Bio-based Innovation Student Challenge Europe (BISC-E)

Are you prepared to provide a novel bio-based solution to assist in removing obstacles preventing Europe from being climate neutral? Students are invited to work in interdisciplinary teams to propose solutions for the Bio-based Innovation Student Challenge – Europe (BISC-E), which offers national and international competitions. Do you feel up to the challenge?


The goal of the Bio-based Innovation Student Challenge – Europe (BISC-E) is to encourage entrepreneurship in the bio-based industrial sectors, also known as the ‘bio-based economy.’ This is achieved by integrating relevant curricula into educational institutions at various levels. By implementing the challenge, BISC-E provides students with an entrepreneurial mindset the opportunity to apply their skills and gain valuable experiences.

BISC-E specifically challenges graduating students from both universities of Applied Sciences and research universities to propose inventive bio-based solutions addressing environmental, economic, or societal issues. These solutions are expected to achieve objectives such as net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, zero pollution, protection and enhancement of biodiversity, and overall environmental sustainability. The ultimate aim is to contribute to the establishment of a sustainable and circular economy.


  • Develop an innovative bio-based product or process to help resolve technological, environmental, or societal challenges that could become part of the bio-based industry and the bioeconomy.
  • Build your business case in a interdisciplinary student team.
  • Present its benefits and your entrepreneurship to experts from industry and academia. The experts will judge your business case on technological excellence, sustainability and environmental performance, and economic feasibility.
  • Use visuals during your pitch (PowerPoint or any other application). 

The target countries for student team participation are the EU member states and the countries associated to the European framework programmes.

Participation is free of charge.

Teams of 3–6 students enrolled in a programme (Bachelor level, Master level or first-second year of doctoral student level) at an institute for higher education are welcome to participate.

For doctoral students the following applies: The teams can include students in the first 1-2 years PhD curricula, provided their current level is comparable/identical to others within the European Qualification Framework (EQF), and the overarching framework of qualifications of the European Higher Education Area (QF-EHEA).

For MSc students the following applies: Individual work, done in the framework of a MSc-thesis, is not eligible for this programme. Further development of a subject/theme as part of such a thesis in a participating team is eligible, provided it is a clear team effort.

It is highly advisable that the teams include students enrolled in curricula in different disciplines. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines are a must in any student team, but other disciplines (e.g.,education, arts, etc.) are also welcome.

Team members can be enrolled at different universities. There is no limitation to supporting the team by industry experts. Industry’s guidance/mentoring of the team is more than welcome!

Participation is free of charge.

Benefits to students

BISC-E will offer student opportunities to interact with actors in the bio-based industry throughout Europe. This can be done during preparation of business cases. This interaction can possibly lead to further relationships between students and the industry.

BISC-E competition prizes of the European final

First place: 5000 EUR prize award

  • 1-year free BIC ‘Full Member’ membership. This includes access to the full network of industry members, and involvement in the content planning for the partnership between BIC and the European Commission (Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking)
  • Winning team and its project taken up in BIC’s newsletter and on BIC’s website; this offers the opportunity to update progress of the project and attract further attention
  • Articles on the winning team and its project in international media that BIC work with. This will provide exposure to the broad bio-based sector and the European Commission
  • Guided support by BIC staff during membership

Second place: 2500 EUR prize award

Third place: 1000 EUR prize award

Important dates

17 February, 2024: Register your team and supervisor for the National competition (Portugal) in the form below.
17 February, 2024: 
Confirm team and participation by e-mail to the National competition coordinator (see below).
26 April, 2024: 
Final date to submit the competition business case and supporting documents (dossier) to the National Coordinator (see below).
30 May 2024: National competition final.
15 July, 2024: Final date for National winners dossier to get to BISC-E  for the European round (will be sent by the  National Coordinator).
27 September, 2024: European final

Read more about the competition

National Coordinator – Portugal

José Teixeira – email


Registration to BISC-E

To register your team, send a document with the following information to the National Coordinator:

More information at BISC-E.

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