Horizon Europe: High performance bio-based polymers for market applications with stringent requirements
The wide variety of molecular structures of bio-based polymers can offer significant opportunities to develop products tailored to specific applications. Some specific applications demand polymers that are capable to perform as desired under stringent operating conditions in e.g., market sectors such as electronics, automotive, aerospace, maritime/naval, construction, textiles, packaging, etc.
Tailor-made bio-based polymers for these applications can benefit from their inherent physical/chemical properties, and from their potentially higher sustainability when compared with fossil-based counterparts (if any). The focus of this topic is on applications characterised by stringent operating conditions where the ‘bulk properties’ of the developed solutions are prominent.
Some of these specialty polymers or their components may heavily depend on imports from outside the EU. Their production routes need to be designed, and their properties tested and proven useful and applicable under stringent conditions as demanded by specific market sectors. Innovative bio-based polymers in scope may be synthesised from bio-based building blocks, produced through biotechnology, other sustainable bio-based processing technologies, or through the functionalisation with biocatalysts or by other means of biopolymers extracted from bio-based feedstock.
Proposals under this topic should:
- Develop bio-based polymers with tailored functional properties for a pre-defined range of applications for market requirements under stringent conditions. The bio-based polymers should be circular-by-design, allowing for their reuse and recycling, including composting in case of biodegradable biopolymers.
- Develop validation tests (e.g., test rigs and testing procedures) and test the bio-based polymers against the application requirements. These tests should include their end-of-life handling.
- Provide an assessment of the environmental sustainability of the developed bio-based polymers.
- Provision for the project integrating ‘safe-and-sustainable-by-design’ generic criteria and framework considerations, in line with the EU Chemicals strategy for sustainability.
- Apply and/or adapt existing/mature or novel digital technologies provided that they are instrumental to achieving the project’s outcomes and scope. Applications of digital technologies that should be considered in the scope are among the following areas: i) chemicals, materials and process design & modelling ii) process monitoring and optimisation and iii) data analytics and data management of the production of bio-based polymers in the scope.
- Disseminate the outputs and learning outcomes from the project in order to increase the public awareness, and awareness of relevant industry actors, of potential benefits of bio-based solutions and raise awareness on opportunities to be addressed.
Proposals should involve relevant actors, such as producers, end users, and customers of the developed bio-based polymers to validate their properties and market acceptance. Proposals should build particularly on the past BBI JU projects on biopolymers.