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Innovation friendly minerals policy framework


Specific Challenge: The appropriate and sustainable supply of raw materials requires  framework conditions which relate to mineral policies, permitting procedure and data reporting system, raw materials knowledge infrastructure, research and innovation coordination, and international cooperation. Mineral policies are sometimes not clear, too dispersed in their implementation or insufficiently linked to other related policies (e.g. land-use planning) to be fully effective. A common understanding of which mineral deposits are of public importance is lacking. Permitting procedures can be lengthy and sometimes conflict with other public authorities’ requirements. Knowledge of raw materials reserves and resources is dispersed, terminology is often heterogeneous and reporting standards vary throughout the Member States. There is no raw materials knowledge infrastructure at EU level.

Research and development in the area of raw materials is scattered between different players. Further coordination is required between industrial players, researchers in the EU and across the whole value chain and EU and Member State funding authorities. There is a need to better exploit synergies in R&D with the best world players in raw materials technology and scientific developments, as well as to learn from the experience of raw materials-producing countries.

These specific challenges are identified in the Strategic Implementation Plan of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Raw Materials.

Scope: The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 to 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Proposals shall address the following issues:

c) Innovation friendly minerals policy framework: developing a comprehensive guide to relevant EU and Member States' legislation and mineral policy, including a benchmark analysis of existing national minerals policies and the exchange of best practices in the area of mineral policies and related regulations among Member States. It should focus on the elements catalysing introduction of innovative raw materials production in the EU, such as promoting innovative mining, processing and recycling solutions or streamlining the permitting procedure along the whole chain of mining activities. It should also be based on information on exploration, mineral production, trade, reserves and resources that should be standardised and systematically reported on by EU and Members States. It should also explore the feasibility of implementing existing rules or developing alternative ones for the exploitation of sub-surface and deep sea resources across Member State borders taking into account UNCLOS when the sea resources are considered.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: In the medium to longer term enhanced impact of research and innovation activities through better identification of R&I priorities, improved co-ordination of EU and Member States' research and innovation programmes and funded activities, and synergies with international research and innovation programmes. Greater EU influence in multilateral processes and better support to implementation of international commitments. Contribution to evidence-based policy and appropriate, cost-effective management, planning and adaptation decisions by the public sector, businesses, industry and society addressing global challenges in the EU and beyond through the provision and effective communication of trustworthy science-based information. Establishing and maintaining strong and sustainable relationships with the countries concerned. Improved conditions for sustainable access and supply of raw materials in the EU. Facilitated decision-making at EU, national, regional and local levels and in the minerals industry. Safeguarding of mineral wealth for future generations by defining mineral deposits of public importance. Stable and competitive supply of raw materials from EU sources. Promotion of good governance and facilitation of public acceptance in the EU. Increased competitiveness of the EU industry and minerals supply from EU sources.  Increased transparency of EU raw materials policies and legislation. Increased EU raw materials knowledge for different stakeholders, increased transparency of EU raw materials information through completion of an inventory of raw materials. Better understanding of longer term raw materials research and innovation needs and initiatives by the wider society in the EU. Facilitated translation of the industrial needs into governmental planning, policy and decision making and vice versa resulting in an improved environment for the industry in the EU. Contribution to achieving the objectives of the EIP on Raw Materials.

Type of action: Coordination and support actions