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Knowledge category: Funding and financing

Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking

Updated on 20.09.2023

The Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE JU) is a €2 billion partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC). It funds cities and regions who want to advance competitive, circular bio-based industries in Europe. The CBE JU’s open innovation approach welcomes all sorts of innovative ideas.

Financial entity: European Union and Bio-Based Industries Consortium
Contact: via contact form  

Relevance for Circular Systemic Solutions

The CBE JU instrument can be relevant for cities and regions that want to achieve one or more of the following three goals with their Circular Systemic Solution (CSS):

  • accelerate the innovation process and development of bio-based innovative solutions;
  • accelerate market deployment of the existing mature and innovative bio-based solutions;
  • ensure a high level of environmental performance of bio-based industrial systems.

The projects stimulate collaboration among various actors across Europe and along value chains, from biomass producers and waste managers to researchers and processing industries.

The varied budget range (see ‘Amount of funding’) means that not all calls can be utilised to finance the entire CSS. However, the calls with smaller budgets (below €5 million) can still be used to finance a certain component(s) of the proposed CSS.

Applicant criteria

All stakeholders in the bio-based industries ecosystem, including public authorities, can apply for CBE JU funding. CBE JU calls for project proposals are open to any legal entity, be it private or public, for-profit or not-for-profit, including:

  • large companies
  • small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs)
  • research and technology organisations
  • universities
  • associations.

Eligible projects/themes

The CBE JU focuses on:

  • supporting research and innovation for sustainable bio-based solutions;
  • de-risking investments in innovative, circular bio-based production plants;
  • addressing the technological, regulatory and market challenges of the bioeconomy;
  • placing sustainability at the heart of its operations;
  • strengthening collaboration among all bioeconomy actors;
  • engaging with more stakeholders along value chains.

The instrument is divided into three types of calls:

  • Research and Innovation Actions (RIAs) establish new knowledge or explore the feasibility of a new or improved technology, product, process, service or solution. These may include basic and applied research, technology development and integration, testing, demonstration, and validation of a small-scale prototype, in a laboratory or simulated environment.
  • Innovation Actions (IAs) scale up activities from prototype to product validation and market replication. Flagships, an important and specific type of IA, in particular deploy a first-of-its-kind innovation on the European market.
  • Coordination and Support Actions (CSAs) structure stakeholder communities, support technological visions and outreach, and disseminate and exploit research results, among other activities.

As examples, more details about the themes of the 2022 calls are available here.

Amount of funding

The total instrument budget for 2022 was €120 million; however, applicants have requested over €600 million. The indicative budget per call ranges between €1 million and €15 million. The next CBE JU calls and their budgets are expected in 2023.

The CBE JU operates under the rules of Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation programme, during the 2021-2031 period. The partnership builds on the success of its predecessor, the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), while addressing the current challenges facing the industry.

Application process

Cities and regions can apply for funding by taking the following steps:

  • Cities and regions must select a relevant call and draft a proposal with the required details.
  • Using the CBE JU networking platform, cities and regions can find partners to build a consortium.
  • The proposal should then be submitted using the EU Funding and Tenders Portal, using an EU login. All members of the consortium must have a 9-digit Participant Identification Code (PIC) in order to apply for funding.
  • The project proposal should be included in the submission service section of the topic page. This link becomes available when the call opens. Applicants should fill in all the required information and submit the proposal before the call deadline.


In 2023, the call for proposals will open after the CBE JU Info Day planned for 20 April 2023. The call deadline is planned for 20 September 2023. 

Financing type
Territories involved

large 500 000-200 000, medium 200 000-50 000, and small cities 50 000-5 000

large metropolitan area >1.5 million, metropolitan area 1.5 million-500 000

predominantly urban regions, intermediate and predominantly rural regions, refer to TERCET typology NUTS 3 region