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One out of 10 projects financed by the CBE JU in 2023 has been accompanied by Zabala Innovation

CBE JU results

The results of the latest call of the Circular Biobased Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE JU) bring excellent news for Zabala Innovation: the consultancy achieves the funding of 10% of all approved projects. Held last year, the call admitted 162 proposals and selected 30 of them for funding, representing a success rate of 18%, according to a note released by the CBE last week. Of these, three have been accompanied by Zabala Innovation. The consulting firm is also involved in two of them as a partner. The grant agreements with the selected candidates are expected to be signed before the end of May.

“Obtaining funding for 10% of all the projects selected in the CBE JU call is really relevant and demonstrates our support for sustainability and circularity”, stresses Camino Correia, Head of  European Projects and member of the Executive Committee of Zabala Innovation.

“In 2023, our consultancy joined the European consortium Bio Based Industries (BIC), as part of our strategy to support sustainability, and we have taken on the challenge of actively working on proposals linked to the bioeconomy”, says Damián Muruzábal, leader of the Food and Bioeconomy knowledge area of Zabala Innovation. He adds: “The two new projects selected for funding in which we participate as partners are key to the development of new European sustainability policies, one in the field of biofertilisers and the other in the field of bioplastics.”

The 30 projects selected by the CBE JU will receive overall funding of around 215.5 million euros. These include four key projects for industry, 15 innovation actions, nine research and innovation actions and two coordination and support actions. The second CBE JU call invited project proposals on 18 different themes, with the aim of boosting industry’s participation in the circular bioeconomy by developing new products and services that are circular and sustainable.

Another project under the umbrella of the CBE JU: Redysign

Officially launched in October last year, the Redysign project develops new sustainable materials made exclusively from wood components that are then assembled to replace the ubiquitous non-circular plastic packaging currently used for the distribution of fresh meat. In this way, Redysign will contribute to filling existing gaps related to both the technical limitations of current bio-based products and the efficiency of the associated (bio)industrial production processes. Zabala Innovation is leading the communication, dissemination and stakeholder analysis and engagement tasks, which are crucial to maximise the impact of the project results.

The role of the CBE JU

“The CBE JU is an excellent opportunity for the whole value chain because of its collaborative approach, bringing together diverse stakeholders, from primary producers to scientists,” explains Juan José Candel, Responsible of European Projects at the Valencia office of Zabala Innovation. It aims to address the technological, regulatory and market challenges facing the bio-based industries sector. Its public-private funding scheme not only boosts innovation, but also facilitates market implementation by being able to reach technology maturity level (TRL) 8.

The fundamental premise of this initiative is based on the critical need to move away from dependence on non-renewable fossil raw materials and minerals. This strategic shift is presented as an essential requirement for the European Union to achieve its climate goals. The CBE JU has been conceived as one of the vehicles to achieve this shift, focusing its research on circular production processes that make use of raw materials such as plants and other renewable materials of agricultural, marine and forestry origin.

CBE JU in 2024

The BIC Consortium has already published the Work Programme for the CBE JU 2024. This year, 18 topics will be funded (three IA Flagship, seven IA, five RIA and three CSA), with a total budget of 213 million euros for areas as diverse as valorisation of natural fibre feedstock, biodegradable bio-based materials for soils, micro-algae for added-value applications, safe and sustainable by design bio-based solvents and construction and building materials, crop protection alternatives, bio-based adhesives, or bio-based food and feed ingredients among many others.

The call will open on 24th April 2024, and its deadline is planned for 18 September 2024. In Zabala Innovation we are committed to continuing our efforts to support SMEs, industries, universities and RTOs in collaboratively developing successful proposals aimed at bolstering the industrial and R&D initiatives that drive competitiveness in the bio-based sector across Europe in the upcoming years. Our goal is to align with CBE JU objectives to expedite the innovation process and the advancement of bio-based solutions, foster increased market adoption of these solutions, and ensure a high standard of environmental performance.