Standards and regulations
Existing bio-based industries and value chains have emerged often independently from each other. As a consequence, each has its own terminology in describing process parameters and properties of raw materials and products. This disparity in terminology and in standards hampers the integration of actors across sectors and hence the creation of new value chains. In addition, in spite of progress made by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) in the development of a coherent and harmonised standardisation frame for bio-based products, there is still a need to spread the use of the developed standards with a view to capitalise on their market pull potential. This calls for cooperation on the international level, especially with industrialised countries, e.g. by exchange of Best Practices and experiences in order to reach more coherent approach to bio-based products globally. Regulations governing the use of biomass in the various application sectors differ among the sectors and between the EU and the national levels. This may deter industries from investing in new facilities and even in research and innovation towards new products and applications. The specific challenge is twofold:
- To boost the use of instruments, in particular common standards, reducing barriers to trade in bio-based products among value chains and across the EU and hence expand their market potential.
- To address regulatory hurdles across sectors hindering investments into existing and new value chains, products and applications as well as the establishment of a level playing field for bio-based products.
Proposals should address the following elements:
- An evaluation of existing standards and regulations across the sectors and value chains, in order to identify conflicts and barriers to growth and to propose simple and applicable alternatives that facilitate investments in new value chains and products and increase the market uptake of bio-based products and processes.
- Analysis of EU, national and regional legislation, to identify legislative barriers that hamper integration of actors across sectors and value chains in their efforts to establish new value chains utilising biomass in a cascaded manner. Special attention should be given to legislation governing the industrial use of biomass, for example waste legislation. The analysis should also identify Best Practices in removing legislative barriers in the process towards a bioeconomy.
- Supporting the CEN work (TC411 and other Technical Committees) to optimise the industrial applicability and use of the developed standards in order to further specify bio-based products characteristics and communication thereof for the various application sectors. These will be of significant help in B2B and B2C communication.
- Build on and coordinate with other, on-going projects that address the same topic of standards and legislation, in particular those of Horizon 2020's Societal Challenge 2: Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy.
- Address needed regulations updates to reflect relevant new technological developments.
It is considered that proposals with a total eligible budget of up to EUR 1 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals with another budget.
- Contribute to more coherent policy environment, better interrelations between regional, national, EU and global bioeconomy policies.
- Contribute to the removal of barriers to investments to grow towards a bioeconomy, for example link to waste legislation.
- Specific proposals to amend existing regulations or for new regulations to promote the factual cooperation in joint projects by actors across sectors and value chains.
- Concrete support of CEN TC411 to improve horizontal aspects for better integration across boundaries.
- New standards providing increased commonality between different bio-based industrial sectors
- Commonly agreed vocabulary throughout value chains, from feedstock suppliers to biorefining to downstream actors in the application sectors.
Increased use of standards and labels with positive long-term effects on the overall development of the European bio-based products market.