Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Flexible biorefining technologies able to handle different feedstock, leading to new value chains or enlarging existing ones by using the same processing plant

Topic identifier: BBI-2016-R04
Publication date: 19 April 2016

Types of action: BBI-RIA Bio-based Industries Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
19 April 2016
Deadline: 08 September 2016 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-JTI-BBI-2016
Work Programme Part: BBI Work Plan 2016
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Dependence on a single source of feedstock is one of the main bottlenecks for biorefinery operations. If biorefineries have the ability to process multiple inputs or to switch to different raw materials, they would have a substantial higher degree of flexibility in coping with feedstock price and availability variations. They will be able to follow market trends of raw materials, compensate for raw material price fluctuations and control their impact on the overall economics of biorefinery processes.

Handling different feedstock also requires dealing with their availability and composition that are a result of seasonal and geographical aspects. Increasing the ability to process a diverse supply of biomass feedstock at acceptable quality will allow a better utilisation of biorefinery capacity and improve its competitiveness.

The challenge is to develop flexible biorefining processes capable of handling feedstock of variable origin, composition and quantity without major investment in (new) equipment.


Develop and validate at lab or at pilot scale the operation of a flexible biorefinery, able to tune its processes to accommodate different feedstock (without major investments in new equipment/facilities) in order to fully exploit the potential of biomass produced locally during the four seasons.

Proposals can focus on broad ‘one-fits-all’ technologies processing different biomasses, or on fast customisation of process conditions, e.g. by using different and specific enzymatic cocktails, to accommodate different types of biomass. In particular, proposals should prove the feasibility to use the same processing plant to process different feedstock by modifying and tailoring the operative conditions according to the available input.

Proposals should assess the feasibility of scaling up the developed solutions to semi-industrial level as a next step and replication in different regions and areas. Proposals should prove high conversion efficiency of different biomass feedstock into valuable bio-products.

Proposals should show the impact on the full value chain. Therefore, proposals need to involve a relevant range of biomass suppliers, representing the different biomass feedstocks under consideration. Proposals should seek complementary with the projects funded under topic H2020 RUR-8-2016 to avoid overlap and promote synergies.

The projects should cover any Technology Readiness Level (TRL) from 3 to 5. In the case of a pilot scale project (TRL 5), proposals should present a credible cost estimate for the proposed processes with a preliminary assessment of their competitiveness when scaled up.

Proposals should also include an environmental and socio-economic assessment, for example with an LCA. In particular, when targeting TRL 5, proposals should include an LCA in order to evaluate the environmental and socio-economic performance of the developed processes.

It is considered that proposals with a total eligible budget in the range of EUR 2-5 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:
  • When targeting currently discontinuous biorefinery operations: Increased annual productivity of the targeted products by 10-20% as compared to the current production routes, proving the relevance of the continuity of biorefinery operations during the whole year.
  • Increased utilisation of biorefinery capacity during the year, thus reducing ‘down time’ that is mainly associated with fluctuations in biomass feedstock availability.
  • Reduction of 10-20% of the feedstock-related costs of a biorefinery as compared to a single-source biorefinery operating part-time during the year.
  • Biorefining capacity utilisation increase of 10-20% on annual basis.
  • Contribution to the BBI JU Key Performance Indicators (KPI), specifically:
    • Set the foundation of at least 1 new bio-based value chain (KPI 2), new bio-based materials (KPI 5) and for new demonstrated consumer products based on bio-based chemicals and materials (KPI 6), or significantly improve existing ones.
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 H2020 Work Programme. Note also that a number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects (follow the links to Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong &Macau, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).
  2.  Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the H2020 Work Programme with the following exceptions: BBI JU Derogation to H2020 Rules for Participation.

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

    3.1 Evaluation criteria, scoring and threshold:
    described in part H of the General Annexes of the H2020 Work Programme, with the exceptions described in part 2.3.6 of the BBI JU Work Plan 2016.

    3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process and the BBI JU Calls - Guide for applicants (RIA-DEMO-CSA).

  4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement: 

    Information on the outcome of single-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.
  5. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms:

               Specific provisions and funding rates: ddescribed in 2.3.4 of the BBI JU Annual Work Plan 2016.

               BBI JU proposal templates (Administrative forms and Technical annex) are available after entering the "start submission" button and then after entering the "Download Part B Templates" button

               Standard evaluation form (CSA)

               Standard evaluation form (RIA)

               Standard evaluation form (FLAG and DEMO)

               BBI JU Model Grant Agreement – Multi-Beneficiary

                H2020 Annotated Grant Agreement 

  1. Additional provisions:

    Technology readiness levels (TRL), where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.
  2. 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.
  3. Additional documents

    BBI JU Work Plan 2016
    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
    Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment 


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