Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Bioconversion of non-agricultural waste into biomolecules for industrial applications

Topic identifier: BIOTEC-02-2016
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
15 October 2015
2nd stage Deadline:
08 December 2015 17:00:00
24 May 2016 17:00:00

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

Following the principle of a circular economy, industrial by-products and waste from non-agricultural sectors, could be considered feed stock for bio-conversion into value-added industrial products.

However, most of these bio-waste fractions are used nowadays for low-value applications only, such as for energy generation in incineration facilities, as fodder in livestock industries and as fertilisers in agriculture. Therefore, responding to the need to improve industrial resource efficiency, the current main challenges are to identify economically viable links between waste generation and waste utilization, and to develop the necessary technologies (including biotechnologies) for bioconversion of waste into higher added-value products.


The objective of this topic is to develop biotechnology approaches for the conversion of municipal solid bio-waste fractions and sludgy bio-waste from other industries, like the food industry, as well as from water treatment facilities, into higher added-value bio-based products, such as chemicals and chemical building blocks, biopolymers, materials and bioactive compounds. This includes sustainable downstream steps for product separation and purification. Physico-chemical technologies concomitant to the enzymatic/microbial processes are also needed. Proposals should address the current technical state-of-the-art regarding waste utilisation for bioproducts taking into account the current market and legislative barriers in the EU. The feasibility of integrating the newly developed approach into existing value chains should be assessed and demonstrated.

Proposals should have a strong industry drive and prove the techno-economic viability of the proposed value chain. They need to also take into account the optimisation of the final product's "end of life" through, for example, biodegradation or recycling. A life cycle assessment of the entire value chain should be included.

Activities are expected to focus on Technology Readiness Levels 3 to 5.

The participation of SMEs is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 5 and 7 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:
  • Develop at least 2 new bio-based value chains, utilising either industrial by-products and/or relevant bio-waste fractions for bio-product generation.
  • Propose outline business plans which include the assessment of the potential impact of the proposed value chains in terms of EU jobs and growths in the short and medium term. The expected impact of the value chains should be clearly described in qualitative and quantitative terms (e.g. in terms of turnover, employment, market size, IP management, sales, return on investment and profit).
  • Demonstrate the environmental feasibility of the proposed value chains and conduct relevant outreach activities.

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

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, China, Hong 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: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme , with the following exceptions:

    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.

    In case of equal overall scores in the ranked list, the priority order of proposals will be established in accordance with part H of the General Annexes, except that proposals will be ranked on the basis of individual scores for the Impact criterion before the Excellence criterion.

    In case of equal overall scores in the ranked list, the priority order of proposals will be established in accordance with part H of the General Annexes, except, when comparing ex aequo proposals of different topics, the proposals will be ranked first according to the position in the topic ranked lists

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

    Information on the outcome of two-stage evaluation:
          For stage 1: maximum 3 months from the deadline for submission.
          For stage 2: 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.

    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.

    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


Submission Service

No submission system is open for this topic.

Get support


National Contact Points (NCP) - contact your NCP for further assistance.

Enterprise Europe Network – contact your EEN national contact for advice to businesses with special focus on SMEs. The support includes guidance on the EU research funding.

Partner Search Services help you find a partner organisation for your proposal.



Research Enquiry Service – ask questions about any aspect of European research in general and the EU Research Framework Programmes in particular.

H2020 Online Manual your online guide on the procedures from proposal submission to managing your grant.

Participant Portal FAQ – Submission of proposals.

IT Helpdesk- contact the Participant Portal IT helpdesk for questions such as forgotten passwords, access rights and roles, technical aspects of submission of proposals, etc.

European IPR Helpdesk assists you on intellectual property issues




Ethics – for compliance with ethical issues, see the Participant Portal and Science and Society Portal

CEN and CENELEC, the European Standards Organisations, advise you how to tackle standardisation in your project proposal. Contact CEN-CENELEC Research Helpdesk at

The European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for their recruitment