Project 2019-05-07T15:37:27+00:00


The BBI demonstration project “GRowing Advanced industrial Crops on marginal lands for biorEfineries” (GRACE) is a 15 million € project, which aims at optimizing various miscanthus and hemp value chains.

The consortium consists of 22 partners from universities, agricultural companies and industry. The project is coordinated by the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart (Germany). It is primarily (12.3 million €) funded by the „Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking“ (BBI JU), a public-private partnership between the European Union and “Bio-based Industries Consortium” (BIC). The private project partners are contributing the remaining 2.7 million €.
The goals of the project are to produce sustainable products with a strong market potential, to guarantee a reliable and affordable supply of sustainably produced biomass, and to better link biomass producers with the processing industry. In order to avoid competition with food and feed crops, miscanthus and hemp are cultivated on areas that have been polluted for example by heavy metals, or are unattractive for food production due to lower yields.

Work Packages

Coordinator University of Hohenheim

Founded in 1818 after devastating famines, the University of Hohenheim is the oldest university in Stuttgart. Traditionally it has been committed to developing innovative solutions for some of society’s most pressing problems. Today, the University of Hohenheim is the leading German university in agricultural research and food sciences. In addition, it has an excellent reputation in natural, social, business, economic, and communication sciences. The university places great importance on maintaining an international network with strong partners.
At the University of Hohenheim, there is a unique cooperation between the university’s three faculties in research and teaching in the field of the bioeconomy. The bioeconomy is about the economics of the future, with new products and new productions processes, made from raw materials derived from plants, animals or microorganisms.
The Department „Biobased Products and Energy Crops“ was founded in 2010 as part of the Institute of Crop Science within the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences. It is led by Prof. Iris Lewandowski. Research focuses on the contribution of biomass production and energy crops to a growing bioeconomy.

University of Hohenheim

Department: Biobased Products and Energy Crops
Andreas Kiesel, Iris Lewandowski
Project Manager: Moritz Wagner
Role: Coordinator, Leader WP 1 and 5

Department: Conversion Technology and Life Cycle Assessment of Renewable Resources
Persons involved: Andrea Kruse, David Steinbach
Role: Leader Demo Case 3

Department: State Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Bioenergy
Persons involved: Andreas Lemmer, Johannes Krümpel

Department: Hohenheim Research Center for Bioeconomy
Persons involved: Dimitrios Argyropoulos, Susanne Braun


Wageningen University

Wageningen University is the best university in the field of agricultural and food science, in research and education (rankings 2015 and 2016). The department of Plant Breeding conducts research in the field of genetics and breeding of food and biobased crops.

Persons involved: Luisa Trindade, Andres Torres
Role: Leader WP 2

Partner Website


INRA, with its 12000 employees, is the first institute for agronomic research in Europe and the second in the world. GRACE involves laboratories specialized in plant biology (“IJPB”) and soil science (“Ecosys”) in Versailles, and biomass transformation (“IATE”)in Montpellier.

Persons involved:
Herman Höfte, Isabelle Lamy, Cecile Barron, Frédéric Mabille
Role: Leader WP 4

Partner Website

Aberythwyth University

Based in Aberystwyth University, the Energy Crops and Modelling group at IBERS (Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences) plays a major role in developing Miscanthus as a commercial crop in addition to considering wider environmental impacts such as greenhouse gas exchange and water use efficiency.

Persons involved: John Clifton-Brown, Jon Paul McCalmont
Role: Leader WP 3

Partner Website 1
Partner Website 2

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

UCSC is the largest Italian free academic Institution. The Field Crop Research group, within the Department of Sustainable Crop Production, studies issues related to sustainable soil management, biomass crops and ecophysiology of crops under abiotic stress.

Persons involved : Stefano Amaducci, Andrea Ferrarini

Partner Website

University of Zagreb

University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture (FAZ) is the oldest and leading institution of higher education in the field of agriculture in Croatia. Department of Ag Technology, Storage and Transport is a leading centre for biomass research at FAZ, dealing with different aspects of biomass and biofuels’ production.

Persons involved: Vanja Jurisic, Mislav Kontek

Partner Website

Novamont S.p.A.

Novamont is the Italian world’s leading company in the sector of bioplastics and in the development of bioproducts obtained through the integration of chemistry and agriculture, by starting up biorefineries in the local areas and providing solutions for everyday life.

Persons Involved: Sara Guerrini, Cecilia Giardi, Roberto Petrillo
Role: Leader Demo Case 2 and 8

Partner Website

Mogu Srl

Mogu is a start-up that focuses on the use of mycelium-based technologies to produce sustainable bio-composite materials, following the principles of the circular economy. Mogu products are suitable for various applications such as housing materials and bio-design.

