The Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) was officially established under EU Council Regulation No 560/2014 of 6 May 2014. It is an independent legal entity that manages the public-private partnership (PPP) between the European Commission and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC). 

BBI JU Governance

The Governing Board is the main decision-making body of the BBI JU. It is composed of five representatives from the European Commission and five representatives from BIC.

The Executive Director, supported by the Programme Office, is responsible for the day-today management of the BBI JU, supported by two advisory bodies, the States Representative Group and the Scientific Committee.

The BBI Programme Office is responsible for the implementation of open calls for proposals for research and innovation actions and innovation actions, as well as coordination and support actions, in line with the Horizon 2020 rules for participation. Any eligible institution may become a participant or a coordinator in the selected projects.

More information can be found on the BBI JU website

BBI JU Calls for proposals

A sustainable growth of the bio-based economy requires a dedicated and balanced approach addressing specific common research and innovation challenges, while integrating and demonstrating cooperation between stakeholders over different disciplines and value chains. These key challenges have been grouped into three types of projects, as follows:

  • Demos (TRL* 6-7) & flagships (TRL 8): value chain demonstration projects aiming towards integration and deployment of technologies and R&D results into actual value chains and bringing technology close to commercial scale through upscaling in demonstration activities and flagship projects;
  • RIAs (Research & Innovation Actions) - TRL 4-5: R&D projects focused on filling the gaps in technological innovations: dedicated projects on the development of specific technologies and concepts needed to realise the value chains, and proving the principles in pilot installations;
  • CSAs (Coordination and Support Actions): supporting projects, addressing the cross-cutting challenges and supporting the value chains to become reality.
  • TRLs (Technology Readiness Levels) are used to estimate the maturity of a technology. Using a scale from 1 to 9, technologies are ranked from 1 (basic principles observed) to 9 (actual system proven in operational environment, e.g. competitive manufacturing).

Detailed information can be found on the BBI JU website.

The draft 2017 Annual Work Plan with topics for the 2017 Call has been put forward by the BIC Programming Working Group in September 2016 and will be finalised by end of December 2016, following consultation of the European Commission and the 2 Advisory bodies of the BBI JU: the States Representatives Group (SRG) and the Scientific Committee. The call will be officially launched in April 2017. However, BIC members and Associate members have access to the detailed topics via the BIC partnering platform as of October 2017. The following Strategic Orientations will be covered:

Strategic orientation 1: Feedstock

  • Biomass diversification: ‘beyond lignocellulose’
  • Resource efficiency: use ‘waste’ (various sources)

Strategic orientation 2: Process

  • Cascading
  • Keep ’complexity’ in biomass
  • Novel microbial and enzymatic activities

Strategic orientation 3: Products

  • New/additional functionality
  • Novel, breakthrough bio-based products
  • Protein and other high value products
  • Bio-based fertilising products
  • Value added lignin products

Strategic orientation 4: Market uptake

  • ICT to improve efficiency of biomass supply chain
  • Partnership with brand owners & consumer representatives

Launched on 19 April 2016, the €189 million call for proposals closed on 7 September 2016. In total, 27 topics can be funded via this Call: 12 Research & Innovation Actions (RIAs), 9 Demonstration Actions (DEMOs), 2 Flagship actions, and 4 Coordination & Support Actions (CSAs).

A total of 103 proposals were submitted in response to the 2016 Call. The number of proposals for each type of action is shown below:

  • CSA - 7 proposals
  • RIA – 70 proposals
  • IA – Demo - 20 proposals
  • IA – Flagship – 6 proposals

The evaluation of the proposals started in September and will be finalised in November 2016. Applicants will be informed about the outcome of the evaluations by mid-December 2016. The successful proposals will go through the Grant Agreement Preparation (GAP) phase; the deadline for the Grant Agreement signature is 8 May 2017.

