Opportunities

Planned opening date: 05 May 2020
Deadline: 01 September 2020 17:00:00 Brussels time

Specific Challenge:

Decarbonisation of the energy and transport systems requires the ultimate replacement of fossil fuels in the long-term and the flexibility to store sustainable energy on a large scale and for a long time in new kind of energy storage compounds. To achieve this goal, the production of clean forms of storable chemical energy carriers from direct sunlight will be necessary.

International collaboration is mutually beneficial in strategic areas where knowledge can be exchanged. The specific challenge is for Europe to precede together with its international partners in global development of specific disruptive technologies for the ultimate replacement of fossil fuels.

Scope:

Proposals will aim at international cooperation with the USA and/or China on targeted research activities for obtaining advanced biofuels and alternative renewable fuels for energy and transport through photochemical/ photobiological or electrochemical reaction. The ranking of the successful proposals will ensure that a balanced portfolio of activities is covering both cooperation with USA and China (please see call conditions).

The proposals will develop breakthrough artificial photosynthesis technologies in terms of sunlight conversion efficiency for the production of energy carriers (other than electricity) with either de-novo synthetic biological and artificial/biochemical hybrid systems or novel photo-catalysis or photo-electro catalysis coupled with CO2 reduction.

At least one of the following technology-specific challenges has to be addressed:

  • Improved light-harvesting and efficient charge separation in photocatalytic systems;
  • Photoelectrochemical cells – PECs and catalyst development
  • Improved light harvesting coupled with improved CO2 reduction efficiency in synthetic biological systems

Use of external renewable electricity or electricity generated by sunlight with PV or CSP to produce the carriers is excluded from this topic.

Proposals are expected to bring technologies to TRL 3-4 (please see part G of the General Annexes).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 to 4 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

It is expected that the exchange of knowledge through the targeted research activities with USA and/or China will progress the scientific understanding and the technology state-of-the-art and in addition strengthen the European and international partners’ technology base. At the same time, it is expected that the development of renewable fuels that outperform the best fossil fuel alternatives is accelerated.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), actions will contribute to implementing Mission Innovation Challenge[1] 4 and 5.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Clean Energy
Socio-economic science and humanities
International cooperation

Click here for more information about LC-SC3 calls.