Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Carbon dioxide utilisation to produce added value chemicals

Topic identifier: SPIRE-08-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: RIA Research and 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:

CO2 represents an alternative, abundant and valuable source of carbon which could be a suitable raw material, and its utilization has the potential to contribute significantly to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and thereby unwanted climate change effects. In addition, the utilisation of CO2 (and CO) as a feedstock by the European process industry to produce materials, chemicals and fuels could be a key solution to reduce the dependence on imports of fossil resources provide a secure of supply of carbon feedstock while contributing to the emission reductions agreed at COP21.

The chemical industry is still largely based on the use of fossil fuels and feedstock as source of carbon, but a decrease is necessary in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The utilisation of CO2 (and CO) to produce added value chemicals may represent a viable opportunity. While there are still significant scientific technological challenges to be solved in order to exploit the CO2 (and CO) as a carbon source in a more systematic manner, there have already been concepts demonstrated at lab scale, which could provide possible solutions if properly scaled up. Therefore, it is necessary to demonstrate the feasibility of such CO2 (and CO) utilisation technologies to produce added value products at larger scale, in an operational environment, to be able to assess the industrial potential of such technologies.


Proposals should address innovative chemical (e.g. catalytic) processes to produce added value chemicals from CO2 (and CO) and demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility in an industrially relevant environment through demonstration of a system prototype. Technologies targeting conversion of CO2 (and CO) to short chain alcohols, dimethyl ether and fuels are considered outside the scope of this topic.

The topic focuses on the conversion of CO2 (and CO) to chemicals, possibly including chemicals with other components beyond C, H and O (such as N), in an integrated approach and therefore, the proposals need to consider the following elements:

  • CO2 (and CO) should come preferably from industrial flue and process gases from the process industries e.g., cement, steel and other energy intensive industries
  • CO2 (and CO) purification and conditioning methods to bring the gas to a sufficient quality for efficient conversion into chemicals.
  • The testing of a system prototype should be integrated with process modelling and life cycle assessment in order to quantify the processes in terms of resource intensity reduction as well as reduction of emissions.
  • The quality of the products obtained should relate to the specifications requested by the market.
  • The project should contain an analysis of the economic feasibility and impact, and the evaluation of the market potential, and benefit on the European competiveness deriving from the introduction of the new process.
  • An analysis of the environmental and social benefits.

Proposals should involve industries in a clear leadership role.

Activities are expected to focus on Technology Readiness Levels 4 to 6. This topic addresses cross-KET activities.

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:
  • Demonstrate technical and economic feasibility in the relevant environment of novel processes for CO2 and CO conversion to added-value chemicals.
  • Reduction of at least 20%, on Life-Cycle-Assessment basis, of the emissions of greenhouse gases and energy/resource intensity with respect to commercial manufacturing of the same product. The impact on greenhouse emissions will be an important element of the evaluation.
  • Significant increase of the industrial competiveness deriving from the adoption of the novel processes of conversion of CO2 and CO to added-value chemicals.

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)
Cross-cutting Key-Enabling Technologies (KETs)

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

    Research and 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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