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Vision and Roadmap for European Raw Materials

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - VERAM (Vision and Roadmap for European Raw Materials)

Reporting period: 2015-12-01 to 2017-05-31

VERAM provides an umbrella and coordination function for the raw materials related research and innovation activities across the relevant European Technology Platforms (ETPs) and their national technology platforms (while maintaining the flexibility and individual visions of each ETP network) as well as other related stakeholders across the raw materials value chain, in order to increase synergies and facilitate uptake of research results and innovation across the sectors and their value chains.
The project encourages capacity building as well as transfer of knowledge and innovation capability. It coordinates the network of people involved in the different Horizon 2020 and other projects and initiatives and provides a platform for identifying gaps and complementarities and proposals to bridge these. It advises the European Commission and national governments of future research needs and tools to stimulate innovation and assist in overcoming the fragmentation in the implementation of the EIP on RM SIP.
As one of the main deliverables of the project, a common long term 2050 Vision and Roadmap for the relevant raw materials, including metals, industrial minerals and aggregates and wood will be presented. The Vision and Roadmap can be used as a reference document for policy makers and future research programming, for example by showing the path to achieving the European Commission’s ambitious target of 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050.
VERAM does not deal with specific technologies or hardware development. Research and innovation activities in the area of primary and secondary raw materials – their use, reuse and when relevant substitution – are dispersed between different players and supported by a variety of fragmented funding sources both on the EU- as well as on Member States’ level. VERAM aims to create a critical mass by bringing together the stakeholders represented by the ETPs and corresponding ERA-NETs. The consortium includes representatives from five different ETPs, covering mineral resources, forestry-based sector, advanced engineering materials and technologies, sustainable chemistry and construction – a partnership that includes expertise from downstream applications and additional expertise on secondary raw materials. The project also includes the involvement of the ERA-MIN and WoodWisdom-Net research networks in order to ensure the interaction with the national R&I funding providers.
A large amount of background work has been done to lay the foundations for the vision and roadmap, which are well under way. This includes the launch of an online platform that gathers data on current and past projects in the area of raw materials, both at national and EU level, which has contributed towards the gap analysis (veram.eu). A wide ranging study has also been carried out on the relevant players and their roles in the raw materials research and innovation network, the current funding landscape and future scenarios, along with their possible societal challenges and the corresponding needs of global markets and EU industries.
WP3 provided an inventory and analysis of existing roadmaps; current research, both undertaken by industry and as part of co-funded Member State and EU research initiatives; research results such as patents; strategic research agendas, and proposed solutions to future societal challenges were reviewed to learn more on the corresponding needs of EU industries and global markets. At this stage of the project, these agendas and needs are being combined with the mapping of ongoing research activities and research funding on European and national level. As a result, conclusions will be drawn on the expected gaps in the research and innovation landscape.
WP5 directly contributes to the final objective of VERAM by establishing a common European Research and Innovation Roadmap 2050 for Raw Materials. During the first half of the project, a step-by-step approach towards developing the Roadmap drafts 2030 and 2050 was established. An editorial team was set up, bringing together 12 partners who contributed to the planning, drafting and revising of the Roadmap drafts and the preparation of the documents for stakeholders’ consultations.
The work carried out by the editorial team demonstrates a shared effort by the abiotic and biotic raw material sectors towards the achievement of the Research and Innovation Roadmap 2050. By the mid-term stage, a flatplan Roadmap has been created and the work of the editorial team has resulted in the draft Roadmap version 3.0 ahead of a broader stakeholders’ consultation (MS9).
These studies will all contribute towards shaping a substantial 2050 roadmap for European raw materials research and innovation, that is practical for both policy makers as well as current industry players and other stakeholders across the value chain. Throughout the process, it is crucial to maintain regular and open communication channels in order to keep the relevant stakeholders and policy makers aware of the progress and allow for their feedback to be considered in the roadmap development. A number of events and workshops have been attended to fulfill this key aspect of the project and to ensure its success.
The Raw Materials Roadmap will become a key reference to raw materials related R&I activities paving the way for harmonised policies in the area of raw materials required by 2050. As a result, the Roadmap will embark upon activities to boost R&I and efficient industrial exploitation in the fragmented field of raw materials. The WP5 plays, thus, a pivotal role in unleashing the impacts anticipated in the Grant Agreement.

By the mid-term phase of VERAM, the project has contributed to advancing on the following impacts:

1. A coordinated EU policy on Raw Materials will raise confidence in the related activities and sectors bringing back investors and financing mechanisms.
o The 2050 Research Roadmap will have a coordinating and defragmenting effect on European raw materials R&I activities
2. The work will prevent unnecessary overlaps in technology-related innovation activities undertaken on EU, national and regional level, more efficient use of resources and shortening time for results.
o The Roadmap 2050 and the intermediate step 2030 will help coordinate the long-term strategies of industry, researchers and public authorities.
o The feasibility study to establish a R&I Raw Materials Stakeholder Portal within WP1, to be developed in Period 2, will also contribute towards advancing this impact.
3. Unite the stakeholders of the relevant European Technology Platforms under a joint vision for 2050 and an R&I Roadmap 2050
o The relevant ETPs have actively contributed and provided feedback on project progress throughout.

Through the work carried out by the editorial team in WP5, a coordinated input to establishing a draft Roadmap (D5.1: RM Research Roadmap drafts) has been established ensuring a comprehensive representation from across the abiotic and biotic raw material sectors and value chains. One stakeholders consultation has been carried out and another is under preparation by the WP5 with a view to bringing together experts from different raw material sectors and parts of the value chain to discuss and revise the common vision, roadmap and the R&I activities required by 2030 and 2050.
VERAM poster presented at events
VERAM logo with subscript