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PILOTS4U – A network of bioeconomy open access pilot and multipurpose demo facilities

Pilots4U Aims To Set Up One Very Visible, Easily Accessible Network Of Open Access Pilot And Multipurpose Demo-Infrastructures For The European Bio-Economy With Europe-Wide Coverage

Funded by:

Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBIJU)

Time period:

1 June 2017 – 1 September 2019 (Funded by BBIJU)

1 September 2019 – 1 October 2020 (self-fund)

Project partners:

Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant (Belgium)

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (Finland)

KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden)

Swansea University (UK), Ghent University (Belgium)



One of the main challenges in the rapidly evolving bio-economy is to bring the newly developed molecules and techniques from the lab to the market. Innovation progresses along the stages of the ‘innovation chain’: discovery (research) - technology development (piloting) – first production (demo) – market introduction (deployment). The main bottleneck in the innovation chain of the bio-based economy today is the step from technology development to deployment. This step has to be performed first in a pilot plant and later in a demonstration plant where a production process can be tested and optimized in industrial production setting. Pilot- and demo-plants are expensive industrial installations that require specific expertise to be run and most SMEs and also a lot of large companies have no direct access to such facilities. As a result promising innovation processes grind to a halt.

Aim and objectives

The development of a thriving bio-economy is vital in achieving a resource-efficient and sustainable economy. One of the main challenges in the bio-economy innovation chain in Europe today is the step from technology to deployment. In most cases, it can be addressed through access to pilot- and demo plants which are expensive industrial installations that most companies do not have direct access to. One solution is the ‘open access pilot- and multipurpose demo-infrastructures’. However, lack of awareness of the availability as well as type of facility and offered equipment impedes actors from localizing relevant facility.

To tackle this issue, Pilots4U set up an easily accessible database containing all existing European open access pilot and demo-infrastructures for the bio-economy. This network was built on six of the partners' existing bio-economy pilot or multipurpose demo-infrastructure networks, SmartPilots (Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant), ERIFORE (VTT), BRISKII (Royal Institute of Technology KTH), Enalgae (Swansea University), Biorefine Cluster Europe (Ghent University) and BioPilotsUK (NNFCC as secretary of the initiative). All facilities included in the database are open to any start-up, small, medium or large enterprise looking for equipment and expertise to translate an innovative lab scale process into a viable industrial process.

Database is continuously updated and expanding with the aim to map all existing facilities relevant with regard to the topic (technology scope) and the Technology Readiness Level.

Are you looking for a partner to scale-up your innovative process? Click here .

Are you an asset owner who would like to join Pilots4U database and network? Click here.

Project contact persons

BRISK II Project Coordinator , Responsible for Thermochemical Conversion Sector

BRISK II Project Coordinator, Responsible for Thermochemical Conversion Sector

Recycling of end-of-life wind blades through renewable energy driven molten salt pyrolysis process
I-UPS — Innovative High Temperature Heat Pump for Flexible Industrial Systems
FLUWS — Flexible Upcycled Waste Material based Sensible Thermal Energy Storage for CSP
STAMPE – Space Turbines Additive Manufacturing Performance Evaluation
Digital Twin for smart grid connected buildings
PED StepWise — Participatory Step-by-Step Implementation Process for Zero Carbon District Concepts in Existing Neighbourhoods
ADiSS — Aeroelastic Damping in Separated Flows
MERiT — Methane in Rocket nozzle cooling channels - conjugate heat Transfer measurements
CARE – Cavity Acoustics and Rossiter modEs
SCO2OP-TES – sCO2 Operating Pumped Thermal Energy Storage for grid/industry cooperation
POWDER2POWER (P2P) – MW-scale fluidized particle-driven CSP prototype demonstration
eLITHE – Electrification of ceramic industries high temperature heating equipment
DETECTIVE – Development of a Novel Tube-Bundle-Cavity Linear Receiver for CSP Applications
USES4HEAT – Underground Large Scale Seasonal Energy Storage for Decarbonized and Reliable Heat
ADA – Aggressive Duct Aerodynamics
VIFT — Virtual Integrated Fan and Turbine
HECTAPUS — Heating Cooling Transition and Acceleration with Phase Change Energy Utilization Storage
SUSHEAT — Smart Integration of Waste and Renewable Energy for Sustainable Heat Upgrade in the Industry
Analysis of PV system in Sweden
EVAccel — Accelerating the Integration of Electric Vehicles in a Smart and Robust Electricity Infrastructure
Towards Sustainable Energy Communities: A Case Study of Two Swedish Pilot Projects
HYBRIDplus – Advanced HYBRID solar plant with PCM storage solutions in sCO2 cycles
SHARP-SCO2 – Solar Hybrid Air-sCO2 Power Plants
RIHOND – Renewable Industrial Heat On Demand
A turnkey solution for Swedish buildings through integrated PV electricity and energy storage (PV-ESS)
A new standard methodology for assessing the environmental impact of stationary energy storage systems (LCA-SESS)
EleFanT – Electric Fan Thruster
Circular Techno-Economic Analysis of Energy Storage– IEA Annex Co-coordination
Optimization of Molten Salt Electric Heaters
FLEXnCONFU: Flexiblize Combined Cycle Power Plants through Power To-X Solutions using Non-Conventional Fuels
ARIAS - Advanced Research Into Aeromechanical Solutions
PILOTS4U – A network of bioeconomy open access pilot and multipurpose demo facilities
Cavity Purge Flows inside axial turbines
Effective thermal storage systems for competitive Stirling-CSP plants
ENFLOW: Energy flow metering of natural and biogas for residential applications
H2020 Pump Heat
BRISK II – Infrastructure for Sharing Knowledge II
Improved flue gas condensate treatment in MSW incineration via membrane distillation
Integrated modelling and optimization of coupled electricity and heating networks
Membrane distillation for advanced wastewater treatment in the semiconductor industry
Microgrid for Tezpur University
Smart and Robust Electricity Infrastructure for the Future