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Developing climate-neutral and circular raw materials (IA)

Securing the sustainable access to raw materials, including metals, industrial minerals, wood- and rubber-based, construction and forest-based raw materials, and particularly Critical Raw Materials (CRM), is of high importance for the EU economy. Complex primary and secondary resources contain many different raw materials. Their processing, reuse, recycling and recovery schemes are complex and imply different steps, ranging from collection, logistics, sorting and separation to cleaning, refining and purification of materials.

Actions should develop and demonstrate innovative pilots for the clean and sustainable production of non-energy, non-agricultural raw materials in the EU from end-of-life products, targeting at least one of the following: waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), batteries, wood-based panels, multi-material paper packaging, end-of-life tyres finishing at Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 6-7.

Actions should facilitate the market uptake of solutions developed through industrially- and user-driven multidisciplinary consortia covering the relevant value chain and should consider standardisation aspects when relevant. The action should also include the analysis of financial opportunities ensuring the market exploitation and replication of the circular business model behind the developed solutions as new processes, products and/or services.

Actions should justify importance of targeted raw materials and the relevance of selected pilot demonstrations in different locations within the EU (and also outside if there is a clear added value for the EU economy, industry and society).

Proposals submitted under this topic should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the introduction to this Destination. For TRLs 6-7, a credible strategy to achieve future full-scale manufacturing in the EU is expected, indicating the commitments of the industrial partners after the end of the project.

Actions should also contribute to improving the awareness of relevant external stakeholders and the general public across the EU about the importance of raw materials for society, the challenges related to their supply within the EU and about proposed solutions which could help to improve society's acceptance of and trust in sustainable raw materials production in the EU.

Actions should also cover social, economic and environmental impacts of recovering value from secondary raw materials in comparison to primary raw materials, making focus on the entire process chain.

Actions should envisage clustering activities with other relevant selected projects for cross-projects co-operation, consultations and joint activities on cross-cutting issues and share of results as well as participating in joint meetings and communication events. To this end proposals should foresee a dedicated work package and/or task, and earmark the appropriate resources accordingly.

In this topic the integration of the gender dimension (sex and gender analysis) in research and innovation content is not a mandatory requirement.