The topics, put forward by BIC in the 2016 Annual Work Plan were the following:


  • BBI 2016.R1 - Valorisation of the organic content of wastewater as feedstock, contributing to the renewable circular economy
  • BBI 2016.R2 - Develop consolidated bioprocesses for direct fermentation into biocompounds for chemicals and materials
  • BBI 2016.R3 - Improve control over microorganism growth in bio-catalysis operations in order to reduce/avoid contamination without antibiotics
  • BBI 2016.R4 - Flexible biorefining technologies able to handle different feedstock,leading to new value chains or enlarging existing ones by using the same processing plant
  • BBI 2016.R5 - Advanced biomaterials for smart food packaging
  • BBI 2016.R6 - Bio-based alternatives to improve protection of human health and the environment
  • BBI 2016.R7 - Biopolymers with advanced functionalities for high performance applications
  • BBI 2016.R8 - Emerging technologies for conversion of the organic content of Municipal Solid Waste and improving waste-to-chemicals value chains
  • BBI 2016.R9 - Exploiting algae and other aquatic biomass for production of molecules for pharma, nutraceuticals, food additives and cosmetic applications
  • BBI 2016.R10 – Industrial biotransformation for the production of bio- based chemicals
  • BBI 2016.R11 – Recover and reuse enzymes to reduce costs of existing industrial processes
  • BBI 2016.R12 - Emerging technologies for separation and purification of fermentation products to obtain high grade bio-based molecules at industrial level


  • BBI 2016.D1 - Improve sustainability of value chains based on forest biomass and increase productivity and profitability on supply side by adapting forests to climate changes
  • BBI 2016.D2 – Improvement and adaptation of industrial crop varieties and novel sources of biomass to diversify biomass feedstock for biorefineries
  • BBI 2016.D3 - Valorisation of lignin and other side-streams to increase efficiency of biorefineries and increase sustainability of the whole value chain
  • BBI 2016.D4 - New and optimised biorefinery approaches enabling the creation of local value chains in underdeveloped or unexploited areas
  • BBI 2016.D5 – Bio-based polymers/plastic materials with new functionalities for medical, construction, automotive and textile industries
  • BBI 2016.D6 - Valorisation of the organic content of Municipal Solid Waste and contributing to the renewable circular economy
  • BBI 2016.D7 - Optimise technical production routes to bio-based chemicals in bio- or chemo-catalytic processes
  • BBI 2016.D8 - New sources of proteins for animal feed from co-products to address the EU protein gap
  • BBI 2016.D9 - Biomass production on unused land for conversion into added-value products while ‘boosting rural and industrial development’


  • BBI 2016.F1 - Valorisation of by-products or waste-streams from the food processing industry into high added-value products for market applications
  • BBI 2016.F2 – Converting bio-based feedstocks via chemical building blocks into advanced materials for market applications


  • BBI 2016.S1 – A roadmap for the chemical industry to a bioeconomy
  • BBI 2016.S2 – Bioeconomy related open access research infrastructure and assessing its capabilities for industry driven development projects
  • BBI 2016.S3 – Open-innovation Platform strengthening cooperation and joint development of bio-based industries and downstream sectors
  • BBI 2016.S4 – Clustering and networking for new value chains 

More detailed information about the calls for proposals and successful projects can be found on the BBI JU website: 

The 2015 Call for Proposals, worth €206 million in funding from the BBI JU and additional industry investment, was split into two parts:

  • 2015.1 - Flagship Call: Launched on 19 May 2015, the €100 million Call focused on three Flagship topics – lignocellulosic feedstock, valorisation of cellulose and innovative processes for sugar recovery and conversion from municipal solid waste.

Two flagship projects kicked of in 2016:

  • BIOSKOH: Innovation Stepping Stones for a novel European Second Generation BioEconomy
  • EXILVA: Flagship demonstration of an integrated plant towards large scale supply and market assessment of Microfibrillated cellulose

2015.2 - Research and Innovation Actions, Demonstration and Support Actions: Launched on 25 August 2015, the second part of the 2015 Call worth €106 million in funding focused on Demonstration Actions and Research and Innovation Actions.

