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Horizon Europe (HEU) was officially launched this week (22 June). This major research and innovation programme (€95.5 billion) of the European Commission should make the EU greener and more competitive in the period up to 2027. How can stakeholders in the circular bio-economy make use of it? And what is needed for a successful application? An online meeting of the 3BI network looked into this in depth.
Pierre Gielen

Overarching goals of HEU such as tackling climate change, achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and boosting EU competitiveness and growth are too general to write an effective application, IAR’s Christophe Luguel stressed during the webinar. It is important to carefully analyse current European documents in advance, including the EU Green Deal, the Farm-to-Fork Strategy, the Bioeconomy Strategy and the Circular Economy Action Plan. “It makes it clear how to frame your proposal, what are the drivers for the European Commission to work on this topic and what impacts/goals you will be contributing to with this.”


At the legal level, Horizon Europe is based on 4 pillars/clusters that lead to areas of intervention. At the programme level, a strategic plan is established defining policy priorities, strategic orientations for research and innovation and expected impacts. This results in annual work programmes in which these impacts are translated into destinations, with sub-topics and expected outcomes in certain application areas.

For players in the industrial bioeconomy, Pillar 2 is particularly important, and within it Cluster 6: Circular Economy and Bioeconomy Sectors, or CIRCBIO for short, for which a total of €9 billion is available. It includes the fields of interest of Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment.

During the webinar, 3 of the total of 9 CIRCBIO topics for 2021 were highlighted:

During the 3BI event there was ample opportunity for matchmaking and to take the first steps in forming such consortia.

A complete overview of the current funding & tender-opportunities in the CIRCBIO cluster can be found on the website of the European Commission. For questions about Horizon Europe and the cooperation around it, please contact your own 3BI network partner:

This article was written in cooperation with Circular Biobased Delta.

Image above: Mopic/Shutterstock

3BI (Brokering Bio-Based Innovation) is a partnership of five European clusters in the bio-economy: Circular Biobased Delta in the Netherlands, Bioeconomy Cluster and CLIB in Germany, IAR in France and BioVale in the UK.