ERA CoBioTech is the ERA-Net Cofund on Biotechnologies. ERA CoBioTech builds on the successful work of three predecessor ERA-NETs under Framework Programme 7 (FP7): ERA-IB-2, ERASynBio and ERASysAPP.
The total budget available for the call is €38.31 million.
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Innovate UK will each contribute up to £2 million to the Call.
The ERA-Net Cofund on Biotechnologies is a new ERA-Net Cofund Action under Horizon 2020 that will build upon the achievements of ERA-IB2 (ERA-Net for Industrial Biotechnology 2), ERASysAPP (ERA-Net for Applied Systems Biology) and ERASynBio (ERA-Net for Synthetic Biology).
The key mission of ERA CoBioTech is to:
- Maximise synergies between current mechanisms of biotechnology research funding in Europe.
- Foster the exchange of knowledge across borders.
- Highlight the benefits of a bio-based economy for society.
- Maintain and strengthen Europe’s position in biotechnology.
ERA CoBioTech brings together owners and managers of national and regional R&D&I programmes of Member States, associate and third countries with significant experience in research funding and coordination.
This call aims to attract proposals focused on biotechnology as a key enabling technology (KET), in the context of the bio-based economy and to tackle 21st century societal challenges such as decarbonisation of the economy and reduction of the reliance on fossil feedstocks. To achieve this, funding provided by national and regional programmes of Member States and other countries will be combined with the European Commission’s to launch this joint call for multilateral research projects addressing “Biotechnology for a sustainable bioeconomy”.
The following funding organisations will be participating in this joint call for multilateral research projects:
- Projektträger Jülich GmbH (JUELICH), Germany.
- Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e.V. (FNR), Germany.
- Ministrstvo za izobrazevanje, znanost in sport (MIZS), Slovenia.
- Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad (MINECO), Spain.
- Sächsisches Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst (SMWK), Germany.
- Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), United Kingdom.
- Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva (MINCyT), Argentina.
- Service Public de Wallonie (SPW-DG06), Belgium.
- Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR), France.
- Ministry of Health (CSO-MOH), Israel.
- Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO), Netherlands.
- Norges forskningsråd (RCN), Norway.
- Unitatea Executiva pentru Finantarea Invatamantului Superior, a Cercetarii, Dezvoltarii si Inovarii (UEFISCDI), Romania.
- Türkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Araştırma Kurumu (TUBITAK), Turkey.
- Valsts Izglitibas Attistibas Agentura (VIAA), Latvia.
- Narodowe Centrum Badan i Rozwoju (NCBR), Poland.
- Sihtasutus Eesti Teadusagentuur (ETAg), Estonia.
- Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Universita e della Ricerca (MIUR), Italy.
- Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial (CDTI), Spain.
- Фонд содействия развитию малых форм предприятий в научно-технической сфере (Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises) (FASIE), Russia.
- Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI), Switzerland.
- Innovate UK, United Kingdom.
Applicants should contact Innovate UK or Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to ensure their application meets eligibility requirements.
ERA CoBioTech expects proposals for collaborative research, development and innovation from transnational consortia composed of universities, higher education institutions, public research institutes, industries, large companies and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). Transnational research consortia must comprise at the least three partners from three different countries participating in the co-funded call.
Consortia must include at least three partners requesting funding from three different ERA CoBioTech member countries who contribute funds to the call. Consortia can involve a maximum of six partners, unless partners from Argentina, Estonia, Israel, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia and Turkey are part of the consortium, then the allowed maximum number of partners is eight. No more than two eligible partners may come from the same country.
The participation of one or more industrial partner(s) in the consortium is strongly recommended.
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
Only Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), Research Council Institutes (RCIs) and selected Independent Research Organisations (IRO) which are normally eligible to apply for BBSRC grants can apply.
No funding of industrial partners possible.
Applicants must be from UK industry only.
Applicants should contact Innovate UK or Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) for specific eligibility requirements.
ERA CoBioTech aims to connect research partners with different but complementary scientific and technological expertise to maximise resources and share risks, costs and skills. A prerequisite for support of transnational projects via this call is the inclusion of different parts of the value chain. As appropriate, this will enable the newly developed products, technologies or services to reach the market efficiently.
The partnership between industrial and academic researchers in the fields of biotechnology will improve and accelerate technology transfer and it will also strengthen European efforts to achieve sustainable industrial development.
The aim of the call is to contribute to transforming the global economy from a dependence on fossil raw materials to a sustainable bio-based economy. Submitted proposals must be multidisciplinary and include at least one 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 eg.(but not limited to) 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 (eg.data standardisation, modelling, open repositories) for the identification and utilisation of metabolic pathways. Datasets can have different origins, eg 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 with high added value in a sustainable way.
The co-funded call covers industrial biotechnology. Applications must address one of the topics described below:
- Sustainable production and conversion of different types of feedstocks and bioresources (including, but not limited to, waste and residues e.g. from households, agriculture, forestry, industrial by-products, alternative raw materials) into value-added products including new compounds eg for materials, chemicals, food/feed ingredients, flavours and fragrances, pharmaceuticals, biofuels, textiles or pulp/paper products.
- New products, value-added products and supply services (eg bio-based materials, platform chemicals, pharmaceuticals, biomedical products, functional food/feed ingredients etc.) originating from novel metabolic pathways or pathway improvement. This also includes bio-catalytic elements like enzymes, microorganisms and cell-free biosynthesis systems from natural or synthetic origins.
- Sustainable industrial processes: Upstream and downstream design, scale-up of biotechnological processes also including systems approaches to bioprocesses and process development; fermentation processes; usage of microbial consortia; intensification and/or integration in existing industrial processes; and development of innovative, environmentally sound industrial processes.
The project duration must not exceed three years.
The application process is two-phased (pre- and full proposal phase). Throughout the whole process, the ERA CoBioTech Call Office is the central communication point for all applicants. First, a pre-proposal must be submitted electronically via the ERA CoBioTech submission website. Only the coordinators of pre-proposals, which passed the first evaluation step will then be invited to submit a full proposal.
The ERA CoBioTech Call Office will inform the project coordinators of the results of the first assessment step via e-mail by 22 May 2017. The coordinators of the selected pre-proposals will be invited to submit a full proposal on behalf of their consortium.
The deadline for submitting full proposals will be 20 July 2017.