EC - Horizon 2020 logo

Joint Call for Proposals BIOTECHNOLOGY FOR A SUSTAINABLE BIOECONOMY
Deadline: 02 Mar 2017   CALL EXPIRED

EU logo mono EC - Horizon 2020

 Low-Carbon Economy
 Bioenergy
 Raw Materials
 Eco-Innovation
 Sustainable Development
 Agricultural Biotechnology
 Biofuels
 Biotechnology
 Medical Biotechnology

Aim of the joint call

The aim of the call is to contribute to transforming the global economy from a dependence on fossil raw materials to a sustainable bio-based economy.

The submitted proposals must be multidisciplinary and include at least one of the following scientific approaches:

Synthetic biology for the design and construction of new biological parts, devices, and systems, or re-design of existing, natural biological systems for useful purposes by use of e.g. (but not limited to) orthogonal bio-systems, regulatory circuits, minimal genome approaches and protocells.

Systems biology for optimisation of biological processes, including investigation of regulatory mechanisms in intra- and intercellular processes for bio-production, modelling, development of new computational methods and other new methodologies.

Use of bioinformatic tools (e.g. data standardisation, modelling, open repositories) for the identification and utilisation of metabolic pathways. Datasets can have different origins, e.g. appropriate datasets on genomics, phenomics, proteomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics etc. Mapping and exploitation of cellular processes and metabolic capacities for bio-production and for strain/variety improvement are also included.

Biotechnological approaches (possibly in combination with chemical ones) to transform bio-based building blocks into molecules with high added value in a sustainable way.

Project topic areas

Please carefully check the national/regional funding regulations (ANNEX 2) because some of these topics described below may not be suitable/eligible for all funding organisations.

The co-funded call covers industrial biotechnology. Applications must address one of the topics described below:

Sustainable production and conversion of different types of feedstocks and bioresources

(including, but not limited to, waste and residues e.g. from households, agriculture, forestry, industrial by-products, alternative raw materials) into value-added products including new compounds e.g. for materials, chemicals, food/feed ingredients, flavours and fragrances, pharmaceuticals, biofuels, textiles or pulp/paper products.

New products, value-added products and supply services (e.g. bio-based materials, platform chemicals, pharmaceuticals, biomedical products, functional food/feed ingredients etc.) originating from novel metabolic pathways or pathway improvement. This also includes bio-catalytic elements like enzymes, microorganisms and cell-free biosynthesis systems from natural or synthetic origins.

Sustainable industrial processes: Upstream and downstream design, scale-up of biotechnological processes also including systems approaches to bioprocesses and process development; fermentation processes; usage of microbial consortia; intensification and/or integration in existing industrial processes; and development of innovative, environmentally sound industrial processes.

 

Further, projects are required to consider the following principles:

The projects should fall within Technology Readiness Levels1 (TRL) 3-6, although they are not necessarily required to cover the whole range. Industry engagement should be appropriate for the TRL range of the project.

Projects are required to include a component investigating social aspects relevant to the project. This may include (but is not limited to) Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects (ELSA), Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) aspects, or eco-social aspects e.g. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).

The ERA CoBioTech consortium is aiming to level up innovation performance of biotechnology research in the countries participating in this call, thus it encourages cooperation beyond the EU-15. In this line, the involvement of the ERA CoBioTech participants Argentina, Estonia, Israel, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia and Turkey in research consortia is highly desirable.

All project partners should contribute to, and benefit from, an equitable and balanced cooperation.

Results of collaborative projects must be shared within the research consortium through a controlled process that adequately protects and equitably allocates intellectual property rights used in, and generated during, joint research and development.

Each full proposal must include a two page Dissemination and Communication plan, reaching out to the wider public. In collaboration with the H2020 knowledge transfer project CommBeBiz ERA CoBioTech will support all funded proposals in their efforts to communicate with a wider public, providing opportunities to learn through webinars on preparing a Dissemination and Communication plan in the full proposal preparation phase (dates will be announced on https://www.submission-cobiotech.eu/) and a Work Shop on developing a communication toolbox after the selected project’s start. For more information see ANNEX 4: Dissemination and communication).

Additionally each full proposal will include a plan on how higher levels of technological readiness will be achieved in the long term. The engagement of industry (if applicable, see Table 2) for achieving a higher TRL must be described (e.g. the provision of tools, trainings, etc.).

