ERA-IB launches fourth joint call for Industrial Biotechnology research proposals


Press release: ERA-IB 4th Call

Brussels, 1 February, 2013

ERA-IB launches fourth joint call for Industrial Biotechnology research proposals

Brussels the 1st of February 2013 – Today, a fourth call for multilateral research projects using Industrial Biotechnology (IB) is launched by ERA-IB, a mechanism supported by the European Commission. The title is ‘Industrial biotechnology for Europe: an integrated approach’.  Its main goal is to encourage academics and industrial researchers with expertise in IB to cooperate across the whole value chain. IB leads to innovation in greener processes and biobased products such as materials, pharmaceuticals and energy.By funding this call, the organizations will contribute to less fragmentation of resources and an increase in transnational networking. Cross-border partnerships are important objectives to achieve sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based products.

For the purposes of this fourth call, partners from the ERA-Net EuroTransBio (ETB) participate in the network’s actions. ETB has established itself as the preferred funding instrument for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) collaborating in the field of modern biotechnology.

Main objective

The joint call’s main objective is to establish joint research and development activities in the field of Industrial Biotechnology, as part of the KBBE theme of the Seventh European Framework Programme (FP7). These cooperative projects must be composed of a minimum of three and a maximum of eight participants from at least three ERA-IB partner countries. Pre-proposals have to be submitted by 26 March 2013 and full proposals by 28 June 2013. The projects will start in 2014.

The following ERA-IB partner organizations will participate in the call and will fund one or more projects: IDEA (Andalusia, Spain), IWT (Flanders, Belgium), DGO6 (Wallonia, Belgium), DASTI (Denmark), FNR (Germany), BMBF (Germany), SMWK/Freistaat Sachsen (Germany), Tekes (Finland), RCN (Norway), FFG (Austria), NCBiR (Poland), FCT (Portugal), UEFISCDI (Romania), FASIE (Russia), TUBITAK (Turkey), TSB (UK) and BBSRC (UK).

Funding is available to fund innovative industrially relevant research and development projects which should cover one or more of the following topics:

·         Improved enzyme systems for new and more efficient bioprocesses

·         Metabolic engineering of microorganisms, including the use of synthetic and systems biology approaches

·         Novel down-stream processes e.g. reduced costs

  • Fermentation and bio-catalytic processes, e.g. for platform chemicals, including  bio-monomers, oligomers and polymers
  • Biological processing (including separation and conversion) of biomass, including from side streams, and other renewable carbon sources into value added products
  • New valuable products from plant- and animal cell cultures

With this joint call, ERA-IB and ETB want to foster the integration of subsequent steps along the whole value chain.

Previous calls

ERA-IB has already launched three joint calls. The first call was launched in 2008 and resulted in eight financed projects, for a total budget of 9.7 million EUR. The second call (2010) resulted in ten projects for a total budget of 11.1 million EUR. The projects recommended for funding following the third joint call have been selected in 2012. 12 projects (out of 33 submissions) are being recommended. The total budget for the resulting grants is approximately 18 million euros.

ETB has been active since 2004 in the ERA-NET scheme and eight calls have been launched since 2006. ETB calls so far generated and funded 125 trans-national cooperation projects in all fields of modern biotechnology with overall project costs of 215 million EUR.

Link to the call documents:

Link to ERA-IB:

Link to ETB:

For additional information, please contact:

Press and Information, email:

For more information about ERA-IB-joint calls, please contact the ERA-IB Call Secretariat:

Susan Licumahua

T: +31-70-34 40 615

F: +31-70-34 40 787



Notes to Editors:

ERA-IB and ETB are ERA-NETs funded by the European Commission. An ERA-NET provides a framework where coordination between national and regional research programmes can be developed and strengthened.

FP7 is the short name for the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. This is the EU's main instrument for funding research in Europe and runs from 2007-2013. FP7 is also designed to respond to Europe's employment needs, competitiveness and quality of life.

The key mission of ERA-IB is to contribute to a European knowledge-based bio-economy (KBBE) by reducing fragmentation in IB R&D funding and by fostering the exchange of knowledge across borders, and to increase cost-effectiveness by pooling resources and optimising mechanisms for joint calls. The KBBE is the tool to achieving sustainable economic growth in Europe, as it will lead to sustainable, environmentally sound industrial processes and products which substitute fossil resources with bio-based (renewable) raw materials. Industrial Biotechnology will be one of the key technologies of this KBBE, and ERA-IB will ensure Europe makes full use of her potential by identifying IB-related R&D needs through stakeholder dialogue and responding to these needs with coordinated, joint actions (joint calls).