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All actions should contribute to building the EU knowledge base of primary and secondary raw materials (EC Raw Materials Information System – RMIS[[https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/scientific-tool/raw-materials-information-system]]).

In support of the EIP on Raw Materials 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.

Actions should address only one of the following sub-topics[[Proposals should pay attention to the specific call conditions for this topic]]:

a) Voluntary scheme for certification of treatment facilities for key types of wastes (2018): Actions should develop and launch a voluntary scheme for certification – including verification – of treatment facilities for key types of waste/recyclates containing significant amounts of critical raw materials (e.g. electronic waste and/or waste batteries). The scheme should integrate measurable and verifiable minimum quality standards and a verification procedure based on traceability through the supply chain from collection to end-processing. Participation of relevant stakeholders – including waste holders, dealers, brokers and operators of treatment facilities – from the conception phase of the scheme should be ensured. Full compliance with applicable WTO rules and with the rules and principles of the Basel Convention should be ensured, and existing certification schemes for waste should be taken into account.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged.

The Commission considers that for this sub-topic, 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.

b) Resource efficiency in wood processing, recovery and recycling (2018): Actions should identify, assess and document existing practices in a representative set of EU Member States/Associated Countries and possibly third countries, and create a network to widely disseminate and transfer good practices covering both issues: resource-efficient wood processing and wood waste recycling. Resource-efficient wood processing in the woodworking sector should improve companies' operational performance and hence the EU sector's overall competitiveness. Quality-oriented and cost-efficient wood waste collection systems, sorting and recycling, and design solutions should facilitate increased wood recycling together with increased product quality and market acceptance of recovered wood in new products. Involvement of relevant stakeholders across value chains is necessary, including wood processing industries, research & innovation institutes, woodworking products end-users, municipalities and other parties dealing with wood waste collection, sorting and recycling. Actions should also assess trade-offs between wood waste use for material and energy. This assessment should be based on life cycle analysis and all sustainability pillars, and consider impacts on sustainable forest operations and ecosystems integrity (for all major EU forest regions) and impacts of intra-EU trade[[For example, country grouping applied by Forest Europe or other equivalent methodology]]. Proposals should include the participation of industrial SMEs, as far as possible.

The Commission considers that for this sub-topic, 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.

c) Responsible sourcing of raw materials in global value chains (2019): Actions should create a global business and stakeholder platform for exchange of information and the promotion of responsible sourcing and responsible business conduct involving a network of key international experts and stakeholders. The aim is to engage governmental and corporate partners from the EU/Associated Countries and third countries in developing a globally acceptable concept of a responsible sourcing in minerals and metals value chains.

The platform should develop ideas for creating incentives for responsible sourcing in raw materials value chains, strengthen EU outreach to third countries to promote the concept in intergovernmental forums and to establish responsible sourcing in EU business practice. Interaction with other related existing platforms, networks and initiatives is encouraged. Actions should consider the relevant aspects related to environmental sustainability.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged, particularly with partners from advanced countries using raw materials[[Proposals should pay attention to the specific call conditions for this topic]].

The Commission considers that for this sub-topic, 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.

Illegal shipments of waste, both within the EU and to non-EU countries, and poor recycling have adverse effects on human health and the environment, create unfair competition for law abiding operators and give rise to the loss of valuable resources in the case of poor or no treatment. However, port authorities and enforcement authorities have limited resources to control the ever increasing amount of material shipped and this without blocking normal traffic. In addition, at the moment there is no distinction in customs codes between “new goods” and “second hand goods” which implies that illegal waste shipments are often disguised as “second hand goods”.

Currently, at most only one third of waste wood is recycled, the rest being landfilled or incinerated and there are great differences between Member States in wood recycling performance. Increasing production costs combined with stagnating product prices in recent years have put pressure on the profit margins of the EU woodworking industries, mostly dominated by SMEs. There is a need for higher resource efficiency and increased use of recycled wood in wood processing that can provide measurable improvements in company profitability.

Requirements for responsible sourcing in the raw materials value chain have recently been strengthened in one aspect by the new EU Conflict Minerals legislation. However, the need for the industry to engage in responsible sourcing and responsible business conduct and to perform relevant due diligence goes beyond legislative obligations – it is rooted in the growing expectations of consumers, civil society, governments and procurement managers (buyers). While it is very difficult for individual operators to meet such expectations due to the limited availability of the necessary information, downstream industries increasingly require all operators in their supply chain to address risks by performing due diligence. Responsible sourcing of raw materials is becoming a new business reality; in the short term it may offer a competitive advantage to frontrunners and in the long term, it could become a necessary ""license to operate"" and, given the global character of today's supply chains, it is also a way to be integrated in global supply chains.

The project results are expected to contribute to:

sub-topic a)

  • achieving the objectives and the implementation of both the Raw Materials Initiative[[http://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/raw-materials/policy-strategy/index_en.htm]] and the EIP on Raw Materials, in particular in terms of strengthening the enforcement of the Waste Shipment Regulation and improving access to critical raw materials (CRMs);
  • increased recovery rates in the EU as regards key types of waste/recyclates containing significant amounts of CRMs;
  • in the longer term, reduced EU dependency on imports of CRMs;
  • creating added value and new jobs in metallurgy, equipment manufacturing and/or downstream industries;
  • improving the environmental (control of emissions, residues, effluents), health and safety performance of operations throughout the whole life cycle;

sub-topic b)

  • achieving the objectives and the implementation of the EU Forest Strategy[[COM(2013)659]], Circular Economy Action Plan and the EIP on Raw Materials on resource-efficient use of resources;
  • improving knowledge and conditions for efficient wood processing when compared to the state of the art, resulting in increased competitiveness of the EU woodworking industries;
  • increased wood waste recycling across the EU (including from furniture, construction and demolition, packaging, household) and increased acceptance in the use of secondary wood;
  • better informed decision-making at EU, national and local levels in the private and public sectors on wood recycling and resource efficiency; and improved knowledge of EU stakeholders about proposed solutions, including authorities involved in wood recycling;
  • in the medium and long term, creating added value and new jobs and increasing the overall competitiveness of the EU woodworking industries and related value-chains through an uptake of resource-, water- and energy-efficient solutions;

sub-topic c)

  • achieving the objectives of both the Raw Materials Initiative[[http://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/raw-materials/policy-strategy/index_en.htm]] and the EIP on Raw Materials in terms of the access and responsible sourcing of raw materials;
  • improved awareness of consumers/corporates and improved perception of responsible sourcing as a source of competitive advantage through more responsible sourcing and responsible business conduct initiatives with regards to raw materials;
  • increased visibility of responsible sourcing in global political agenda-setting and emergence of a globally accepted definition of responsible sourcing.
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