Participation in this call will require high quality data management (DM) standards to ensure the overall sustainability of biotechnology research and its expected outcome(s). All applying consortia will be required to dedicate a section of their full proposal to their approach to DM within the project. Applicants are encouraged (but not obliged) to utilise the DM services offered through the central data management project FAIRDOM2, and to participate in the voluntary Open Research Data Pilot in Horizon 2020. Webinars to support the consortia in developing and preparing a data management plan will be provided in the full proposal preparation phase (dates will be announced on https://www.submission- cobiotech.eu/). More information on data management requirements within this call is detailed in ANNEX 5: Data management.

 

Eligibility

Only proposals, which meet all eligibility criteria will be considered for evaluation. National or regional eligibility criteria are given in ANNEX 2 National or regional regulations and eligibility criteria. In addition, all proposals must meet the following eligibility criteria:

General eligibility criteria

Projects must address the scope of the call as outlined in section 2. Pre-proposals not addressing the scope of the call will be rejected. Additionally, applications should fit to the specific remit of the national/regional funding organisations (see ANNEX 2); it is strongly recommended, that applicants contact their National/Regional Contact Persons (see ANNEX 1) before submission.

Pre-proposals and full proposals must be written in English and pre-proposals must be submitted by March 2, 2017 (13:00 CET) via the ERA CoBioTech submission website (https://www.submission-cobiotech.eu/).

If national/regional forms are required, these must be submitted directly to the national/regional agency (see ANNEX 2, National or regional regulations and eligibility criteria) by the deadlines stated in ANNEX 2.

The project duration must not exceed 3 years.

If a proposal does not meet the minimum number of partners, exceeds the maximum number of partners, or if one of the partners is ineligible, it will be rejected before the evaluation phase.

Project outputs are expected to provide benefits to all partner countries. Consortia need to be balanced between countries both in terms of number of partners and distribution of budget; such that all project partners contribute to and benefit from an equitable and balanced cooperation.

If applicable, the requested funding budget of each partner must not exceed national or regional funding limits (for details, see “table 2 Summary of funding options and restrictions” and “National or regional regulations and eligibility criteria”, (ANNEX 2).

 

Eligible funding recipients / consortium partners

Funding is provided according to the “nationality principle”, meaning that each participating national/regional funding agency funds their respective national/regional researchers in a particular project consortium. Funding is subject to national/regional eligibility regulations (see ANNEX 2) and project partners should check their eligibility for funding prior to submission.

Consortia must include at least three partners requesting funding from three different ERA CoBioTech member countries who contribute funds to the call. Consortia can involve a maximum of six partners, unless partners from Argentina, Estonia, Israel, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia and Turkey are part of the consortium, then the allowed maximum number of partners is eight. No more than two eligible partners may come from the same country.

Partners from countries not participating in the call may participate in a project at their own expense, if their contribution is important to achieve the project goals. The coordinator should take steps to ensure that sufficient funds are secured from these additional partners, and evidence of the availability of funds should be provided prior to project submission (letter of support/commitment). The same applies for partners who are not eligible for national/regional funding from the agencies participating in the call. Partners participating at their own expense count towards the maximum number of partners but not to the minimum number of participants.

The coordinator of any applying consortium must be from an organisation that is eligible for funding from one of the agencies participating in the call, i.e. an organisation that plans to participate at their own expense, without public funding provided via the ERA CoBioTech joint call, cannot act as coordinator.

 

 

The participation of at least one industrial partner in the consortium is strongly recommended. Large companies, small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) and academic research groups / organisations may be part of a consortium, although some funders may not be able to fund industrial partners (see ANNEX 2). Subcontractors can be included and are managed under the national or regional financing regulations of the eligible participant (see ANNEX 2).

Within a joint proposal, each group leader (for each partner organisation) will be the contact person for the relevant national or regional funding agency. All research groups agree to abide by the rules and agreements of the ERA CoBioTech call.

 

Financial modalities and funding prerequisites

The total budget available for this call is ~€36.1 M (Table 3). Funding is granted according to national or regional regulations (see ANNEX 2 for details).

 

 

 

 

 

Evaluation procedure

Pre-proposal evaluation

The deadline for submitting pre-proposals is March 2, 2017 (13:00 CET).

Pre-proposals that are submitted correctly and within the deadline will be checked for eligibility. The eligibility check will focus on the “General Eligibility Criteria (see page 11)” and “National or regional regulations, national of regional eligibility criteria (see ANNEX 2: National or regional regulations, National or regional eligibility criteria)”. Non-eligible pre-proposals will result in rejection of the entire project.

