Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking to be launched at the end of November

19 November 2021

The Council of the EU has adopted today the regulation establishing Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE JU), the successor of BBI JU. The €2 billion partnership between the European Union and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) will build on the success of BBI JU to advance competitive circular bio-based industries in Europe. CBE JU will enter into force at the end of November and will take over all the activities of BBI JU.

Circular Bio-based Europe is one of the nine European Partnerships established by the Council regulation today.

‘Joint Undertakings will enable that tens of billions of euros will be invested jointly by public and private actors, on EU and national levels. This is a clear demonstration of the power of working together and the best guarantee for the EU’s scientific and technological leadership’, said Simona Kustec, Minister for Education, Science and Sport who led the work for the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU on this file.

Read the full statement of the Council of the European Union.

‘A circular and sustainable bioeconomy is essential to reach the ambitious goals of the EU Green Deal, to make our societies prosperous, and to protect the environment while ensuring rural and coastal innovation. This new partnership will demonstrate the potential of the bio-based industry to green the EU’s industrial production and contribute to the recovery of our economy in a sustainable and inclusive way. Full complementarity and synergies between Horizon Europe programming and the CBE JU will be ensured to fulfil these goals. The CBE JU will also cover education and skills, and will involve a wider range of stakeholders including the primary producers, and will give an increased role to Member States, by focussing on the regional aspects’, said John Bell, Director for Healthy Planet at the European Commission’s Research and Innovation Directorate-General.

Read the full statement of the European Commission.

‘United with our European Commission partners, BIC remains committed to building on the successes of the BBI partnership and contributing to the EU’s transformation into an innovative, sustainable and competitive society’, said Mat Quaedvlieg, BIC Chairman and VP Strategic Business Projects, SAPPI.

Read the full statement of BIC.

‘Today marks an important milestone for the European bioeconomy and a greener future for Europe. CBE JU will continue to strengthen the crucial work of BBI JU while addressing the remaining challenges of the sector. We have been waiting together with our community for this important step, and together with my colleagues, we are ready to take up the new challenge’, commented BBI JU Executive Director Philippe Mengal.

What will CBE JU do?

Bio-based industries are a key enabler of the green transition towards a resilient and environmentally sustainable EU economy. CBE JU will fund projects that are building strong, resource-efficient and competitive bio-based industries in Europe by combining financial support of Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation programme, and contributions from the private sector.

More information about the role and objectives of CBE JU.

What are the next steps?

CBE JU will enter into force on the day when the Council regulation is published in the Official Journal of the European Union, currently expected on 30 November 2021. The CBE JU Programme Office will also be established on this day.

The CBE JU’s founding partners - the European Commission, on behalf of the European Union, and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) - will then nominate members to the Governing Board, and the Board will convene for the first time by mid-December.

In the first and second quarter of 2022, two CBE JU’s advisory bodies - the States’ Representatives Group and the Scientific Committee - will be established, and the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) adopted.

Based on the SRIA, a consultation on the first CBE JU Work Programme will start, and the Governing Board will adopt the programme in the second quarter of 2022. The first CBE JU’s call for project proposals will then open.

See the indicative timeline of CBE JU operations and read more about the CBE JU governance.