Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Integrated approach to process optimisation for raw material resources efficiency, excluding recovery technologies of waste streams

Topic identifier: SPIRE-07-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: IA Innovation action
Opening date:
20 September 2016
Deadline: 19 January 2017 17:00:00

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

Process industries are currently facing the challenge of an increase in the energy and raw materials cost, a few of them facing a relative scarcity. Raw materials resources are blended, mixed and transformed into finished products by means of different manufacturing processes. Material losses and variable yields in the different processes can mean a considerable increase in the total cost breakdown.

Input from end-of-life recycling is an important goal covered in previous Horizon 2020 Calls including the SPIRE-7-2015 topic. However, yield losses in the different production steps in process industries are still important and this leaves room for improvement (e.g. real losses in pipelines, the storage containers extraction operations, raw materials residues left in ovens, mixing bowls and mixer blades, altogether with inefficient or ineffective chemical reactions).

Improving the utilisation of raw materials resources (fluids, solids or gases) is essential to increase yields throughout the supply chain. The reduction in losses will also ensure a decrease of the environmental footprint and therefore contribute to a more sustainable industry and support the circular economy.

The challenge of a more efficient use of raw materials resources in order to deliver high performance and sustainable production must be accompanied by optimising material efficiency all along the process route and throughout the value chain.


Proposals should address the technological improvements for both continuous and batch processes to improve material and energy efficiency in the entire production route. They should also identify key bottlenecks and resource efficiency improvement opportunities that will increase yields while optimising the energy consumption of the original processes. The process review and the implementation of improvements should also significantly increase the current production rates.

Research and Innovation activities should address all of the following areas:

  • Reduction of material losses during the upstream beneficiation, the intermediate processing, the final process stages. Improvement of both the yield and the energy efficiency of the production process routes.
  • Quality and process control that ensures process stability and robustness while allowing some flexibility at the inlet conditions and the development of tools to assess the optimal combination of material input and yield control.
  • Identification and use of KPIs based on energy, water and raw material resources consumption, carbon dioxide emissions that can ensure the sustainability of the processes.
  • Mapping of the material and energy flows across the entire production system to allow for a cross-sectorial integration and optimisation.
  • Evaluation and quantification of the emissions reduction by improving yield.

The proposals must include at least one demonstrator per process in a real industrial setting.

Activities are expected to focus on Technology Readiness Levels 5 to 7 and to be centred around TRL 6.

This topic is particularly suitable for SMEs.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 6 and 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:
  • At least 25% reduction in yield losses when compared to the current practice in the sector, by optimising/minimising production losses and an increased material consumption on interconnected cycles
  • At least 10% improvement in energy efficiency when compared to the current practice in the sector.
  • Identify bottlenecks and resource efficiency improvement opportunities
  • Identify knowledge gaps in the supply chain
  • Adoption of the new technological improvements for enhanced resource efficiency in industrial processes.
  • Contribution to achieving the objectives of the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials, in particular to the relevant impacts shown in Action I.4: Processing and refining of raw materials of the Strategic Implementation Plan[1], as well as the circular economy objectives in general.

Proposals should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the Introduction to the LEIT part of this Work Programme.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Contractual Public-Private Partnerships (cPPPs)


Topic conditions and documents

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

    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 (follow the links to Australia, Brazil, Canada, ChinaHong Kong &Macau, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).

    described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.

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


    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold:

    The criteria, scoring and threshold are described in General Annex H of the work programme.
    The following exceptions apply:

    For single-stage and second-stage evaluations, the threshold for the criteria Excellence and Impact will be 4. The overall threshold, applying to the sum of the three individual scores, will be 12.

    The procedure for setting a priority order for proposals with the same score is given in General Annex H of the work programme. The following exceptions apply:

    Under 3 (a)
    Proposals are first ranked in separate lists according to the topics against which they were submitted (‘topic ranked lists’). When comparing ex aequo proposals from different topics, proposals having a higher position in their respective 'topic ranked list' will be considered to have a higher priority in the overall ranked list.

    Under 3 (b)
    For all topics and types of action, the prioritisation will be done first on the basis of the score for Impact, and then on that for Excellence.

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

    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.

    for the type of action under this topic

    Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement

    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.


    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.


    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 - Regulation of Establishment

    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation

    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction to Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies (LEITs)

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Nanotechnologies, advanced materials, advanced manufacturing and processing, biotechnology

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Cross-cutting activities (Focus Areas)

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: General Annexes


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