Eligible pre-proposals will be peer-review evaluated and ranked by an international panel of experts according to the following criteria:

Relevance of the project to the scientific scope of the co-funded call

  • -  Does the proposed work use one of the expected scientific tools?

    1. Synthetic biology approaches

    2. Systems biology approaches

    3. Use of bioinformatic tools for the identification and utilisation of metabolic pathways

      from genomic datasets

    4. Biotechnological approaches (possibly in combination with chemical approaches)

  • -  Does the proposed work address the call-specific research topics?

    • -  Sustainable production and conversion of different types of feedstocks and bioresources

      into value-added products

    • -  New products, value-added products and supply services

    • -  Sustainable industrial processes

  • -  Does the project fall in the required TRL range of 3-6?

    Excellence

  • -  Clarity and pertinence of the objectives

  • -  Soundness of the concept

  • -  Credibility of the proposed methodology

  • -  Quality and expertise of the consortium as a whole

Impact

Extent to which the outputs of the project will contribute to impacts on:

  • -  Economic aspects by describing an envisioned plan to achieve a higher TRL of the processes and technologies developed during the project

  • -  Contribution, technological, innovation and exploitation capabilities of industrial partners

  • -  Environmental aspects to transform the global economy into a sustainable bio-based

    economy

  • -  Social aspects such as Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects (ELSA) or Responsible Research and

    Innovation (RRI)

  • -  Eco-social aspects, e.g. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

    Each reviewer/expert will be independent of any funding organisation involved in this call. The ERA CoBioTech Call Office will ensure that no Conflict of Interest exists concerning the experts and the proposals evaluated. Each pre-proposal will be reviewed by up to three reviewers/experts.

    Following this, the ERA CoBioTech Call Steering Committee (composed by representatives of all ERA CoBioTech funding organisations) will select proposals for the second application step based on the ranking proposed by an international panel of external reviewers. Applicants are informed that while

 

 

 

performing this selection, the ERA CoBioTech Call Steering Committee will ensure that the oversubscription factor3 of each funding organisation is not higher than 3.

Full proposal evaluation

The deadline for submitting full proposals is July 20, 2017 (13:00 CEST). Full proposals that are submitted correctly and within the deadline will be peer-review evaluated by an international panel of experts with relevant expertise in the scientific fields concerned. Each expert is independent of any funding organisation involved in this call and no Conflict of Interest will exist in relation to the proposal evaluated. Each proposal will be reviewed by at least three external reviewers/experts. The composition of the international evaluation panel is decided by the ERA CoBioTech Call Steering Committee.

Full proposals will be evaluated according to the evaluation criteria given below:

Excellence

  • -  Clarity and pertinence of the objectives

  • -  Soundness of the concept

  • -  Credibility of the proposed methodology

  • -  Quality and expertise of the consortium as a whole

Impact

Extent to which the outputs of the project will contribute to impacts on:

  • -  Economic aspects by describing an envisioned plan to achieve a higher TRL of the processes

    and technologies

  • -  Contribution, technological, innovation and exploitation capabilities of industrial partners

  • -  Environmental aspects to transform the global economy into a sustainable bio-based

    economy

  • -  Sustainability of biotechnology research and its outcomes supported by a data management

    (DM) plan

  • -  An efficient Dissemination and Communication plan addressing also communication with

    the general public

  • -  Social aspects such as Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects (ELSA) or Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)

  • -  Eco-social aspects, e.g. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

    Quality and efficiency of the implementation

  • -  Quality and effectiveness of the work plan, including extent to which the resources assigned to work packages are in line with their objectives and deliverables,

  • -  Appropriateness of the management structures and procedures, including risk and innovation management,

  • -  Complementarity of the participants and extent to which the consortium as a whole brings together the necessary expertise,

  • -  Appropriateness of the allocation of tasks, ensuring that all participants have a valid role and adequate resources in the project to fulfil that role

  • -  the project budget is appropriate to the planned work and allows the achievement of the project goals.

    3 Oversubscription factor: the ratio between the total requested funds from all the applicants from a given country or region, and the amount available for the corresponding funding agency in that call (see Table 3).

 

 

 

Evaluation scores will be awarded for each of the three main criteria. Sub-criteria are aspects that the expert will consider in the assessment of that criterion. Each criterion will be scored out of 5 (half scores are allowed) and equally weighted.

 

 

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