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Raw materials policy support actions for the circular economy - Expert network on Critical Raw Materials

All actions should contribute to improving EU official statistics and to building the EU knowledge base of primary and secondary raw materials (EC Raw Materials Information System – RMIS[[]]).

Clustering and cooperation with other selected projects under this cross-cutting call and other relevant projects supporting the EIP on Raw Materials is strongly encouraged.

Actions should strengthen an EU expert network and community covering all raw materials screened in the CRM assessment of 2017[[]] and once available also the raw materials of 2020 assessment. The consortium should organise the expert community across the EU covering expertise on primary and secondary resources; production, including exploration, mining, processing, recycling and refining; substitution of CRM; raw materials markets; future demand and supply; materials flows; socio-economic analysis, and strategic value chains and end-use sectors, including batteries, e-mobility, renewable energy, electronics, defence and aerospace.

The actions should improve data and knowledge on all screened raw materials; flexibly support the Commission in policy making related to CRM in general or linked to specific applications or sectors; as well in the relevant events organised by the Commission. The actions should also support the Commission in the analysis of the future supply and demand of raw materials, policy and technology gaps and innovation potential along the raw materials value chains.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

In order to secure the sustainable access to primary and secondary raw materials, including metals, industrial minerals, construction raw materials, wood, and particularly Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) for the EU economy, there is a need to tackle a number of specific non-technological challenges at local, regional, national, EU and global levels.

The supply of CRMs to the EU is at risk as they are often mined as by-products and usually still have recycling rates below 1% after decades of use. There is a need for an expert advice in support of decision-making at the EU level covering all the raw materials and their value chains screened in the CRMs assessment[[]].

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • achieving the objectives and the implementation of both the Raw Materials Initiative and the EIP on Raw Materials, in particular in terms of securing the supply of critical raw materials (CRMs);
  • better informed and more effective decision-making by the EU and Member States policy makers and the producers and users of raw materials regarding the supply and demand of raw materials and the associated environmental and social aspects;
  • improved awareness of society across the EU about importance of the critical raw materials and other relevant materials for strategic value chains in support of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the EU;
  • in the longer term improved diversification of CRMs supply to the EU.