Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE JU)


The Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE JU) is a €2 billion partnership between the European Union and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) that funds projects advancing competitive circular bio-based industries in Europe.

CBE JU is operating under the rules of Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation programme, for the 2021-2031 period. The partnership is building on the success of its predecessor, the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), while addressing the current challenges facing the industry. The CBE JU is the legal and universal successor of BBI JU in respect of all contracts, grant agreements and liabilities.

The partnership was established by the Council regulation (EU) 2021/2085 of 19 November 2021.

What can CBE JU do for Europe?

Shifting from non-renewable fossil raw materials and minerals to circular bio-based production processes is essential to reach the EU’s climate targets as set out in the European Green Deal. Strong, resource-efficient and competitive bio-based industries are important drivers of this change. By producing renewable bio-based products and materials from waste and biomass in an innovative, sustainable and circular way, they can contribute significantly to the climate neutrality target by 2050 while creating jobs and economic growth in regions across Europe.

The role of Circular Bio-based Europe is to bring together various actors from bio-based industries, ranging from farmers to scientists, to solve the technological, regulatory and market challenges of the sector. Its public-private funding scheme boosts innovation and market deployment and paves the way for future investments.

CBE JU’s objectives

The main goals of the new European partnership are:

  • 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

Unlocking the future of circular bioeconomy in Europe

CBE JU is building on BBI JU’s success while enlarging its scope and addressing the remaining challenges of Europe’s bio-based industries. The new partnership is focusing on:

  • Supporting research and innovation for sustainable bio-based solutions
  • De-risking investments in innovative, circular bio-based production plants
  • Addressing the technological, regulatory & market challenges of the bioeconomy
  • Placing sustainability at the heart of its operations
  • Strengthening the collaboration of all bioeconomy actors
  • Engaging with more stakeholders along the value chains

Timeline of CBE JU’s operations

The establishment of Circular Bio-based Europe and the launch of its first call for proposals is expected to follow this indicative timeline:

  • February 2021 – European Commission adopts the legal text proposing the creation of CBE JU.
  • October - November 2021 – The Council of the European Union, after consulting the European Parliament, adopts the regulation establishing CBE JU.
  • 30 November 2021 – CBE JU enters into force, and its Programme Office is established.
  • 2022 onwards:
    • The Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) of CBE JU is adopted. This document identifies the main technological and innovation challenges and serves as the basis for CBE JU’s annual work programmes and calls for project proposals.
    • Scientific Committee and State Representative Group are established and consulted for the first call for project proposals.
    • CBE JU opens its first call for project proposals.
    • Call closure is expected before the end of 2022.

See full indicative timeline.

Public-private collaboration for a greener future of Europe

CBE JU is established under Council regulation as an institutionalised European partnership between the European Union, represented by the European Commission, and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC).

The CBE JU’s decision-making body is its Governing Board. The role of the CBE JU Programme Office, led by its Executive Director, is to ensure the implementation of the partnership. CBE JU also has two advisory bodies - States’ Representatives Group and Scientific Committee - and Deployment Groups providing advice on specific issues.

Learn more about CBE JU’s governance

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