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H2020

INTRAW Report Summary

Project ID: 642130
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.5.3.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - INTRAW (International cooperation on Raw materials)

Reporting period: 2015-02-01 to 2016-07-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

"Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project
A secure supply of mineral raw materials for European industry is absolutely necessary to ensure Europe’s economic sustainability and to enhance the quality of life of European citizens. However, in the last decade, a structural change has taken place in global mineral markets. The old standing – 20 percent of the world population in Europe, USA and Japan consuming more than 80 percent of the total minerals production – is no longer valid. With the integration of India, China and other populous emerging countries, such as Brazil and Russia, into the world economy, more than half of the world’s population is increasing their share of global raw materials. Therefore, the global demand for raw materials stands at the bottom of a new growth curve and, because Europe is strongly dependent on imports of mineral raw materials, safeguarding fair trade and Europe’s minerals supply is a growing challenge in a landscape populated by (new) strong competitors.

Project objectives
INTRAW aims to map and develop new cooperation opportunities for the EU related to raw materials in Australia, Canada, Japan, South Africa and the United States, addressing:
• Research and innovation;
• Raw materials policies and strategies;
• Joint educational and skills programmes;
• Licensing and permitting procedures, royalties and tax policies;
• Data reporting systems;
• Exploration, extraction, processing and recycling practices;
• Management and substitution of critical raw materials.
The outcome of the mapping and knowledge transfer activities will set a baseline to launch the European Union’s International Observatory for Raw Materials as a definitive raw materials intelligence infrastructure, operating globally. The Observatory will be a permanent operational body after project completion, with a clear strategy and management approach to provide critical raw materials intelligence data and information while aiming for the establishment and maintenance of strong long-term relationships with the world’s key players in raw materials technology and scientific developments. The Observatory will not only continuously monitor cooperation possibilities but will also actively promote these via the establishment of dedicated bilateral and multilateral funding schemes and incentives for raw materials cooperation between the EU and technologically advanced countries outside the EU.

Context
The EU policy and strategy for raw materials highlights that securing reliable and unhindered access to raw materials is crucial to the competitiveness and growth of the EU economy and to the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy (more than 30 million jobs in the EU depend on the availability of raw materials) . The European Commission’s actions to ensure a sustainable supply of these materials encompass the Raw Materials Initiative, adopted in 2008, and the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials. The Raw Materials Initiative strategy has three pillars which aim to guarantee:
1. Fair and sustainable supply of raw materials from global markets;
2. Sustainable supply of raw materials within the EU;
3. Resource efficiency and supply of "secondary raw materials" through recycling.
The strategy covers all raw materials used by European industry except materials from agricultural production and materials used as fuel. INTRAW action is interrelated with the above mentioned 3 pillars of the Raw Materials Initiative strategy.
“Europe 2020”, the overarching EU's growth strategy for the current decade was published in 2010. The EU has set five concrete and ambitious objectives - enhanced employment, R&D/innovation and education, measures responding to climate change, reduction of poverty and social exclusion - all to be reached by 2020. Seven flagship initiatives were presented as new engines to boost growth and jobs. Within each initiative, both the EU and national authorities have to coordinate their efforts so they are mutually reinforcing. Two of these initiatives have links with INTRAW, An industrial policy for the globalisation era and A resource-efficient Europe.
An industrial policy for the globalisation era sets out a strategy that aims to boost growth and jobs by maintaining and supporting a strong, diversified and competitive industrial base in Europe offering well-paid jobs while becoming less carbon intensive. The core message of the EU Communication is that industry must be placed centre stage if Europe is to remain a global economic leader. Coordinated European policy responses are needed, looking at the whole value added chain, from raw materials to after-sales service. Only a European Raw Materials Policy targeting competitiveness and sustainability on an international level can aggregate the critical mass of change and coordination needed for success.
A resource-efficient Europe is intended to support the shift towards a resource-efficient, low-carbon economy to achieve sustainable growth. The initiative underlines that EU economy and quality of life are based on the availability of natural resources. Their efficient and sustainable use is necessary to secure economic growth and jobs for Europe. A resource efficient Europe needs technological improvements and significant changes in the fields of raw materials research, recycling, energy, industrial production and transport systems.
As worldwide demand for raw materials increases, greater efforts are being made on recycling and substitution, towards a circular economy approach. Higher recycling rates reduces the pressure on demand for primary raw materials, helps to reuse valuable materials that would otherwise be wasted, and reduces energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from extraction and processing. Through the development of new technologies and processes and logistics systems on the users’ side, the need for minerals can be reduced substantially. Recycling contributes to energy efficiency, particularly in the case of metals where production on the basis of secondary raw materials (scrap) is significantly more energy efficient compared to primary raw material production. Recycling has economic and technological limits. Many metals, including iron and steel, copper, tin, lead and aluminium, are relatively simple to recast and recycle. But many others, used in alloys or in small quantities, such as rare earths and critical metals are difficult to recycle. Rare earths are chemical elements needed by the high tech industry. Critical metals are metals whose availability is essential for high-technology, green and defense applications. And access to rare earths and critical metals is highly vulnerable to politically or economically driven fluctuations in supply. The action of INTRAW, establishing strong long-term relationships with the world’s key players in raw materials technology and scientific developments is essential to help tackling these vulnerabilities."

