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€215.5 million available for advancing Europe’s circular bio-based economy

Publication date:

Yesterday, CBE JU published its second call for project proposals. A total of €215.5 million will be dedicated to advancing competitive circular bio-based industries in Europe across 18 topics. All stakeholders of the circular bio-based industries ecosystem can apply by 20 September 2023, 17:00 Brussels time.

18 funding topics to support three CBE JU objectives

The Call’s funding supports three CBE JU objectives defined in the CBE JU’s Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda:
•    Accelerate the innovation process and development of bio-based innovative solutions
•    Accelerate market deployment of existing mature and innovative bio-based solutions
•    Ensure a high level of environmental performance of bio-based industrial systems

Project applicants will support the implementation of these objectives via 18 topics with a total indicative budget of €215.5 million:

Innovation actions – flagship (IA-flagship)

Innovation actions (IA)

  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-IA-01 Small-scale biorefining in rural areas - €15 million
  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-IA-02 Production of safe, sustainable, and efficient bio-based fertilisers to improve soil health and quality - €15 million
  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-IA-03 Improve fermentation processes (including downstream purification) to final bio-based products - €15 million
  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-IA-04 Recycling bio-based plastics increasing sorting and recycled content (upcycling) - €15 million
  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-IA-05 Development of scalable, safe bio-based surfactants with an improved sustainability profile - €15 million
  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-IA-06 Selective, sustainable production routes towards bio-based alternatives to fossil-based chemical building blocks - €15 million
  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-IA-07 High performance, circular-by design, bio-based composites - €15 million

Research and innovation actions (RIA)

  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-R-01 Phyto-management; curing soil with industrial crops, utilising contaminated and saline land for industrial crop production - €10 million
  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-R-02 Optimised forest-based value chains for high-value applications and improved forest management - €10 million
  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-R-03 Robust and optimised industrial biotech and chemical/industrial biotech processes - €10 million
  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-R-04 Development of novel, high-performance bio-based polymers and co-polymers - €10 million
  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-R-05 Pre-normative research to develop standards for biodegradability of bio-based products in controlled and open environments - €5 million

Coordination and support actions (CSA)

  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-S-01 EU-wide network of pilot plants and testing facilities, improving SMEs and start-ups' access to scale-up - €1.5 million
  • HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-S-02 Supporting the capacity of regions in environmental sustainability assessment for the bio-based sectors - €3 million


Three types of projects invited for funding

CBE JU will fund three types of actions:

  • Research and innovation actions (RIAs) will establish new knowledge or explore the feasibility of new or improved technology, product, process, service or solution.
  • Innovation actions (IAs) will scale up activities from prototype to product validation and market replication. Among them, Flagships will deploy the first-of-its-kind industrial and commercial scale production plant in the European market.
  • Coordination and support actions (CSAs) will structure stakeholder communities, support technological visions and outreach, and disseminate and exploit research results, among other objectives.

Look at each topic text to see the required type of action and at the call page for further information on the types of action.

What are the requirements for participation?

All stakeholders of the bio-based industries ecosystem – farmers, brand owners, companies, research organisations and local authorities, to name just a few - are invited to apply for CBE JU funding.

The proposal submission requirements are detailed in the call documents published on each topic page.

The CBE JU call’s budget comes from Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation funding programme. It is published on the EU’s Funding & tender opportunities portal.

Applicants must submit their proposal electronically, following the link from the respective topic page.

Since 26 April 2023, applicants may submit their proposal electronically, following the link from the respective topic page.

Please consult the Horizon Europe online manual for more information on submitting proposals. For general questions related to Horizon Europe procedures and IT issues, please contact the Research Enquiry Service or the IT helpdesk respectively. For specific questions related to CBE JU, please contact info [at]


Consider applying as an expert evaluator

Are you an expert in the fields of this call but are not planning to submit a proposal? Consider applying as an evaluator! If your profile fits the job, CBE JU will contact you to help select the best proposals in this and future calls. Steps to take:

  • Create or update your expert profile via the European Commission’s Funding & tenders portal  
  • E-mail experts [at] by end-May 2023, mentioning your expert profile number (format EX20XX1234567).


What happens after the proposal submission?

After the call closure on 20 September 2023, CBE JU will organise the evaluation of the submitted proposals with the help of external experts selected from the European Commission’s expert database. Take a look at the evaluation criteria outlined in the CBE JU Annual Work Programme 2023.

The proposals selected for funding will be known by the end of February 2024 at the latest. If the subsequent Grant Agreement Preparation (GAP) is successful, the grant agreements with the selected project teams will be signed by the end of May 2024 the latest.

Where to find more information?

Take a look at the call page for more information and follow the links to the CBE JU Annual Work Programme 2023, as well as FAQ for applicants. Please keep an eye on updates of this FAQ, as its section 6 contains Q&A related to topic interpretation. 

CBE JU has launched a free networking platform to help stakeholders get in touch with each other, pitch their project ideas or offer their services and search for partners. Join over 700 CBE JU community members on the platform and schedule meetings with your future project partners.

You can also watch back the CBE JU info day about the call and download the presentations from the event website.