Bioeconomy Opportunities from BBI JU 2017

Calls for 2017 will open in April and close in September

Published on 28-03-2017 06:45:42 by AGRIFORVALOR

CakePHP The Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) is a public-private initiative dedicated to supporting the commercial transformation of renewable, natural resources into innovative bio-based products in Europe.

Almost 75% of a total €3.7 billion (€2.7 billion) of the BBI JU budget is invested by Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) industry members from 2014-2020. This financial contribution will support the large-scale commercialisation of high-quality bio-based products, through investment in innovative bio-based production facilities and biorefining research and demonstration projects.

Projects supported under the BBI Initiative range from commercial flagship projects and demonstration projects to research and innovation actions and co-ordination and support initiatives. Among the flagship projects awarded under the program are FIRST2RUN and EXILVA. The FIRST2RUN biorefinery focuses on underutilized oil crops grown in arid and marginal land. The vegetable oil extracted from cardoon seeds is converted into bio-monomers (mainly pelargonic and azelaic acids) as building blocks for high added value bioproducts (biolubricants, cosmetics, bioplastics, additives) through the integration of chemical and biotech processes.  EXILVA focuses on the commercial production of a microfibrillated cellulose from woody biomass sources. Another initiative, BIORESCUE, is a research and innovation action which is exploring enhanced bioconversion of agricultural residues (including spent mushroom compost and wheat straw) through cascading use. The consortium includes two Irish partners, Monaghan Mushrooms and Celignis. Five million tonnes of spent mushroom compost are generated per annum and storage and disposal of this has become a significant economic and logistical problem. Biorefining could offer not only a solution to this problem, but also develop a significant revenue stream from this resource. The schematic below offers an insight into some of the pathways being investigated.

Fig 1; Overview of BIORESCUE Biorefinery Process

The 2017 call for BBI proposals will open this April and will close in September with results published in December. Topics are orientated along feedstock, process, products and market. Potential topics of interest in the 2017 call include a flagship call for an integrated “zero waste” biorefinery utilising all fractions of the feedstock for the production of chemicals and materials, a research and innovation action on the production of proteins and other bioactive ingredients from sidestreams and a call for proposals on competitive biodegrable, compostable and/or recyclable biobased plastics for a sustainable end of life phase. For a full list of topics click here

To follow-up on the call for proposals the BBI JU will hosts its fourth Open Info Day & Brokerage event at the Alcide De Gasperi, Charlemagne Building of the European Commission in Brussels on 28 April 2017. In addition to bioeconomy expert speakers from EU and industry, the event will provide potential applicants with detailed information on how to prepare and submit a good proposal for the 2017 BBI JU Call, and there will be a dedicated networking and brokerage event in the afternoon.

James Gaffey, Institute of Technology, Tralee