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DNA Helix

Cofund on Biotechnologies

Innovation for Europe – life science meets market application

Second transnational call for research projects

Aim of the call

The second 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

Research projects must be multidisciplinary and will need to address one of the following topics:

Topic A – Microbial communities (natural or synthetic), co-cultures and cascades of microorganisms for new products, value-added products and supply services and sustainable industrial processes

Topic B – Pure cultures, cell free systems and enzymes for new products, value-added products and supply services and sustainable industrial processes

The submitted proposals must be multidisciplinary and 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 e.g. (but not limited to) 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 bio-production and for strain/variety improvement are also included.
  • Biotechnological approaches (possibly in combination with chemical ones) to transform bio-based building blocks into molecules in a sustainable way.

ERA CoBioTech expects 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 (SME). Where appropriate (according to national regulations), other partners such as non-for-profit organizations or civil society organizations are also encouraged. The participation of one or more industrial partner(s) in the consortium is also recommended, but not mandatory. National and regional eligibility rules, including the potential eligibility of the private sector, e.g. SMEs, must be followed and will be published together with the call text.


In a one phase submission process eligible full proposals will be peer reviewed and ranked by a panel of international experts, suggested and selected by all ERA CoBioTech funding organisations. After peer review (incl. rebuttal) and ranking of the full proposals the Call Steering Committee will select research consortia for funding from the ranking list, within the limits of available national/regional funding.


  • full proposal submission: the submission deadline for proposals will be on December 14th, 2018.
  • Funding decision: research consortia will be informed on the funding decision in June/July 2019.
  • project start: research projects are expected to start from September 2019 on (depending on grant negotiations with the relevant regional or national funding organisations).

Call documents have been published on on October 16th, 2018.

Download Pre-Announcement Second Call (PDF)