EU FP7 call for proposal on nanotechnology use for developing biorefineries

(Nanowerk News) The European Commission has published a number of calls for proposals under the specific programmes Cooperation and Capacities of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). One of them is a "Biorefinery" joint call (two sections), including energy; environment (including climate change); food, agriculture and fisheries, and biotechnology; and nanosciences, nanotechnology, materials and new production technologies.
The first of the series of calls included in the NMP Work Programme 2009 deals with research in the field of bio-refineries, published jointly with the Themes Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology, Energy (including the participation of DG TREN) , and Environment.
The aim of the joint call in the field of bio-refineries is to increase the critical mass in terms of resources (human, financial, of activities, stakeholders, etc.) in order to meet the RTDD needs not yet fully addressed by existing programmes and projects. It will contribute to meeting the broader challenge of sustainable development by integrating and demonstrating the potential of biomass in developing bio-products and –fuels in a sustainable and value adding framework of industrial and economic activity.
Call identifier: FP7-2009-BIOREFINERY_CP
Date of publication: 26 July 2008
Deadline: 25 November 2008 at 17.00.00, Brussels local time
Indicative budget 3: EUR 57 million from the 2009 budget of which:
  • EUR 10 million from Theme 2 – Food, Agriculture and fisheries, biotechnology (KBBE)
  • EUR 7 million from Theme 4 – Nanosciences, nanotechnology, materials and new production technologies (NMP)
  • EUR 30 million from Theme 5 – Energy
  • EUR 10 million from Theme 6 - Environment
  • This call will be complemented by the NMP calls, expected to be published in November 2008.
    Content of calls for proposals: Integration of technologies for industrial applications - Joint call on Biorefinery
    Biorefinery is the sustainable processing of biomass into a spectrum of value-added products (chemicals, materials, food and feed) and energy (biofuels, power and heat). By producing multiple bio-products and bio-energy, a biorefinery takes advantage of components and intermediaries and maximizes the value derived from refining operations.
    The aim of the joint call is the research, development and integration of innovative technologies to prove the viability related to the entire value chain (biomass production, biomass conversion, safe recycling and/or disposal of waste, conformity of end-products to end-user requirements) of advanced biorefineries. It will be targeted at the selection of a limited number of large, multi-disciplinary, collaborative projects addressing bioproducts, bioenergy, sustainability and technical and economical viability.
    Quality proposals with the intended level of integration are expected to achieve a breakthrough beyond the "business as usual" scenario. Furthermore, proposals shall necessarily include the sustainability assessment of any proposed solution on the basis of a life cycle approach. This shall be developed with the aim to provide a robust scientific basis for policy and decision making at different levels and scales (from production unit to policy development).
    Topic NMP-2009-4.0.1-1: Sustainable Biorefineries
    Scope: Development of advanced biorefineries for sustainable processing of biomass into building blocks for the production of bio-based chemicals, materials, second generation biofuels, power and heat. The biorefineries shall demonstrate their performance, sustainability and feasibility at least at pilot scale in an integrated approach. Part of the biorefinery complex that is closer to the market shall be demonstrated at industrial pilot plant scale.
    All proposals shall address the entire value chain from biomass feedstock production, logistics and pre-treatment to the development of thermo-chemical and bio-chemical technologies, including bio-technological routes, for the conversion of different types of biomass feedstock into bio-based products and energy. The utilisation and upgrading of residues and process waste streams and the purification and upgrading of the various products into final marketable services to consumers shall also be addressed. Bio-technological tools for the development of new non-food industrial crops and/ or biomass sources as feedstock may be applied. The upgrading and integration of new stable materials as well as of new non-enzymatic highselective catalysts may be considered. The integration and optimization aspects of all the main biorefinery sub-systems shall be described and show progress beyond the state-of-the-art.
    With regard to sustainability, all proposals shall assess for the entire value chain the environmental, economic and social sustainability, including consequences due to the competition for food and biomass resources, the impact on water use and quality, changes in land-use, soil carbon stock balance and fertility, net balance of greenhouse gases, impact on biodiversity, potential toxicological risks, energy efficiency. Impacts on international and regional dynamics, end-users and consumer needs, investment feasibility may also be considered.
    Funding Scheme: Collaborative Project
    Expected Impact: Funded projects are expected to demonstrate the capacity of biorefineries to contribute to European competitiveness and wealth by responding to the need for supplying a wide range of bio-based products and energy in an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable manner. New competences, new job opportunities and new markets are also expected. Furthermore the development of biorefineries is expected to also contribute to the implementation of several EU policies and initiatives, notably the SET Plan and the Energy & Climate Package in general.
    Other information: The participation of relevant industrial partners, along with research organisations, SMEs, end-users and civil society organisations is essential to achieving the full impact of the project. This will be considered in the evaluation. The proposals may consider opportunities of international cooperation and address international integration of value chains, provided that they respond to sustainability criteria.
    Topic NMP-2009-4.0.1-2: Enhancing exchange of information, synergies and crossfertilisation between projects in the field of Biorefineries
    Content/scope: The aim is to promote coordination of on-going research at European and national levels across Biotechnology, Energy, Industrial Technologies and Environment on distinctive features of the biorefinery concept. Information exchange and cross fertilisation may concern any aspect of the feedstock, the conversion and fractionation technologies, the integration of processes and uses of side-streams, the biofuels and the bio-based products, the energy efficiency, the economic, socio-economic and environmental performance, as well as other sustainability issues (impacts on food production schemes, impact on water use and quality, changes in land-use, access to resources, impact on biodiversity, and the net balance of greenhouse gases). Activities should aim to overcome fragmentation in this multidisciplinary field and develop cross-thematic synergies by identifying gaps and overlaps, defining priority needs and infrastructure. In addition, activities shall involve dissemination of results. Funding Scheme: Coordination and support action (coordinating action)
    Expected Impact: Significant improvement is expected in the exchange and use of the information available on biorefinery concepts within the thematic projects, in the identification of complementary research results and the cross-fertilisation to make best use of them, and in the synergies between the thematic projects. Significant enhancement is also expected in the cooperation between key researchers and industries that are active in Biorefinery research funded by EU and national programmes.
    Other information: The consortium should include a balanced partnership from all scientific domains involved (biotechnologies-agriculture-food, energy, environment and industrial technologies) with solid experience and competence in the field and strong project management skills. The partnership should demonstrate the added value of the cross-thematic collaboration in the proposed action. In that respect, the participation of relevant industrial partners is deemed as essential to achieving the full impact of the project. This will be considered in the evaluation. Networking and exchange activities with relevant international programmes shall be established. Up to one project may be funded.
    Source: European Commisison
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