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Research and innovation

Bio-based products and processes

Bio-based research and innovation

Shifting to bio-based products and processes means switching to using biological resources and biological processing methods in a sustainable way. This will help reduce Europe's dependency on oil, coal and gas and help meet its ambitious environmental, societal, industrial and climate policy targets for 2050.

The shift could save up to 2.5 billion tons of CO2 equivalent per year by 2030 and help accelerate the transition to a green and circular economy.

Bio-based systems is an emerging sector of the bioeconomy that is expected to grow rapidly. It will help create new markets and jobs, especially in rural and coastal areas.

What the Commission is doing

Research is critical to enable, establish and deploy innovation in the bioeconomy.

Commercial exploitation depends not only on excellent research but also on having the right strategic, legal and societal framework to ensure fast knowledge transfer to industry.

The Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking strategic innovation and research agenda sets out the technological and innovation challenges to developing sustainable and competitive bio-based industries in Europe.

One of the key aims is to develop new biorefining technologies to sustainably transform renewable natural resources into bio-based products and materials.

In May 2020, 22 projects were selected for funding to accelerate market uptake of bio-based products, develop new technologies and fill gaps within value chains, establish demo-scale production facilities and build first-of-a-kind biorefineries in Europe.

Policy focus

Funding opportunities

European Investment Bank loans

Loans for projects in agriculture, forest-based, blue economy, waste management. Loansguaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments for high-risk investment in production and processing of food, biobased materials and bioenergy.


Loans and guarantees to innovative businesses for research and innovation activities

European structural and investment funds

Bioeconomy research related calls can be found in national rural development programmes, European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, Cohesion Fund for renewable energy projects, European Regional Development Fund for smart specialisation

Innovation Fund

Funding supporting the deployment of biobased solutions in carbon intensive sectors


The EU's funding instrument for the environment and climate action

Projects and results

Horizon Magazine

Latest news, interviews and features about thought-provoking science and innovative bio-based research projects funded by the EU.

Horizon Results Platform

Platform where framework programme participants present their results for you to search, contact their owners, and form partnerships.

Collaboration and jobs

Global partnerships

International cooperation in bioeconomy research and innovation helps tackle global challenges


Initiative offering a shared strategic research and innovation framework for working towards sustainable bioeconomies in Central and Eastern European countries

Scientific publications, tools and databases

Knowledge centre for bioeconomy

Platform supporting policy making by bringing together knowledge on the bioeconomy from a wide range of scientific disciplines and sources

Scientific publications

Scientific bioeconomy research publications published by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC)

Scientific research tools and databases

The Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) compiles databases and develops software and modelling tools. You can access bioeconomy research related ones here

EU Open Data Portal

Single point of access to open data produced by the EU institutions - all data free to use for commercial and non-commercial purposes


You can access all scientific publications from Horizon 2020 via OpenAIRE