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Biotechnology for a sustainable bioeconomy

Copyright: SMWK, René Plaul

Call status: Closed
Previous call: 16 October 2018 - 14 December 2018

Visit the CoBioTech webpage

Pre-announcement of the ERA-Net Cofund on Biotechnologies call for transnational collaborative research projects

This joint call with an indicative budget of approximately €15 million brings together 18 funding organisations from 14 countries. BBSRC contribution is up to £2 million.

Aim and scope

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

The submitted proposals must be multidisciplinary and include at least two 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 (but not limited to) for example 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 (for example data standardisation, modelling, open repositories) for the identification and utilisation of metabolic pathways. Datasets can have different origins, for example 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 in a sustainable way.

Applications must address one of the topics described below:

  • Topic A - Microbial communities (natural or synthetic), co-cultures and cascades of microorganisms for new products, value-added products and supply services as well as sustainable industrial processes
  • Topic B - Pure cultures, cell free systems and enzymes for new products, value-added products and supply services as well as sustainable industrial processes.

Proposals should address the sustainable production and conversion of different types of feedstocks and bioresources into value-added products (for example bio-based materials, biofuels, biomedical products, flavours/fragrances, food/feed ingredients, pharmaceuticals, platform chemicals, pulp/paper products, textiles), or the development or improvement of sustainable industrial processes and supply services (for example upstream and downstream design, scale-up of biotechnological processes, systems approaches to bioprocesses and process development, gas fermentation).

Feedstocks and bioresources include, but are not limited to, syngas, waste and residues from households, agriculture, forestry, industrial by-products, and alternative raw materials.

The projects should fall within Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) two to six and increase their initial TRL by two levels. The inclusion of one or more industrial partners and end-users or stakeholders is strongly recommended but not mandatory.


  • Each consortium must involve at least three partners requesting funding from three different countries. Collaborators with externally secured funding may also form part of consortia
  • Details of participating funders and further consortium criteria are provided in the call text available on the ERA CoBioTech: Submissions website.
  • Standard BBSRC eligibility criteria will apply to UK partners.

How to apply

This call is closed to applications.

Proposals must be submitted electronically via the ERA CoBioTech submission website by 14 December 2018, 13:00 CET (12:00 GMT).

Further information on the call announcement and the application and evaluation processes can be found in the Call Announcement and Guidelines for Applicants documents on the ERA CoBioTech: Submissions website.

Related calls: bioinformatics collaboration industrial biotechnology multidisciplinary synthetic biology systems biology