Project Details

This 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: 886662

Type of action: Innovation Action – Demonstration
Value Chain: VC3 – agro-based
Biomass: Refined plant-derived glycerol generated as a by-product of biodiesel production
Start date: 01 March 2020
End date: 28 February 2023
BBI JU contribution: € 6,402,164


The Consortium

The PHERA consortium consists of companies specialized in pheromone application: SEDQ Healthy Crops (Spain), ISCA Europe (France), Russell IPM (UK), and Novagrica (Greece), as well as in bio-based pheromone production: BioPhero (Denmark).

The consortium is completed with scale-up expertise from BPF (Netherlands), and life-cycle assessment capabilities from Fraunhofer (Germany). 

The Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) is a €3.7 billion Public-Private Partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium. Operating under Horizon 2020, this EU body is driven by the Vision and Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA) developed by the industry. The BBI JU supports the creation of a strong European bio-based industrial sector which will significantly reduce Europe’s dependency on fossil-based products, help the EU meet climate change targets, and lead to greener and more environmentally friendly growth.

BioPhero is a biotechnology start-up in Copenhagen (Denmark) dedicated to making affordable, safe insecticide replacements in the form of biologically produced insect pheromone active ingredients. Their mission is to lead the global transition towards sustainable agriculture, where safe pheromone-based products become the primary method for pest control.  BioPhero is the project coordinator for PHERA.

SEDQ is an internationally active, consolidated company, which belongs to the IBERCLOR group. Their mission is to provide increasingly efficient and effective pest-control systems. They have been developing a wide range of sustainable solutions for their clients in the agricultural, forestry and gardening sectors for over 25 years. SEDQ synthesizes pheromones and attractants and formulates products for field application. 

Since 1996, ISCA has been a world leader in developing environmentally friendly pest control solutions with the goal of protecting our crops and protecting our planet. They purposefully design integrated pest management solutions that have minimal impact on the environment and a positive impact on public health and safety. A wealth of innovative and ready-to-go products are now available for global use. By developing smart agriculture tools including monitoring systems, application technologies and delivery platforms for semiochemicals (including pheromones), and by using innovative synthetic chemistry, ISCA has developed a robust pipeline of products intended to provide ready to use and turn-key solutions for growers all over the world. With research and manufacturing facilities in California, Brazil, and India, ISCA has successfully scaled up chemical synthesis processes so that semiochemical-based control solutions are now cost competitive with conventional pesticides. In addition, ISCA has application and delivery platforms that have been proven and adopted by growers in over 30 countries.

Russell IPM is the leading manufacturer of insect pheromone-based monitoring and control systems in the UK and one of the largest in Europe. Their core expertise is in biopesticides and behaviour modifying chemicals. They have been translating science into innovative products to provide safe, effective and ecologically friendly solutions to the agricultural industry worldwide. For over 30 years, Russell IPM has developed more than 150 insect pheromone lures and bio-rational products. Russell IPM has an international reach with subsidiaries based in Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Jordan, India and Bangladesh. For Its contribution towards sustainable agriculture company has received the Queens’s Award for Innovation in 2018, 2012 and International Trade in 2011.

Novagrica is an innovative company actively involved in the field of “green” economy. They manufacture biological and chemical products to be used in integrated pest management programs for plant protection. Novagrica specializes in semiochemicals by developing, producing, testing and distributing insect pheromones across the globe.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP was founded in 1929 and is among the most experienced and established institutes of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. A total of 250 employees work at the three branches in Stuttgart, Holzkirchen and Nuremberg. For more than 30 years, the Fraunhofer IBP’s department of Life Cycle Engineering has been successfully supporting companies in all industrial sectors and branches worldwide in the development of sustainable solutions for products and services.

Bioprocess Pilot Facility (BPF) is a unique public pilot facility with extensive experience in the piloting of biobased processes since the 1960s. BPF’s scaled-down commercial plant is in Delft, the Netherlands. The BPF team is led by experienced technology, operations and business development professionals with extensive industrial backgrounds and expertise in bioprocess piloting. The facility has been specifically designed to enable the transition from laboratory to industrial scale. The BPF employs a variety of production technologies to investigate and develop processes for innovative projects.