Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Fermentation processes to obtain biosurfactants and specialty carbohydrates from agricultural and agro-industrial streams

Topic identifier: BBI.VC3.R6
Publication date: 09 July 2014

Types of action: BBI-RIA Bio-based Industries Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
09 July 2014
Deadline: 15 October 2014 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020
Topic Description

Specific challenge: Several hurdles hamper the full exploitation of two types of specialty biochemicals with high market interest, i.e. biosurfactants and specialty carbohydrates. On the one hand, suboptimal production methods result in large price fluctuations of the specialty carbohydrates currently in the market thus limiting their use to high-end applications (e.g. pharma and cosmetics). On the other hand, the few existing production methods for bio-based (glycolipid) surfactants rely mainly on the synthesis power of natural (wildtype) micro-organisms thus limiting the required product diversity to penetrate a large-scale market. Fermentation processes offer potential for overcoming these hurdles and for being an efficient, scaleable and cost-competive alternative for the production of these specialty biochemicals.

Scope: Development of cost-efficient and sustainable fermentation processes to obtain tailor-made biosurfactants and specialty carbohydrates from agricultural and agro-industrial streams. Proposals should address (i) improvement ofthe methods for metabolic engineering of the production strain; (ii) improvement of the flexibility of the process with view to widen the range of attainable biosurfactants; (iii) scale-up and improvement of fermentation and downstream processing with view to reducing processing time and costs. A life-cycle assessment should be carried out in order to evaluate the environmental and socio-economic performance of the developed technologies. The feasibility of integrating the proposed concept into existing industrial processing chains should be assessed. Proposal will consider potential standardisation related activities expected to facilitate the market uptake of the developed products.

It is considered that proposals with a total eligible budget of at least EUR 2 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:

         Improving fermentation technologies enabling higher added value to agricultural and agro-industrial streams that are currently used in low-value application, resulting in a cascading beneficial effect for the whole value chain.

         Reducing by (20-fold) in price range of speciality carbohydrates and increase of the supply from the kg scale to the hundreds of tons scale, leading to a broadened portfolio of potential applications beyond the current high-end ones.

         Improving significantly the flexibility, productivity and environmental performance of biosurfactants/specialty biochemicals industrial processes.

Contributing towards the replacement of 5-10% fossil-based surfactants with biosurfactants.

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 described in part A of the Annex of the BBI JU Annual Work Plan 2014.
  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B of the Annex of the BBI JU Annual Work Plan 2014.
  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part F of the Annex of the BBI JU Annual Work Plan 2014.

    3.2 For submission and evaluation process, see the H2020 Guide to the submission and evaluation process and the BBI JU Calls 2014 - 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 outcome of one-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the final date for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 3 months from the date of informing successful applicants.
  6. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    BBI Research and Innovation Action (BBI-RIA):

    Specific provisions and funding rates: described in part D of the Annex of the BBI JU Annual Work Plan 2014.
    Standard proposal template
    Standard evaluation form
    BBI JU Model Grant Agreement
    H2020 Annotated Model Grant Agreement
  7. Additional provisions:

    Technology readiness levels (TRL): described in part E of the Annex of the BBI Annual Work Plan.
  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. BBI additional documents:
    BBI JU Call fiche 2014
    BBI JU Work Plan 2014
    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
Additional documents

  • Information on selected projects of the call 2014 en
  • Biobased Industries Joint Undertaking FAQ on Financing Rules en

Submission Service

No submission system is open for this topic.

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