Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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Bio-based Industries

Bio-based industries
Research and innovation provide the means to reduce the European Union's dependency on fossil fuels and contribute to meeting its energy and climate change policy targets for 2020 (10% of transport fuels from renewables and a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions).

The overall objective is to accelerate the conversion of fossil-based European industries to low carbon, resource efficient and sustainable ones. Estimates conclude that a shift to biological raw materials and biological processing methods could save up to 2.5 billion tons of CO2 equivalent per year by 2030, increasing markets for bio-based raw materials and new consumer products several-fold. 

Reaping these potential benefits requires building a broad knowledge base and developing relevant (bio)technologies, focusing mainly on three essential elements:

  • transforming current fossil-based processes into resource and energy efficient biotechnology based ones;
  • establishing reliable, sustainable and appropriate supply chains of biomass, byproducts and waste streams and a wide network of bio-refineries throughout Europe; and
  • supporting market development for bio-based products and processes, taking account of the associated risks and benefits.

Synergies will be sought with the 'Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies' specific objective.

Supporting market development for bio-based products and processes

Measures on the demand side may help open up new markets for biotechnology innovation. Standardisation and certification at the European and international level is a requirement for the determination of bio-based content, product functionalities and biodegradability.
Further developments in methodologies and approaches to life‑cycle analysis are needed to enhance scientific and industrial advances.
Research activities supporting product and process standardisation (including harmonisation of international standards) and regulatory activities in the field of biotechnology are considered essential to support the creation of new markets and to create trade opportunities.

Search for funding opportunities related to bio-based economy in the Participant Portal.



From 06/06/2016 - 02:00 to 09/06/2016 - 02:00

Join us in Amsterdam for the 24th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, the leading international platform for dialogue between research, industry, policy and biomass businesses.

The EUBCE represents one of the key events on both a European and global scale for companies and professionals operating at the top end of the biomass and bioenergy sector.

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27/05/2014 - 17:51

This short video animation will guide you through the first steps you will need to take to apply to Horizon 2020. Read more

27/05/2014 - 17:32

Find out more about Horizon 2020 in this three minute animation clip which will give you a general overview of the programme specifics. Read more

28/03/2014 - 11:20

You may have heard of the bioeconomy and wondered what it is all about. Discover it now! Read more


27/10/2015 - 17:10

Registration is now open for the Infoday on Societal Challenge 2 calls 2016, which will take place on 25/11/2015 in Brussels. Registration will close on 13 November, or earlier if the event gets fully booked. Read more

14/10/2015 - 11:59

The European Commission will invest almost €16 billion in research and innovation in the next two years under Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation funding scheme, following a new work programme for 2016-17 adopted on 13 October. The work programme is now available on the participant portal. Read more

25/09/2015 - 13:58

On 25 September, the Commission launched an online survey to gather opinions from stakeholders on the impact of the simplification measures introduced in Horizon 2020, and to ask for new ideas on future simplification. Read more

Project stories

07/10/2015 - 02:00

EU-funded researchers are developing an environmentally friendly alternative to petrochemical-based coatings on food and beverage packaging. Made from food processing by-products, the biodegradable coatings would decrease dependency on fossil fuel-based plastics, improve recyclability and reduce landfill waste. Read more

20/08/2015 - 15:56

The INNPROBIO project aims to help Europe’s bio-based products sector capitalise on recently adopted European public procurement rules. These new rules are designed to encourage public entities to purchase products and services that meet advanced ecological and social aims. Read more

14/07/2015 - 17:40

Researchers for the PHBOTTLE project are developing a manufacturing process for a biodegradable bottle made from juice wastewater. The bottle is made of a bioplastic obtained by the optimised fermentation of the sugar-rich fruit juices in production waste. Read more


12/04/2016 - 12:57

For Horizon 2020, the Commission has a legal obligation to monitor continually and systematically its implementation, to report annually and to disseminate the results of this monitoring. The first Annual Monitoring Report under Horizon 2020 is a comprehensive publication encompassing the analysis of Horizon 2020 through its calls closed in 2014 Read more

25/09/2015 - 17:40

Horizon 2020 is the EU’s biggest ever programme for research and innovation, and it has got off to an excellent start. This brochure presents information on the first 100 calls for proposals that closed by 1 December 2014. Read more

24/09/2015 - 20:03

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever. Almost €80 billion of funding is available over seven years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private and national public investment that this money will attract. This publication presents the full set of Key Performance and Cross-Cutting Issues Indicators for Horizon 2020, including those for the European Institute of Technology and EURATOM. Read more

Press Release

13/10/2015 - 18:51

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation said: "Research and innovation are the engines of Europe's progress and vital to addressing today's new pressing challenges like immigration, climate change, clean energy and healthy societies. Over the next two years, €16 billion from Horizon 2020 will support Europe's top scientific efforts, making the difference to citizens' lives." Read more

05/02/2015 - 16:40

With the support of the European Research Council (ERC) "Proof of Concept" grants, 59 researchers in Europe will now get the chance to turn their inventions into viable products. Read more