Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Enabling pre-commercial production of advanced aviation biofuel

Topic identifier: LCE-20-2016-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: IA Innovation action
Opening date:
11 May 2016
Deadline: 08 September 2016 17:00:00

Types of action: IA Innovation action
Opening date:
11 May 2017
Deadline: 07 September 2017 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Decarbonisation of the aviation transport sector and reducing its dependence on fossil fuel requires liquid biofuels even in the longer term. Accelerating the deployment of advanced biofuel technologies for use in aviation will allow competitive production of biojet fuels on commercial scale, increase their attractiveness and facilitate achievement of the EU Biofuel FlightPath[1] targets. Therefore, the specific challenge is to enable commercial production of sustainable and cost-competitive advanced biofuels aimed for use in the aviation sector. In particular, supporting the accomplishment of pre-commercial plant(s) for advanced biofuels for aviation based on sustainable biomass feedstock is essential.


Proposals shall aim at moving technologies that have already reached TRL 5-6 to TRL 6-7 (please see part G of the General Annexes) through novel industrial demonstration projects which support the innovative integration of production processes for advanced biofuels for aviation into first–of-a-kind or existing industrial scale plants. Projects should target the most promising advanced aviation biofuel production pathways incorporating upgrading technologies and valorisation of co-products that improve the economic viability of the fuel production. The ultimate production target of aviation biofuel for the complete plant shall be in the range of several tens of thousand tonnes per year. The aviation biofuel must be fully compliant with international aviation fuel standards and therefore suitable for commercial flight operations. Where relevant, projects should also make use of existing infrastructures for transportation, logistics, and fuelling for performing commercial flights with the produced fuel. Relevant datasets shall be collected for these operations.

Environment, economic and social issues including health and safety should be considered in the whole life cycle and appropriately addressed. A methodology that enables robust and reliable assessment of the environmental (notably in terms of GHG) performance, economic and social benefits with respect to current technologies should be included.

In addition, proposals shall address the entire value chain including the supply chain of sustainable biomass feedstock and the actual use of the produced biofuel in aviation.

Biofuels produced from starch, sugar and oil fractions of food/feed crops are excluded.

Proposals shall explicitly address performance and cost targets together with relevant key performance indicators and the expected impacts. Industrial involvement in the consortium and explicit exploitation plans are a prerequisite.

Proposals shall include a work package on the business case of the overall business solution and which identifies potential issues of public acceptance, market and regulatory barriers along the entire value chain. It should also address, where appropriate, synergies between new and existing technologies and other socio-economic and environmental aspects from a life-cycle perspective. Furthermore, they shall address the risks (feedstock, technological, business, process) and their possible mitigation. A signed off-take agreement with one or more airlines or alternative similar agreements should be envisaged in the proposal. In the event of a grant award the off-take agreement must be signed before signature of the grant agreement.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 5 to 15 million in 2016 and 5 to 10 million in 2017 would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately while maximizing the acceptable production pathways. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Demonstrating advanced biofuel technologies for aviation at large industrial scale will respond to the EU FlightPath objectives for commercial deployment and realisation of aviation biofuels and its target of using 2 million tons aviation biofuel by 2020. Favourable energy and GHG balances are expected. The demonstrated industrial concepts should ensure the techno-economic feasibility of the entire value chain and have the potential for a significant social and economic impact, notably in terms of job creation, economic growth and contribution to the decarbonisation of the aviation sector in addition to supporting advancement of the regulatory framework.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities


Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.
IMPORTANT: Please also read the introductory policy context for the activity RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES of the COMPETITIVE LOW CARBON ENERGY call under the Societal Challenge 3 'Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy' of the Work Programme 2016 - 2017.


  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General 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. See the information in the Online Manual.

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

    For the topic LCE-20-2016-2017, this additional eligibility condition applies:
    An off-take agreement with one or more airlines or alternative similar agreements must be signed before signature of the grant agreement to ensure additional budget for the project in order to produce substantial quantities of fuel and confirm the airline's commitment towards the development of aviation biojet.

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

  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.

    3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process.

  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 for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Proposal templates are available after entering the submission tool below
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement

  6. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    Classified information

    Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.

    Financial support to Third Parties – where a topic description foresees financial support to Third Parties, these provisions apply.
  7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.

    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.

    Open access to research data
    The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

    Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

    Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

    - Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs.

    - Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

    The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.


  8. Additional documents


Additional documents

  • Flash Call Info H2020-LCE-2017-RES-IA en

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