Thematic call for research projects in the field of bioeconomy

Objective

The aim of research projects within the Bioeconomy Impulse Programme is to initiate technological developments with high potential for economic or societal valorization that are still at a low TRL level (maximum TRL level at the start of the research project is 3) and to determine the optimal direction in which the innovation trajectory has the best chance to succeed. Such projects are characterized by (i) the number and the diversity of scientific disciplines involved in the project actions, (ii) the direct interaction with industrial actors, governments, and societal actors.

Under this call, proposals within the following themes, as laid down in the bioeconomy policy plan, can be submitted.

  1. non-food biomass production
  2. synthetic biology
  3. technological transformation of biomass and waste streams
  4. technology for new value chains

More detailed information about the scope of this call can be found in the manual for applicants.

The maximum TRL level at the start of the research project is 3.

Features

  • The available budget for this call is €3 m.
  • Duration of the project: 2 years. A shorter execution time may be allowed in justified cases.
  • The maximum funding for each project is €420,000, excluding 17% overhead.
  • Funding percentage: 100%.
  • Acceptable costs: personnel costs, operational costs (including subcontracting up to 30% of the total budget, and small equipment of less than €20,000).

Call timetable

  • Deadline for mandatory pre-registration of the project by the principal investigator: 15/09/21, 17:00
  • Deadline for submission of the final project proposal by the principal investigator: 30/09/21, 17:00
  • Announcement of results: end December 2021.
  • Projects will start on 01/01/2022.

Applicant profile and conditions

  • A project proposal is submitted by a promotor affiliated with one of the five universities in the Flemish Community or/and a Flemish research institution (e.g. VITO, VIB, IMEC, Vito, VLIZ, Flemish university colleges, Flemish scientific institutions funded by the state, etc.)
  • In addition to the above institutions, non-Flemish research institutions can participate in the consortium for up to 20% of the budget, provided it is demonstrated that their participation as partner is necessary to ensure the proper execution of the project and the achievement of the project utilization objectives.
  • A project proposal is submitted by a consortium (two or more eligible institutions), which includes at least one of the five universities in the Flemish Community.
  • Each legal entity applicant must meet the definition of a research institution (i.e. a research and knowledge-dissemination organisation) as set out in Article 2(83) of Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014).
  • A researcher can participate in only one consortium, either as promotor or as co-promotor. Consequently, your name as promotor or co-promotor can appear only once in this entire call.

Application procedure flow

  • The principal investigator of an application must pre-register by 15 September 2021, 17:00.
    • Name and affiliation promotor
    • General:
      • project title in Dutch and English;
      • abstract in Dutch and English;
    • Names and affiliation of all co-promotors.
    • For this pre-registration, the following fields in the application form must be completed by the aforementioned date:

Pre-registration is required! This information will be retrieved to allow the FWO staff to prepare the evaluation process as efficiently as possible. The information must be sent by e-mail via bioeconomieoproep@fwo.be.

• The final project proposal must be submitted by the promotor to the FWO by Thursday 30 September 2021, 17:00. A project application is submitted electronically by sending the complete application form by e-mail to bioeconomieoproep@fwo.be.
• After submission, you receive a confirmation e-mail.

Evaluation procedure

  • Considering the specific focus of the call, projects will be evaluated by an expert panel (internal peer review) without external peer review.
  • Projects are evaluated by a panel of 12 experts. To avoid conflicts of interest as much as possible, international experts will be invited for the evaluation.
  • The expert panels will be made up of academic experts with a translational/applied background in the fields covered by the call, where possible, supplemented with experts with an industrial background.
  • Every application is, in principle, evaluated by 3 panel members based on the defined evaluation criteria.
  • All applications are discussed at a panel session, followed by a ranking and a support proposal.
  • The Board of Trustees of the FWO subsequently decides on the support proposal.
  • All applicants receive feedback on their application.

Regulations and downloads

Contact

For questions regarding the modalities of the call under the Bioeconomy programme please contact us via bioeconomieoproep@fwo.be.