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The three key activities performed so far and its results are:

1. The Consortium mapped the contextual and operating environment of mineral raw material provisioning in the reference countries.
The analysis made in this activity and its results identified the indispensable conditions and key-drivers of successful strategies for raw materials policy, and highlighted best practices on raw materials research & innovation, education & outreach, industry & trade and processing, recycling & substitution of mineral raw materials.

2. A database, created to host an on line intelligence repository, was designed and started to be populated with data collected and information produced by INTRAW.
The intelligence repository is freely accessible through the INTRAW website. The interface of this database enables collaboration and information exchange, thus supporting the Observatory effort of establishing and fostering long-term relationships with the world’s key players in raw materials technology and scientific developments.

3. The infrastructure to support dissemination activities and develop messages concerning the activities, outcomes and impact of INTRAW and the Observatory is in place, ensuring extensive geographic coverage and outreach.
The dissemination of INTRAW’s activities and outcomes consistently reached a wide audience of up to 150.000 geoscientists from all over the world, building awareness and interest on the creation of the European Union’s International Observatory for Raw Materials.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Progress beyond the state of the art
INTRAW aims to establish and launch the European Union’s International Observatory for Raw Materials as a definitive mineral raw materials intelligence infrastructure, promoting international cooperation on raw materials’ issues. To achieve this goal, the project started with the identification of best practices on raw materials provisioning in five reference countries. The results of this benchmarking activity advanced the knowledge on the determinants of the competitive context of the mineral raw materials sector, and the indispensable conditions and key-drivers of successful raw materials policies. This knowledge is now available and it will be conveyed to EU policy makers for consideration in policy formulation.
The results of the mapping of best practices in the five reference countries, after being contrasted with the European context, are currently being used to set the foundation for enhanced, long-term cooperation between the EU and the world’s key players in raw materials technology and scientific developments. This cooperation will be nurtured and advanced by the creation and operation of the European Union’s International Observatory for Raw Materials.
The Observatory will be a permanent body that will remain operational after the project completion, facilitating cooperation between the EU and its mineral raw materials trade partners along the minerals value chain, covering research, innovation, education and outreach, industry and trade, and recycling, management and substitution of critical raw materials. This will contribute to a sustainable supply of mineral raw materials to Europe, having a positive societal impact, and it will advance the economic sustainability and the quality of life in Europe’s (raw materials) trade partners.

Expected potential impact
The policy/economic drivers of the Observatory will enhance global cooperation and will facilitate the alignment of research & innovation activities among the EU countries.
Enhanced global cooperation will be a consequence of developing synergies among international research and innovation programmes on raw materials. The alignment of European initiatives like the European Technology Platforms (ETP) or the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC) will be facilitated by the knowledge base developed by INTRAW, thus supporting the EU innovative capacity and cooperation.

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