The Commission said the project was launched to remain competitive, limit environmental degradation and optimise the efficient use of resources and develop more resource-efficient and sustainable food production and processing, throughout the food system in a competitive and innovative way.
'Food production & processing systems need to be revised'
It claims current food production and processing systems, especially in the SME sector, need to be revised and optimised to achieve a significant reduction in water and energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and waste generation, while at the same time improving the efficiency in the use of raw materials, increasing climate resilience and ensuring or improving shelf life, food safety and quality.
The proposal includes a CPVT (concentrated photovoltaic thermal) market study for the application of concentrated PV-T solar energy and Large Thermal Storage (LTS) to support sustainable food security by building two CPVT demonstration plants in food-processing facilities in Europe.
Demonstration plants will be built in northern Europe, the Netherlands, and southern Europe in Spain.
“The scheme focuses on the food processing industry which is the largest manufacturing sector in the EU with €1,048bn turnover and 4.2 million employees busy throughout the European Union,” a spokesman for the European Commission said in a statement.
“Food processing is a major energy consuming manufacturing sector, which accounts for about 20% of the total EU fossil fuel consumption and the project has the ambition to contribute to the reduction of this resource consumption.
“The project will work with four participants spread over three EU countries. All technologies were patented last year. The project will move the novelty from TRL8 (Technology Readiness Level) to TRL9.”
SME businesses are invited to participate in the project which will consist of three phases with a coaching and mentoring service via the Enterprise Europe Network.
Solar Concentration Hybrid Photovoltaio Thermal Cogeneration system
This could include, for example, support in identifying growth potential, developing a growth plan and maximising it through internationalisation; strengthening the leadership and management skills of individuals in the senior management team and developing in-house coaching capacity and developing a marketing strategy or raising external finance.
Phase 1 of the project involves submitting technical and financial information to make way for phase 2 of a final construction plan for both demonstration plants.
The concept proposed is a Solar Concentration Hybrid Photovoltaio Thermal Cogeneration system using triple solar cells and a solar tracking device to capture the maximum possible solar energy with a parabolic trough linear concentration.
The proposal should give the specifications of the elaborated business plan, which is to be the outcome of the project and the criteria for success.
Funding will be provided in the form of a lump sum of €50,000. Projects should last around six months.
In phase 2, projects will be supported that address the challenge of Sustainable Food Security and demonstrate high potential in terms of company competitiveness and growth underpinned by a strategic business plan.
Industrial readiness & maturity for market introduction
Activities should focus on demonstration, testing, prototyping, piloting, scaling-up, miniaturisation, design and market replication to bring an idea (product, process, service etc.) to industrial readiness and maturity for market introduction, but may also include some research.
Proposals will be based on an elaborated business plan either developed through phase 1 or another means. Particular attention must be paid to IP protection and ownership; applicants will have to present convincing measures to ensure the possibility of commercial exploitation ('freedom to operate').
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between €0.5m and €2.5m would allow phase 2 to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Projects should last between 12 and 24 months.
In phase 3, SMEs can benefit from indirect support measures and services and access to the financial facilities supported under Access to Risk Finance of this work programme.