Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: High-tech products, including electric and electronic equipment, green energy technologies or extreme applications, contain substantial amounts of certain Critical Raw Materials (CRM). Although the amount of CRM per product in general is very low, the huge number of products manufactured makes the total amounts very impressive. The prices and availability of CRM varies in time. There is therefore a need to find alternative solutions to replace certain CRM in concrete applications, or to diversify the supply of raw materials sources. Substitution of CRMs can also increase the recyclability of waste products, allowing for more efficient processes and reduce environmental impacts.

This specific challenge is identified in the Priority Area 'Substitution of raw materials' of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Raw Materials.

Scope: Proposals should develop solutions proving concept and feasibility at the level of TRL 3-5; please see part G of the General Annex.

Related environmental and safety risks should be assessed for all proposed actions.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 to 5 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 issue:

Materials for electronic devices: development of innovative and sustainable solutions for the appropriate substitution of critical and scarce raw materials in electronic devices, including substitution of indium in transparent conductive layers and substitution of CRMs in light sources, targeting appropriately materials and applications that are difficult to recycle and where there are limited prospects to increase primary supply within the EU. Proposals should actively involve end users from a variety of concerned sectors such as touch screen, flexible electronics, solar energy, lighting and the built environment (smart windows).  Synergies with existing relevant initiatives should be ensured, in particular, with the Future & Emerging Technologies (FET) Flagship on graphene and the possible Photonics Public Private Partnership.

Expected impact: In the longer term pushing the EU to the forefront in the area of sustainable raw materials substitution. Improved competitiveness and creation of new jobs in materials producing and downstream industries, demonstrated by a return-on-investment study. Significant contribution to reduced dependency on CRMs in the medium term. Contribution to the large scale adoption of the new cost-effective technology in the EU, measured by quantitative and qualitative indicators. Availability of new materials with improved performance under extreme conditions and for electronic devices. Contribution to achieving the objectives of the EIP on Raw Materials.

Type of action: Research and innovation actions


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