Research & Innovation - Participant Portal

TOPIC : Production of bio-based elastomers from Europe-grown feedstock

Topic identifier: BBI.VC3.D3-2015
Publication date: 25 August 2015

Types of action: BBI-IA-DEMO Bio-based Industries Innovation action - Demonstration
Opening date:
25 August 2015
Deadline: 03 December 2015 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Bio-based elastomers already represent a considerable market share, especially considering applications where they cannot be fully substituted by synthetic counterparts (e.g. rubber and latex) due to their superior mechanical properties. However, currently available feedstock, such as Hevea Brasiliensis (rubber tree), is mainly, if not only, of non-European origin and often accompanied by debatable sustainability issues related to deforestation and conflict with food crops. In order to reduce Europe's dependence on imports, it is necessary to explore alternative bio-based sources and crops able to build fully European value chains for the production of bio-based elastomers.


Demonstrate the techno-economic viability of new Europe-based value chains for the production of bio-based elastomers, e.g. rubber, from alternative feedstock and/or crops. Proposals should take into account the whole chain from agronomics (i.e. selection and growth of suitable EU-based crops) to conversion to the final product, via innovative cascading processes, which overcome known limitations of currently available extraction processes and enabling valorisation of all plant fractions. The envisaged process should provide the material in the suitable form for its final application. A life-cycle assessment should be carried out taking into account the valorisation of the biomass residues. Safety, quality and purity of the end products should be verified and validated. Produced materials should be tested regarding their mechanical performances following relevant industrial standards. Proposals will assess product demand and will consider market pull related activities (e.g. standardisation, consumers’ perception) aimed at facilitating the market uptake of the developed products. Proposals should demonstrate access to sufficient (European) biomass when the technology is scaled-up to commercial scale. The leading role of relevant industrial partners is considered essential to achieve the full impact.

It is considered that proposals with a total eligible budget of up to EUR 15 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals with another budget.

Expected Impact:
  • Demonstrate economic sustainability in view of future developments of large size plants.
  • Demonstrate cultivation of suitable feedstock with low or zero Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC), addressing where applicable the issue of remediation of marginal land, with positive impact on the creation of green jobs and revitalisation of rural areas.
  • Mechanical and functional properties of the elastomer will be comparable (90% or better) in comparison to conventional counterparts, and preferably with additional functionalities for new market segments.
  • Reduced environmental impact of the extraction process, in particular regarding use of water and treatment of effluents.
  • Improved separation and valorisation of other fractions of the crop e.g. lignocellulosic and/or resins;
  • Process yield of at least 5 kg elastomer from 100 kg of raw material input.
Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes  of the General Work Programme.

2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.

3. Evaluation

3.1 Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme, with the exceptions described in part 3.5.7 of the BBI JU Annual Work Plan 2015.

3.2 Guide to the submission and evaluation process and the BBI JU Calls 2015 - Guide for applicants.

4. Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.

5. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

Information on the evaluation outcome: maximum 5 months after the proposal submission deadline.
Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months after the proposal submission deadline.

6. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

Specific provisions and funding rates: described in part 3.5.5 of the BBI JU Annual Work Plan 2015

7. Additional provisions:

Technology readiness levels (TRL): described in Part G of the General Annexes to the EC Work Programme.

8. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions, and proposals must refer to measures envisaged. Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

9. JTIs additional documents

BBI JU Work Plan 2015
BBI JU Scientific Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA)
Horizon 2020 Rules for participation
BBI JU Derogation to H2020 Rules for Participation
BBI JU Regulation of establishment

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