Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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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 28/06/2015 - 02:00 to 01/07/2015 - 02:00
Leiden, The Netherlands,

This year the theme for the conference is Global Outreach: Enabling Cultures and Diversity in Research Management and Administration. This theme reflects the growing need and ambition to reach out and get connected and work together globally. Cooperating not only in the field of scientific research & innovation and higher education but also in the field of research management and administration. Read more


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


25/11/2014 - 11:30

Over 500 hundred participants attended the Infoday on Societal challenge 2 calls for 2015 organised by European Commission in Brussels on 21 November 2014. Read more

25/07/2014 - 18:52

Research partnerships between the EU, the private sector and Member States presented their first calls for projects and partners under Horizon 2020, the EU's €80 billion research and innovation programme, at an event in Brussels on 9 July 2014. Read more

Project stories

01/08/2014 - 17:59

Although pigs are actually one of world’s cleanest creatures – despite their reputation to the contrary – cleaning up after them is a challenging task. The bulk, gas emissions and associated odours give pig manure a bad name. But if you know how to extract them, there are value nutrients secreted in the slurry. The EU-funded EfficientHeat project has advanced waste disposal while giving pig farmers the potential to turn manure into money. Read more

30/07/2014 - 14:21

By far the most heated debate surrounding biofuels is the use of food crops to produce fuel, as the practice increases the competition for land and drives up the price of food . With a decade of research behind it, the European Union (EU)-funded project KACELLE has proven that crops such as wheat and maize do not necessarily need to be used in the increasing demand for energy. Read more

24/06/2014 - 18:59

AGROCOS is a pioneering European project which is using modern scientific techniques to explore the ancient – and still largely untapped - richness of nature to develop new products for the agrochemical and cosmetics industries. Read more


01/04/2015 - 13:30

For three decades, the EU Framework Programmes have been funding breakthroughs across Europe. RTD’s Horizon Magazine looks at the people and events that have helped shape European research policy, taking you behind the scenes during the pivotal moments from the last 30 years of research funding. These articles have been brought together into a special Horizon supplement to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Framework Programmes. Read more

Press Release

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