Persons involved: Stefano Babbini
Role: Leader Demo Case 4

Partner Website

AVA Biochem BSL AG

AVA Biochem is a specialty chemicals company and produces the premium platform chemical 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF) from renewable biomass. The company delivers to the pharmaceutical, food and fine chemical industry as well as to research customers around the globe. 

Persons involved: Gilbert Anderer

Partner Website

Addiplast SA

French family company created in 1986, Addiplast turnover is closed to 20 million Euros per year; including 40% on export market. Addiplast is specialized in formulation and production of thermoplastics compounds including bio-resources or natural fibres filled compounds.

Persons involved: Jean-Laurent Pradel
Role: Leader Demo Case 5

Partner Website

INA d.d.

INA Group has the leading role in Croatian oil business and significant regional role in oil and gas exploration, processing and distribution of oil and oil derivatives. The oil is processed at two refineries, and distributed on 494 regional filling stations.

Persons involved: Ištuk Mladen, Slavica Rukavina, Boris Slijepčević
Role: Leader Demo Case 1

Partner Website

Indena SpA

Indena, a privately owned italian company, is a world leading society in the development and production of active priciple derived from plants, for use in the pharmaceutical, health-food and personal care industries.

Persons involved: Federico Peterlongo
Role: Leader Demo Case 10

Partner Website


Born from a research project which was launched in late 2008 by CMF Technology, CMF Greentech aims to identify industrial processes and innovative, eco-compatible products capable of respecting the value of recycling and saving energy, ensuring well-being of man and of the environment

Persons involved: Marco Pinelli, Iacopo Lo Russo, Matteo Montecchi
Role: Leader Demo Case 6

Partner Website

Consorzio di Bonifica di Piacenza

Consorzio di Bonifica di Piacenza is an organization based on public law managed by Consortium members, which coordinate both public and private works devoted to drainage, irrigation, flood control, soil defence, protecting waters and environment.

Persons involved: Angela Zerga, Chiara Gemmati

Partner Website

Gießereitechnik Kuehn

Consultancy, cultivation and utilization of renewable raw materials. Development and construction of machines for the preparation and processing of renewable resources. Supply of fibre and pulp fractions from renewable raw materials for industrial material use and for research projects.

Persons involved: Uwe Kühn, Carmen Retzela
Role: Leader Demo Case 9

Partner Website

Ecohemp S.r.l.

Ecohemp Srl cultivates organic hemp to transform it into dehulled seeds, oil, flours with protein, extracts from leaves/inflorescenses (pure crystals at 97,5%), shives, technical fiber. We carry out research on plant genetics and we have selected a variety, Villanova, of which we are exclusive owners.

Persons involved: Arianna Donegatti

Partner Website


MiscanthusGroep is an association of farmers in the west of the Netherlands , working on improvement of growth and production of miscanthus. Together with clients we develop new value chains with products as concrete, composites and horsebedding.

Persons involved: Gertjan Petrie
Role: Leader Demo Case 7


Terravesta is the leading global Miscanthus specialist. The UK based company delivers a complete supply chain solution for producers of the crop and works with over 270 UK growers, to supply several markets, including large and small-scale heat and power generation.

Persons involved: William Cracroft-Eley, Michal Mos
Role: Leader WP 3

Partner Website


Vandinter Semo, founded in 1914, is still a family owned company and a significant producer and processor of seed in the Netherlands and far beyond. Moreover, Vandinter Semo has built a unique reputation as a breeder of cruciferous vegetables with a high resistance against nematodes.

Persons involved: Bert-Jan van Dinter, Eibert Tigchelaar

Partner Website


Since 2006, Novabiom is devoted to the development and the promotion of miscanthus in France and Europe. It is owned by 25 partners, 15 of which are farmers, all fully committed in our sustainable and meaningful projects. In addition Novabiom is strongly involved in R&D.

Persons involved: Emmanuel De Maupeou

Partner Website

Johannes Furtlehner

Miscanthusfarm is a company specialized in the cultivation and the use of Miscanthus. Since 2005, we have developed Miscanthus plantations  in various European countries. The company supplies and operates biomass heating plants in Austria and distributes other products from Miscanthus such as mulch material and horse bedding.

Persons involved: Johannes Furtlehner

Partner Website

Cluster SPRING

SPRING (Sustainable Processes and Resources for Innovation and National Growth) is the Italian Cluster of Green Chemistry. It brings together innovative realities active in the development of the green chemistry sector in order to reach a new economy (bioeconomy).

Persons involved: Mario Bonaccorso, Giulia Rognoni
Role: Leader WP 6

Partner Website


The GRACE project has received funding from the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 745012.

Bio based Industries Consortium

Bio based Industries Public-Private Parnership

European Union