CBE-JU – Institutionalised Partnership

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The Circular Bio-based Joint Undertaking (CBEJU) is a public-private partnership between the European Union and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC), with the goal of accelerating the development of a sustainable bio-based economy in Europe. The CBE-JU programme is part of the Europe’s main research and innovation funding programme, Horizon Europe. It offers funding opportunities to support research and innovation projects that contribute to a competitive bioeconomy in Europe. Since 2014, this funding has supported 142 projects involving 1,055 beneficiaries from 39 countries. 40% of the beneficiaries are small businesses.

The funding available through this initiative is focused on bio-based materials, chemicals, and that are produced from waste and biomass and have a lower environmental impact than their fossil-based counterparts. Projects funded by CBE-JU should also aim to contribute to the EU strategies “A sustainable bioeconomy for Europe” and the “Circular economy action plan”.For project proposals and encourages participation from all stakeholders, including primary sector, research centres, universities, small businesses, and large industries.

The Annual Work Programme 2023 is based on the strategic priorities from the CBE JU’s Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA). This strategic document identifies the main technological and innovation challenges to be addressed in the circular bio-based economy, outlining the research, demonstration and deployment activities that the CBEJU calls for project proposals should cover.

Projects must also demonstrate a clear commercial potential and a credible plan for scaling up to commercial production. These projects must focus on developing new bio-based products or processes that are environmentally sustainable, economically viable, and socially acceptable.

Circular Bio-based Joint Undertaking offers a unique opportunity for stakeholders across Europe to collaborate and develop sustainable and innovative bio-based solutions that support the circular (bio) economy and contribute to a more sustainable future. Projects funded under this call were expected to contribute to the circular economy by promoting the efficient use of resources, reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions, and creating new opportunities for economic growth and job creation in the bioeconomy sector.

The 2023 second call for proposals opened in April and will close on September 20, 2023. The budget for this call is €215.5 million.


  • Accelerate the innovation process and development of bio-based solutions.
  • Accelerate market deployment of existing mature and innovative bio-based solutions.
  • Ensure high level environmental performance of bio-based industrial systems.

Scope: Europe

Budget: EUR 2 billion (2021 - 2031)

Application deadline: Until 20/09/2023

Organisation: European Commission and Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC)

Nature of project: Food, bioeconomy, natural resources, agriculture and environment.

All legal entities, regardless of profit status, are eligible to apply: this includes large companies, small and medium-sized companies, research and technology organizations, universities and associations.

The amount of funding provided for a project varies depending on the type of project and the entity submitting the proposal. The funding level can range from 60% (for profit) to 100% (non-profit) of the total project cost

Personnel costs, subcontracting costs, purchase costs (including travel and subsistence, equipment and other goods, works & services), indirect costs and other cost categories.

Private members should declare the total project cost of the project established and allocated according to the usual cost accounting practice of the private member. The difference between the declared total project cost and JU funding (if any) constitutes the IKOP.  IKOP is defined as the costs incurred by the private members in implementing indirect actions less the contribution of the JU or any other Union contribution as a reimbursement of those costs.