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Implement a European-wide coordination of research and innovation programs on raw materials to strengthen the industry competitiveness and the shift to a circular economy

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ERA-MIN 2 (Implement a European-wide coordination of research and innovation programs on raw materials to strengthen the industry competitiveness and the shift to a circular economy)

Reporting period: 2016-12-01 to 2018-02-28

ERA-MIN 2 is a pan-European network of public research and innovation (R&I) funding organisations consisting of 21 funding organisations from 12 EU Member States countries/regions (Belgium-Flanders, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Spain-Castilla y Léon, Sweden), one EU Associated Country (Turkey) and four non-EU countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile and South Africa).
Built on the experience of the EU project ERA-MIN (2011-2015), ERA-MIN 2 aims to enhance and strengthen the coordination of R&I programmes in the field of non-energy, non-agricultural raw materials (construction, industrial and metallic minerals) to support the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Raw Materials, the EU Raw Materials Initiative and further develop the raw materials sector, in Europe and globally, through funding of transnational R&I activities.
ERA-MIN 2 will support demand driven research on primary and secondary resources, and substitution of critical raw materials under a circular economy approach, to give the opportunity to the R&I community to apply to world-wide coordinated funding, gaining access to leading knowledge and new markets, while reducing fragmentation of R&I funding across Europe and globally. This will be achieved through one EU co-funded call for R&I proposals in 2017 and two additional joint calls, in 2018 and in 2019, designed and developed specifically for the non-energy, non-agricultural raw materials sector.
Furthermore, ERA-MIN 2 will liaison with existing initiatives in the raw materials sector, projects and industrial associations to ensure complementarity and avoid duplication of efforts.
The network will address four key objectives:
1. Support and promote R&I cooperation in Europe.
2. Reduce fragmentation of R&I funding in the area of non-energy non-agricultural raw materials across Europe and globally.
3. Provide a pan-European support network and financial resources to improve, synergies, coordination and collaboration.
4. Improve the efficiency and impact of human and financial investment in R&I activities in the area of Raw Materials.
ERA-MIN 2 is the largest network of funding organisations in the mineral resources field. Through the launch of a co-funded call and two additional joint calls, it is estimated to support, at least, 30 top quality transnational projects through the allocation of circa 30 M€ public funding in total. The funded projects will constitute a Raw Materials R&I programme that will be monitored to guarantee the achievement of project’s objectives and promote the up-take of R&I results by end-users and/or society.
The ERA-MIN 2 launch event was held during the first edition of the Raw Materials Week, with the presence of more than 50 representatives of ministries, funding organisations, research and industry from EU and non-EU countries and the European Commission.
The 21 ERA-MIN 2 partners have committed national/regional public funds for the ERA-MIN Joint Call 2017 entitled “Raw materials for the sustainable development and the circular economy”. The total Call budget was around 15M€ (including the European Commission co-funding) and the call was published on the 1st of February 2017 at the ERA-MIN 2 homepage.
The Call scope was demand-driven R&I on primary and secondary resources of construction, industrial and metallic minerals and substitution of Critical Raw Materials, addressing one or several areas of the circular economy. The five main call topics were based on the challenges and the priorities identified in the ERA-MIN Research Agenda and in line with the integrated strategy proposed in the EU Raw Materials Initiative, the Strategic Implementation Plan of the EIP on Raw Materials as well as with the Communication on Circular Economy by the European Commission. Other than the ERA-MIN 2 website and social media (Twitter, LinkedIn), the Joint Call 2017 was promoted via each Partner’s websites, e-mails, international events related to raw materials and national events dedicated to ERA-MIN 2.
By the pre-proposal submission deadline on 5th May 2017, 94 pre-proposals were submitted, involving 493 applicants, of which 27% were from industry/enterprises. The total costs were 81.2M€ and the total requested funding was 61.7M€. Based on an eligibility check and a remote scientific peer-review, 36 eligible pre-proposals were invited to submit a full proposal. By the full proposal submission deadline on 28th September 2017, 35 full proposals were submitted, involving 186 applicants (33% enterprises). The total costs and requested funding were 34M€ and 25.7M€, respectively. After the eligibility check, each proposal was remotely reviewed by, at least, 3 experts of the independent international Strategic Scientific Evaluation Board. The scientific assessment was based on the 3 main evaluation criteria, as defined in Horizon 2020. At the Scientific Evaluation Board meeting, a binding ranking list of top quality proposals was established. The ERA-MIN 2 partners have agreed on a joint selection list of 16 transnational proposals recommended for funding based on the scientific assessment and on the availability of public funds. These 16 transnational projects involve 88 beneficiaries (38.6% enterprises). The total allocated funding was circa 12.3M€ (including EC contribution) from 16M€ of total project costs. All the five topics are covered by the funded projects. The publishable summaries of the 16 funded projects and the call statistics were made public at the ERA-MIN 2 website.
An independent observer that followed the whole evaluation process concluded that the process was fair, transparent and in compliance with the EU co-funding rules.
The ERA-MIN 2 will contribute to the sustainable supply of non-energy and non-agricultural raw materials (construction, industrial and metallic minerals) for the European economy whilst also increasing benefits for society as a whole which is in line with the scope of the EIP. ERA-MIN 2, specifically, contributes to the SIP Part II/I. TECHNOLOGY PILLAR/I.A Priority Area: Raw materials research and innovation coordination/ Action area n° I.1.
Further cooperation with other EU and non-EU funding organisations is planned in two additional joint calls without EU co- funding, in 2018 and in 2019, that will allow the coordination of funding programmes across Europe and globally.
Specifically for the 2018 Joint Call that will open in 31st October 2018, other funding organisations from other EU and non-EU countries will be invited to join.
ERA-MIN 2 will address the whole R&I chain by covering from fundamental research to applied R&I. Dissemination and exploitation of R&I projects results will be implemented through dedicated workshops with end-users within international conferences, seminars, and other events.
ERA-MIN 2 will facilitate the mutual learning of funding programmes through joint activities in the field of raw materials achieving a more efficient use of national/regional funds, time and personnel. ERA-MIN 2 will support the raw materials R&I community not only at EU level but also globally through joint conferences, workshops, seminars, webinars, brokerage events and adapting or adding value to existing tools thus making a more efficient use of national/regional/EU funds, time and personnel.