The first 3 BBI Coordination and Support Actions (CSAs) were launched in 2016:

  • BioCannDo: Bioeconomy Awareness and Discourse Project
  • BIOCOM: Increase public awareness of bio-based products and applications supporting the growth of the European bioeconomy
  • STAR4BBI: Standards and Regulations for the Bio-based Industry

11 RIA Projects kicked off:

  • BIOrescue: Enhanced bioconversion of agricultural residues through cascading use
  • EFFORTE: Efficient forestry by precision planning and management for sustainable environment and cost-competitive bio-based industry 
  • EnzOx2: New enzymatic oxidation/oxyfunctionalization technologies for added value biobased products 
  • HYPERBIOCOAT: High performance biomass extracted functional hybrid polymer coatings for food, cosmetic and medical device packaging
  • InDIRECT: Direct and indirect biorefinery technologies for conversion of organic sidestreams into multiple marketable products
  • LIBBIO: Lupinus mutabilis for Increased Biomass from marginal lands and value for BIOrefineries
  • LIBRE: Lignin Based Carbon Fibres for Composites
  • MACROCASCADE: Cascading Marine Macroalgal Biorefinery
  • NEOCEL: Novel processes for sustainable cellulose-based materials
  • TECH4EFFECT: Techniques and Technologies for Effective Wood Procurement
  • Zelcor: Zero Waste Ligno-Cellulosic Biorefineries by Integrated Lignin Valorisation

8 DEMOs received BBI JU funding:

  • AgriMax: Agri and food waste valorisation co-ops based on flexible multi-feedstocks biorefinery processing technologies for new high added value applications
  • BIOFOREVER: BIO-based products from FORestry via Economically Viable European Routes
  • DEMETER: Demonstrating more efficient enzyme production to increase biogas yields
  • FUNGUSCHAIN: Valorisation of mushroom agrowastes to obtain high value products
  • GreenProtein: Revalorisation of vegetable processing industry remnants into high-value functional proteins and other food ingredients
  • GreenSolRes: Demonstration of solvent and resin production from lignocellulosic biomass via the platform chemical levulinic acid
  • LIPES: Life Integrated Process for the Enzymatic Splitting of triglycerides
  • PULPACKTION: Optimised moulded pulp for renewable packaging solutions

Launched on 9 July 2014, the first Call for Proposals resulted in the BBI JU approving funding for ten bioeconomy projects worth a total of €120 million. To fund its share of the projects, the European Commission released €50 million of EU public money, which was combined with an industry contribution of €70 million.

Seven research projects focus on replacing fossil-based materials and products with biobased solutions:

  • CARBOSURF: Using fermentation processes to produce biosurfactants and speciality carbohydrates
  • GreenLight: Producing fibres and polymers from lignin for innovative light-weight applications
  • NEWFERT: Nutrient recovery from waste streams and residues for fertilizer production
  • PROMINENT: Protein mining of cereal side-streams exploring novel technological concepts
  • PROVIDES: New sustainable pulping technologies
  • SmartLi: Smart technologies for the conversion of industrial lignins into fibres and polymers
  • US4GREENCHEM: Pre-treatment of lignocellulosic feedstock as substrate for sugar based biotechnological applications

Two grants were awarded for demonstration projects:

  • PULP2VALUE: Processing underutilized low value sugar beet Pulp into value added products - A biorefinery system for sugar beet pulp that will extract valuable biochemicals for use in detergents, personal care, oil and gas, paints and composites
  • ValChem: Value added chemical building blocks and lignin from wood - An economicallyviable process to transform wood into chemicals

One flagship demonstration project will develop a first-of-a-kind value chain:

  • FIRST2RUN: Flagship demonstration of an integrated biorefinery for dry crops that will convert underutilised oil crops into oleochemicals