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New sources of proteins for animal feed from co-products to address the EU protein gap
Deadline: Sep 8, 2016  

 Fisheries and Food
 Food Safety
 Horizon Europe

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Livestock feed production is the single largest land user in the world. The rapidly growing world population and increasingly demanding consumers are causing a huge rise in the demand for meat. This causes the necessity to identify alternative protein sources to ensure a more sustainable supply of proteins for animal feed. Research has identified several feedstock families as potential sources. These include low value biorefinery side-streams, residues from the agro-food industry (fruit, vegetables, cereals side-streams), seaweeds and algae or dry land crops.

The challenge is to demonstrate the sustainability and efficiency of the identified new protein sources at sufficiently large scale to meet market demands.


Demonstrate the techno-economic viability of the sustainable, cost-efficient and consistent conversion and upgrading of industry side-streams via biorefinery into suitable quality protein products, ensuring consistent end-product quality and quantity.

Proposals should cover the whole value chain, from identification and characterisation of available feedstock, to development of a process capable of ensuring acceptable efficiency and suitable quality and quantity levels of the targeted products. In particular, proposals should involve biomass suppliers as well as breeders and farmers in order to ensure the sustainability and feasibility of the developed value chain.

Proposals must validate safety, quality and purity of the products in order to meet commercial and/or regulatory requirements. Proteins and nutrients obtained should be comparable and competitive with those from the conventional sources of proteins used for animal feed (such as plants and crops).

A Life Cycle Assessment should be part of the proposal in order to evaluate the environmental and socio-economic performance of the whole value chain.

Proposals should achieve technology demonstrated in an industrial environment, or system prototype demonstration in operational environment (Technology Readiness Levels 6-7) of the whole value chain, from feedstock identification and supply through the identified suitable processing steps into the targeted protein products, and their utilisation in animal feed. Proposals for the conversion and upgrading steps therefore include the involvement of relevant actors in the feedstock supply sector as well as in the animal feed market sector.

Proposals should also include a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in order to evaluate the environmental and socio-economic performance of the whole value chain.

It is considered that proposals with a total eligible budget of up to EUR 15 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:
  • In the case of the agro-food industry side-streams, demonstrated increase of income for farmers and breeders as a result of the exploitation of residues.
  • Demonstrated savings in terms of water and fertilisers consumption as well as of land use in comparison with the current animal feed production.
  • Proven cost-efficient value chain and economically attractive proteins production at industrial scale facilitating market acceptance and uptake of the developed products (such as proteins, nutrients).
  • Projects under this topic should result in 1 new building block based on biomass of European origin validated at demonstration scale (KPI 4) and/or at least 1 new bio-based material (KPI 5).
  • Contribution to other BBI JU Key Performance Indicators (KPI), specifically:
    • Creation of at least 1 new cross-sectorial interconnection in bio-based economy clusters (KPI 1) and at least 1 new bio-based value chain incorporating feedstock suppliers and protein end-users (KPI 2).

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