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Innovation vital for raw materials says European Commission


A Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) has been launched to ensure a sustainable supply of raw materials within Europe.

The High Level Steering Group of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Raw Materials from the European Commission wants to make Europe a world leader in raw materials exploration, extraction, processing, recycling and substitution by 2020.

Included in the SIP are actions which EU countries, companies, researchers and NGO’s can use to foster technical and non-technical innovation in areas such as new cost effective exploration concepts and technologies, better recovery and recycling of demolition waste and finding substitutes for critical raw materials such as the indium used in touch screen technologies.

European Commission vice-president Antonio Tajani, who is responsible for industry and entrepreneurship and a leader on the High Level Steering Group, said: “Innovation in raw materials – be it in mining, processing, recycling or substitution – holds the key to future growth and jobs.

“With today’s proposal we underline that Europe is capable of addressing these important challenges, drawing on our innovative EU research capabilities, as bolstered by Horizon 2020. This will help our industry both create jobs and protect the environment.”

Concrete targets of the SIP include the launch of up to 10 pilot projects to promote technologies for the production of primary and secondary raw materials, to find substitutes for at least three applications of critical and scarce raw materials as well as to create a better framework conditions for raw materials in Europe.

The SIP also lists actions to improve Europe’s waste management framework conditions and excellence, and to reinforce EU knowledge, skills and raw material flows, by developing an EU Raw Materials Knowledge Base and potentially setting up a EIT Knowledge and Innovation Community.

More detail is available here: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-13-819_en.htm