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TOPIC : Microbial platforms for CO2-reuse processes in the low-carbon economy

Topic identifier: BIOTEC-05-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
DeadlineModel:
Opening date:
two-stage
11 May 2016
Deadline:
2nd stage Deadline:
27 October 2016 17:00:00
04 May 2017 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Industrial Leadership
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Updates
  • 11 January 2017 10:28

    Switzerland as associated country

    From 1 January 2017 Switzerland is associated to the whole Horizon 2020 programme instead of the previous partial association.

    This applies to all the grant agreements signed on 1 January 2017 and afterwards.

    For more information please see the relevant Note on the Participant Portal.

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Nowadays CO2 re-use is one of several technological ways to reduce otherwise harmful CO2 emissions, thus making CO2 a valuable commodity rather than a pollutant. However, the research behind full development of CO2 reuse technologies is in its early stages. Some of these technologies use CO2 as a feedstock for chemicals and plastics, thus increasing the industrial biotechnology potential for enhancing European economic competitiveness. In this way, tackling the CO2 challenge includes interesting possibilities for encouraging innovation and sustainability.

An industrial biotechnology route for CO2 re-use is fermentation, where CO2 is fermented into a desired molecule using hydrogen as a source of energy. However, there are technical issues that need to be resolved, because the biochemical reactions involved are not yet self-supporting in terms of energy for the industrial scale conversion of CO2 into chemicals. Moreover, the final yield of the products is low and the process needs optimisation. Ultimately, the success of CO2 reuse technologies will depend on developing processes which are less energy and material intensive than the processes they aim to replace and which can be scaled to an industrial level of production. In this context, an important consideration or advantage would be the ability of the microbes to process raw CO2 (low concentrations, presence of impurities, etc.). Therefore, substantial research is required to achieve the goal of a CO2 economy.

Scope:

Proposals should address current limitations of CO2 reuse technologies based on microbial platforms, by developing their full potential, and need to cover one or more of the following issues:

  • Microbes with an improved ability to convert CO2 as a feedstock into chemicals and plastics.
  • Discovery of new, more active and robust enzymes for improved bio-catalysis.
  • Design of new synthetic microbial systems to produce useful enzymes.
  • Improved microbes with resistance to impurities, by-products and target products.
  • Exploring the potential application sectors of the products and technologies to be developed.

Proposals should address elements of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH), exploring the public perception and acceptance of the technology of CO2 reuse.

Proposals can be considered complementary to those dealing with CO2 reuse in the SPIRE public-private partnership (Part 17 of this Work Programme), where the issue is being tackled from a purely chemical perspective.

Activities are expected to focus on Technology Readiness Levels 3 to 5. This topic addresses cross-KET activities.

Insofar as possible, proposals will involve SMEs and engage in international cooperation,

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:
  • Development and validation of at least two microbial cell factories;
  • Development of concepts for solving challenges expected by an industrial-scale implementation;
  • Contribution to the reduction in CO2 emissions in the medium to long term;
  • Supporting the EU in becoming a global leader in CO2 re-use technologies through the utilisation of microbial platforms.

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:

Socio-economic science and humanities
International cooperation

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 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).
     
  2. ELIGIBILITY and ADMISSIBILITY CONDITIONS
    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. EVALUATION

    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
        

  4. INDICATIVE TIMETABLE for EVALUATION and GRANT AGREEMENT

    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.

     
  5. PROVISIONS, PROPOSAL TEMPLATES and EVALUATION FORMS
    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
     
  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

    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

    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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