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Development of safe and sustainable by design alternatives

Expected Outcome:

Projects are expected to contribute to the following outcomes:

  • European industry will have access to safer and more sustainable innovative alternatives of chemicals and materials with reduced substitution barriers (e.g., performance, cost and supply demand);
  • Industry will be able to test and demonstrate the applicability of the Safe and Sustainable by Design framework[1] to develop innovative chemicals or materials to substitute substances of concern [2];
  • The EU climate ambitions[3] will be supported by contributing to a decrease of greenhouse gas emissions through a more sustainable production and use of Safe and Sustainable by Design chemicals and materials;
  • The EU strategies/policies and regulation, such as the proposal for the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation[4], the EU Ecolabel[5], REACH[6] or CLP[7] will be supported with safe and sustainable alternatives of chemicals and materials;
  • The proof of concept of developing new Safe and Sustainable by Design chemicals or materials will bring evidence for new skills needed to apply the Safe and Sustainable by Design framework;
  • Market uptake of the Safe and Sustainable by Design chemicals and materials will be encouraged by citizens better understanding their benefits.

Scope:

The Commission initiative for Safe and Sustainable by Design [8] sets a framework for assessing safety and sustainability of chemicals and materials and which should be considered as a reference in the proposal.

Proposals should develop one or more new chemical substances or materials to replace existing substances of concern with surfactant, flame retardant or plasticising functionalities for a chosen application. Proposals should address at least one industrial application. The new substances or materials shall be aligned with the Safe and Sustainable by Design framework, and demonstrate improved sustainability and a contribution to lower the impact on climate. The selected industrial application(s) should be in areas where substitution with safer and more sustainable solutions is not yet in place, or in progress.

Proposals should address all of the following:

  • Proof of concept of the Safe and Sustainable by Design framework. The developed substances or materials will have to comply with the Safe and Sustainable by Design framework. Findings from the selected projects will be considered for the further refinement of the defined framework, if applicable;
  • The selection of the chemical/materials to be developed should be justified with a technology and socio-economic analysis;
  • Proposals should involve all relevant actors along the value chain;
  • Identify the substitution barriers for the selected applications and propose a driving mechanism for a maximal substitution in the targeted value chains;
  • Identify and address challenges for the adaption of existing production lines;
  • Explore collaboration with existing Open Innovation Test Beds (OITBs)[9], where relevant;
  • Interoperability for data sharing should be addressed across the entire value chain;
  • Communication actions to all stakeholders and specifically citizens about the benefits of the developed Safe and Sustainable by Design chemicals and materials.

Proposals should indicate to which chapters of the Strategic Research and Innovation Plan for chemicals and materials[10] they will contribute.

Proposals submitted under this topic should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the introduction to this Destination.

Proposals should involve appropriate expertise in Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH), in particular in the socio-economic analysis of the relevant substance or application.

Projects should build on or seek collaboration with existing projects and develop synergies with other relevant European, national or regional initiatives, funding programmes and platforms. For example, with projects resulting from the topic, HORIZON-CL4-2021-RESILIENCE-01-08 as well as other relevant projects from the topic HORIZON-CL6-2023-ZEROPOLLUTION. Proposals should allocate the necessary resources for collaboration with other relevant projects.

Synergies with Horizon Europe missions as relevant are encouraged.

Specific Topic Conditions:

Activities are expected to start at TRL 4-5 and achieve TRL 6-7 by the end of the project – see General Annex B.

[1]See documents defining the SSbD framework on: https://ec.europa.eu/info/research-and-innovation/research-area/industrial-research-and-innovation/key-enabling-technologies/advanced-materials-and-chemicals_en

[2] See Article 2 of the Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for setting Ecodesign requirements for sustainable products and repealing Directive 2009/125/EC; https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12567-Sustainable-products-initiative_en

[3]https://ec.europa.eu/clima/eu-action/european-green-deal/2030-climate-target-plan_en

[4]https://ec.europa.eu/environment/publications/proposal-ecodesign-sustainable-products-regulation_en

[5]https://ec.europa.eu/environment/ecolabel/the-ecolabel-scheme.html

[6]https://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/reach/reach_en.htm

[7]https://echa.europa.eu/regulations/clp/legislation

[8]See documents defining the SSbD framework on: https://ec.europa.eu/info/research-and-innovation/research-area/industrial-research-and-innovation/key-enabling-technologies/advanced-materials-and-chemicals_en

[9]https://ec.europa.eu/info/research-and-innovation/research-area/industrial-research-and-innovation/sustainable-production-processes_en

[10]https://ec.europa.eu/info/research-and-innovation/research-area/industrial-research-and-innovation/key-enabling-technologies/advanced-materials-and-chemicals_en

General Information

Call Type
EU Horizon Europe
Eligible Country/ies
EU + Horizon Europe associated countries
Call Identifier (if any)
HORIZON-CL4-2024-RESILIENCE-01-24
Expected Outcome or Impact
Expected Outcome:
Projects are expected to contribute to the following outcomes:
1. European industry will have access to safer and more sustainable innovative alternatives of chemicals and materials with reduced substitution barriers (e.g., performance, cost and supply demand);
2. Industry will be able to test and demonstrate the applicability of the Safe and Sustainable by Design framework[1] to develop innovative chemicals or materials to substitute substances of concern [2];
3. The EU climate ambitions[3] will be supported by contributing to a decrease of greenhouse gas emissions through a more sustainable production and use of Safe and Sustainable by Design chemicals and materials;
4. The EU strategies/policies and regulation, such as the proposal for the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation[4], the EU Ecolabel[5], REACH[6] or CLP[7] will be supported with safe and sustainable alternatives of chemicals and materials;
5. The proof of concept of developing new Safe and Sustainable by Design chemicals or materials will bring evidence for new skills needed to apply the Safe and Sustainable by Design framework;
6. Market uptake of the Safe and Sustainable by Design chemicals and materials will be encouraged by citizens better understanding their benefits.
Target Groups
Research Institutes, Academia, Small- and Medium Enterprises, Industry, Non-government organisations, Start-Ups
Submission Deadlines
Single fixed deadline
(Next) Submission Deadline
7 February 2024
Type of Funding Instrument
Collaborative Projects / Consortia
Max. funding amount per project [EURO]
15,000,000 €
Overall budget for all projects [EURO]
59,000,000 €

Author Info

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Patric Gerö

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