mapped bio-based industry needs and the skills gap (]] and work in close cooperation with the project that will be selected under the topic LIFE 2023-PLP-Bauhaus-Phoenix-Emerald[[;callCode=LIFE-2023-PLP;freeTextSearchKeyword=;matchWholeText=true;typeCodes=1;statusCodes=31094501,31094502,31094503;programmePeriod=null;programCcm2Id=null;programDivisionCode=null;focusAreaCode=null;destinationGroup=null;missionGroup=null;geographicalZonesCode=null;programmeDivisionProspect=null;startDateLte=null;startDateGte=null;crossCuttingPriorityCode=null;cpvCode=null;performanceOfDelivery=null;sortQuery=sortStatus;orderBy=asc;onlyTenders=false;topicListKey=callTopicSearchTableState]] (policy priority 1 on New European Bauhaus – LIFE in the building and construction sector) as well as the BIObec[[BIObec will design six pilot Biobased Education Centres (]] and DigiNEB[[The NEB Academy online platform will be designed in cooperation with DigiNEB (]] projects. This Coordination and Support Action is also expected to establish links with the projects resulting from the EIC Accelerator Challenge: New European Bauhaus and Architecture, Engineering and Construction digitalisation for decarbonisation and any other relevant call from the HE programme and ERASMUS in 2023 or 2024[[Consider establishing links to, for example, but not restricted to, projects funded under topics HORIZON-CL6-2024-CLIMATE-01-5 Climate-smart use of wood in the construction sector to support the New European Bauhaus; HORIZON-CL6-2024-BIODIV-02-2-two-stage Demonstrating the potential of nature-based solutions and the New European Bauhaus to contribute to sustainable, inclusive and resilient living spaces and communities; ERASMUS-EDU-2023-PEX-COVE Partnership for Excellence - Centres of Vocational Excellence; HORIZON-CL6-2023-CircBio-01-7 Symbiosis in the bio-based industrial ecosystems; HORIZON-CL6-2023-CircBio-01-8 Eco-friendly consumer products, low-toxicity/zero pollution, construction bio-based materials; HORIZON-CL6-2023-CircBio-02-1-two-stage Circular Cities and Regions Initiative (CCRI)’s circular systemic solutions; HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-IAFlag-01 Optimised and integrated wood-based value chains; HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-R-02 Optimised forest-based value chains for high-value applications and improved forest management; HORIZON-CL4-2023-RESILIENCE-01-44 Affordable Housing District Demonstrator (IA); HORIZON-CL4-2021-RESILIENCE-02-32 Social and affordable housing district demonstrator (IA).]].

The selected project may be invited to progressively integrate other developments in the framework of NEB Academy.

To implement all the above listed activities and achieve the full expected impact of the project, it is expected that this CSA will be implemented by a consortium composed by relevant entities.

Proposals may involve financial support to third parties to provide direct support (e.g. in the form of cascading grants) for preparatory work that hubs may need to carry out to join the network. A maximum of EUR 30 000 per third party might be granted. Conditions for third parties support are set out in Part B of the General Annexes. Consortia need to define the selection process of organisations, for which financial support will be granted. Maximum EUR 150 000 of the EU funding can be allocated to this purpose. The financial support to third parties can only be provided in the form of grants.