Horizon Europe (2021 - 2027)

EU-wide network of pilot plants and testing facilities, improving SMEs and start-ups' access to scale-up

Last update: May 28, 2024 Last update: May 28, 2024


Location:EU 27EU 27
Contracting Authority Type:Development Institution
Award ceiling: N/A
Award floor: N/A
Sector:Training, Science & Innovation, SME & Private Sector, Research
Eligible applicants:Unrestricted / Unspecified
Eligible nationalities:Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, A ... See more Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Curaçao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dem. Rep. Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Commonwealth of, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Eswatini (Swaziland), Ethiopia, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, French Southern Territory, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greenland, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, North Macedonia, Norway, Pakistan, Palestine / West Bank & Gaza, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, St. Pierre and Miquelon, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Wallis and Futuna, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Date posted: Apr 26, 2023

Attachments 1


Call updates

Apr 26, 2023 12:02:54 PM

The submission session is now available for: HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023-S-01(HORIZON-JU-CSA)


EU-wide network of pilot plants and testing facilities, improving SMEs and start-ups' access to scale-up


Programme: Horizon Europe Framework Programme (HORIZON)
Call: Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023)
Type of action: HORIZON-JU-CSA HORIZON JU Coordination and Support Actions
Type of MGA: HORIZON Action Grant Budget-Based [HORIZON-AG]
Deadline model: single-stage
Planned opening date: 26 April 2023
Deadline date: 20 September 2023 17:00:00 Brussels time

In line with the objectives of the EU Bioeconomy Strategy, Industrial strategy and SME strategy, the successful proposal will facilitate the access of innovative bio-based SMEs and start-ups to scale-up and growth.

Project results should contribute to the following expected outcomes:

Integration of pilot plants and test rigs, labs for testing and upscaling bio-based processes in an open and long lasting community with an EU-wide scope, bringing them together with users such as SMEs and start-ups
Capacity building for researchers including enabling access to research, testing and upscaling infrastructures and services
Access to scale-up and testing facilities for SMEs and start-ups, as well as academia actors searching for facilities and support to scale up their lab-scale processes with an outlook towards future commercialisation.
Availability and accessibility of testing and pilot infrastructures is a key element to increase and integrate the research and innovation capacity of stakeholders across the Union, especially SMEs and start-ups that often lack the ability of performing scale-up research in-house. While the number of open access facilities is growing across Europe, there are considerable discrepancies in geographic distribution and scale, which means that many SMEs and start-ups have difficulties in getting access to scale-up facilities beyond pilot scale. As a consequence, local bioeconomy potential is not fully exploited, particularly in under-represented countries and regions. Past and ongoing projects at national, macro-regional and European level have produced maps and databases of existing open access facilities and organisations across Europe, but their efforts are often scattered and there's a need for a centralised and all-encompassing approach. Besides making available and updating a EU-wide database of such facilities, there is also a need of turning it into a community, bringing together demand and offer and providing matchmaking and networking occasions for pilot facilities, open access labs and test rigs on one side and SMEs, start-ups, research groups and large companies on the other.

Proposals under this topic should:

Map existing infrastructures for pilot, testing and upscaling bio-based processes[1] in Europe, building on and going beyond existing databases, with a geographic distribution encompassing all EU countries. Create an open database of such infrastructures.
Create and manage a community bringing together facilities, SMEs/startups and researchers, encouraging the access of the latter to the scale up ecosystem. The community should also involve large companies and market actors, investors and finance actors to provide networking and matchmaking opportunities for the SMEs and startups.
Establish assistance, training and support services for SMEs and startups (e.g. related to process design, access to finance) in view of scaling up their process technology. Create opportunities for knowledge exchange and commercial development of the scaled-up innovations by connecting innovators and market/finance actors.
Work in synergy with the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and other R&I infrastructure-related initiatives to develop an integrated and efficient ecosystem of research infrastructures (RIs) in Europe which includes pilot plants and test[2] rigs, labs for testing and upscaling bio-based processes, including regions where access to such facilities is currently lacking.
Deploy actions to create or improve awareness of the opportunities related to the network of open access facilities, with a specific focus on under-represented countries and regions.
Develop a viable business model with a credible revenue generation stream to make the database and community self-sustainable beyond the project duration. Test the exit strategy and revenue generation model already during the project duration to prove the business model and establish the foundations of future self-sustaining operations.
Proposals may involve financial support to third parties to provide direct support (e.g. in the form of cascading grants) to (SMEs, SMEs cluster, local hubs, start-ups and spin-offs form universities and research organisations). A maximum of € 50 000 per third party might be granted. Conditions for third parties support are set out in Part B of the General Annexes. Consortia need to define the selection process of organisations, for which financial support will be granted. Maximum EUR 300 000 of the EU funding can be allocated to this purpose. The financial support to third parties can only be provided in the form of grants.
Proposals should also describe their contribution to the Specific CBE JU requirements, presented in section, and the cross-cutting elements, highlighted in section of the CBE JU Annual Work Programme 2023[3].

Proposals should seek links with and capitalise on the results of past and ongoing EU funded projects [4].

[1]In scope of the CBE JU

[2]See further info on Technology Infrastructures: https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/0df85f8b-7b72-11e9-9f05-01aa75ed71a1/language-en See further info on Open Innovation Test Beds: https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/other/guides_for_applicants/h2020-supp-info-innotestbeds-18-20_en.pdf https://cordis.europa.eu/article/id/436434-open-innovation-test-beds-to-accelerate-european-innovation

[3]CBE JU Annual Work Programme 2023 (https://www.cbe.europa.eu/reference-documents)

[4]e.g. PILOTS4U: https://biopilots4u.eu, BioeconomyVentures: https://www.bioeconomyventures.eu; MPowerBio: http://mpowerbio.eu

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