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Bio-based alternatives to improve protection of human health and the environment
Deadline: Sep 8, 2016  

 Food Safety
 Health Care
 Environmental protection
 Medical Biotechnology
 Horizon Europe
 Consumer Protection

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Consumers and producers start to become increasingly aware of the need to make consumer goods that require less finite resources and that protect human health and the environment. The latter is also the aim of the REACH legislation by placing the responsibility on industry to manage the risks from chemicals and to provide safety information on the substances. Introducing safe bio-based alternatives contributes to protecting human health and the environment.

The challenge is to develop suitable safe bio-based compounds and derivatives to meet the high technical and safety requirements of downstream applications, replacing existing potentially hazardous compounds or where bio-based alternatives significantly reduce the impact on human health and the environment (eco-toxicity).


Develop safe bio-based alternatives for chemicals, materials and additives in major application fields like polymers, paints and solvents to improve protection of human health and the environment. However, proposals are not limited to these application fields.

Proposals should show that replacing compounds by safe bio-based alternatives does not negatively impact the characteristics and performance of the application. The introduction of safe bio-based compounds needs to improve the protection of human health and the environment during the production, use and end-of-life handling of the product. Proposals should clearly specify benefits in terms of reduced or eliminated toxicity and environmental footprint versus existing and comparable products.

The accompanying business model should include concrete arguments to show that the new products containing the safe bio-based alternative (the ‘application’) are competitive with the targeted existing products. Market analysis and involvement of market actors should show potential market uptake based on technical, environmental and economic advantages.

Safety, quality and purity of the new products must be in line with commercial and/or regulatory requirements by actively building upon existing knowledge and standardisation activities.

The projects should cover any Technology Readiness Level (TRL) from 3 to 5. In the case of a pilot scale project (TRL 5), proposals should present a credible cost estimate for the proposed processes with a preliminary assessment of their competitiveness when scaled up.

Proposals should also include an environmental and socio-economic assessment, for example with an LCA. In particular, when targeting TRL 5, proposals should include an LCA in order to evaluate the environmental and socio-economic performance of the developed processes.

It is considered that proposals with a total eligible budget in the range of EUR 2-5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals with another budget.

Expected Impact:
  • Leading to the substitution of at least 2 hazardous or toxic substances in consumer products.
  • Reduced costs and higher market potential as compared to existing substances.
  • Increased bio-based content of end-products (through bio-based additives, plasticisers, epoxy and/or polyurethane resins, etc.), while maintaining comparable technical performance with substituted products.
  • Contribution to the BBI JU Key Performance Indicators (KPI), specifically:
    • Creation of at least 1 new cross-sectorial interconnection in bio-based economy clusters (KPI 1).
    • Set the basis for the creation of at least 1 new bio-based value chain (KPI 2), at least 1 new cooperation project through cross-industry clusters (KPI 3), new bio-based materials (KPI 5), and new demonstrated consumer products based on bio-based chemicals and materials (KPI 6).

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