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DNA Helix

Cofund on Biotechnologies

Innovation for Europe – life science meets market application

The third transnational call for research projects

Aim of the call
The third transnational joint call for research projects within the framework of ERA CoBioTech aims to contribute to the transformation of the global economy from a dependence on fossil raw materials to a sustainable bio-based economy. Funding will be granted for a maximum of three years according to national regulations.

The scope of the 3rd Joint Call »Bio-based replacement products, technologies and processes« was developed based on the ERA CoBioTech strategic process taking into account the key stakeholders of the European biotechnology community. For further details, please refer to the ERA CoBioTech’s Strategic Agenda and the European BioTech Hub platform.

The call aimed to attract proposals focused on biotechnology as a key enabling technology (KET) in the context of the bio-based economy.

The submitted proposals had to be multidisciplinary and to include at least two of the following scientific approaches:

  • Synthetic biology for the design and construction of new biological parts, devices, and systems, or re-design of existing, natural biological systems for useful purposes by use of (but not limited to) e.g. orthogonal bio-systems, regulatory circuits, minimal genome approaches and protocells.
  • Systems biology for optimisation of biological processes, including investigation of regulatory mechanisms in intra- and intercellular processes for bio-production, modelling, development of new computational methods and other new methodologies.
  • Use of bioinformatics tools (e.g. data standardisation, modelling, open repositories) for the identification and utilisation of metabolic pathways. Datasets can have different origins, e.g. appropriate datasets on genomics, phenomics, proteomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics etc.; mapping and exploitation of cellular processes and metabolic capacities for bioproduction and for strain/variety improvement are also included.
  • Biotechnological approaches (possibly in combination with chemical ones) to transform biobased building blocks into molecules in a sustainable way.

ERA CoBioTech expected proposals for collaborative research, development and innovation from transnational consortia composed of universities, higher education institutions, public research institutes, industries, large companies and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Where appropriate (according to national regulations), other partners such as non-for-profit organizations or civil society organizations were also encouraged. The participation of one or more industrial partner(s) in the consortium was also recommended, but not mandatory. National and regional eligibility rules, including the potential eligibility of the private sector, e.g. SMEs, had to be followed.

In a one phase submission process 16 eligible proposals were peer reviewed and ranked by a panel of international experts, suggested and selected by all ERA CoBioTech funding organisations. The Call Steering Committee selected 5 research consortia for funding from the ranking list, within the limits of available national/regional funding.

3rd joint call for proposals


  • Call launch: ERA CoBioTech (ERA Net Cofund on Biotechnology) launched its third transnational call in the field of biotechnology on March 18th, 2020.
  • Proposal submission: The submission deadline for proposals was by June 30, 2020.
  • Funding decision: Research consortia were informed on the funding decision on December 2, 2020.
  • Project start: Research projects are expected to start from April 2021 on (depending on grant negotiations with the relevant regional or national funding organisations).

Call documents can be found here

The following projects are selected and recommended for funding:

  • SynBioMet
  • MCM4SB
  • ContiBio
  • Cell4Chem