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The future of Europe’s bioeconomy is here


Néstor Etxaleku

Agrofood and Bioeconomy Knowledge Area Leader

The transition from non-renewable fossil raw materials and minerals to circular, bio-based production processes is essential to achieving the EU’s climate targets set out in the European Green Deal. In this shift, the contribution that bio-based industries can make is crucial, as they are robust, resource-efficient, and competitive. This is why, in the new Circular Bio-based Europe joint venture, various actors in this sector, from farmers to scientists, including the essential industrial participation, are joining forces, to solve their technological, regulatory, and market challenges.

What is the CBE-JU?

CBE-JU stands for Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking. It is a new institutionalised European partnership that builds on the legacy of the successful Bio-Based Industries (BBI) for the period 2021-2031. It arises from the agreement between the European Commission and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC).

What is its purpose?

Within specific areas of the Horizon Europe R&D funding programme, associated with the Bioeconomy and Circular Economy, the CBE-JE proposes to maximise the impact of the projects it supports, in all those cases where a standard proposal would be insufficient.

What are its scope and budget?

It promotes R&D&I in the bioeconomy between the European Union, its Member States, and industry. To do so, it is endowed with a budget of €2 billion until 2031. Its public-private funding scheme drives innovation and market deployment and paves the way for future investments.

What are your strategic objectives?

The CBE-JU has three strategic objectives:

  • To accelerate the innovation process and the development of innovative bio-based solutions with interdisciplinary projects involving all stakeholders.
  • Accelerate the market deployment of these bio-based solutions and reduce the risk associated with their developmentEnsure a high level of the environmental performance of bio-based industrial systems.
  • Ensuring a high level of environmental performance of bio-based industrial systems.

What differentiates a CBE-JU project from a standard Horizon Europe project?

The CBE-JU has four objectives of its own:

  • To mobilise public and private investment for the adoption of these solutions.
  • Intensify R&D&I throughout the value chain until high levels of technological maturity are reached.
  • Support the creation of new standards to facilitate commercialisation.
  • Engage all actors in the ecosystem and promote dissemination throughout the value chain to ensure exploitation.

On the other hand, which elements remain unchanged?

The type of support, the application procedure, and the management of a CBE-JU project are similar to those of Horizon Europe.

When will the dates of the first calls for applications be known?

The final work programme will be published in June and the first calls are scheduled for September 2022. Zabala Innovation will keep you informed of all the news.


Expert person

Néstor Etxaleku

Pamplona Office

Agrofood and Bioeconomy Knowledge Area Leader

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