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MICA Report Summary

Project ID: 689648
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.5.3.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MICA (Mineral Intelligence Capacity Analysis)

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

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Raw Materials intelligence (RMI) comprises the knowledge available to provide answers to questions and topics of interest related to raw materials. RMI is developed in a complex context of sectoral policies (mineral, environmental, energy, fiscal, foreign, development, security, spatial planning, water resources, investment, etc.) and regulations at national and international (EU) levels. RMI, furthermore, covers several fields of knowledge including natural and technical sciences, social sciences, political sciences, legal studies, and information technologies. In the last decade, a huge effort was made in Europe to provide end users with public data related to Raw Materials in a seamless way. However, data, information, methods, models and tools available are linked in a complex, multidimensional way and using these to derive answers to questions on raw materials is not straight forward. It requires expert knowledge, know-how and skills in using the data, methods/ tools in a beneficial manner and a wide spectrum of knowledge on raw materials that is not commonly available by stakeholders. Stakeholder questions, how simple they may appear, will often require data, methods and expertise from these different fields in order to be properly answered.

The goal of MICA is to provide stakeholders with the best possible information, in a seamless and flexible way using an ontology-based platform European Union Raw Materials Intelligence Capacity Platform (EU-RMICP). To accomplish this goal, MICA identifies stakeholder groups and their RMI requirements, assesses sources of relevant data and information and conduct analyses of appropriate methods and tools in order to provide guidelines and recommendations.

Access to RMI is important for society as a whole, as all types of stakeholders will obtain a better understanding on on how data and methods can be used to support decision making; on which data and tools Raw Material policies could be based and what the availability and sustainability of supply of Raw Materials is. The availability of Raw Materials impacts everyone’s life. This project can make people aware of the role of Raw Materials in their life, all along the value chain.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Deliverable D2.1 the Stakeholder Report, identified, defined and classified stakeholders in RMI. A total of 90 principal stakeholder groups in RMI were identified. They were classified according to a typology of seven stakeholder types formed by the presence of power, legitimacy and/or urgency in relation to RMI. A comprehensive inventory of relevant stakeholders is provided to prepare for a systematic appraisal of stakeholder needs. Deliverable 2.2 the Stakeholder Needs Report, documents the appraisal of key stakeholders’ needs and requirements to RMI. Three empirical appraisal types (surveys, stakeholder workshop and interviews) were utilised to collect RMI stakes in a broad and multi-facetted way. All in all, more than 700 statements expressing RMI needs and requirements were collected and interpreted. The knowledge of real and concrete stakeholders' needs and requirements is instrumental to the design of the EU-RMICP in a way that stakeholders are actually interested in using it.

Deliverable 3.1 presented the draft data inventory that has been developed to support the MICA platform. WP3 developed a metadata structure and template and used this to produce so far approximately 180 metadata records relating to the different Domains and Concepts of the MICA platform. An online data portal is currently under development too, which will allow access to all the metadata records being produced throughout the life of WP3.

WP4 completed Task 4.1 with two deliverables. D4.1 classifies the methods into four categories: The none-geological methods (derived from industrial ecology and economics, and forward looking methods) are somewhat newer to the field, but add contextual value and provide an extended basis for good decisions by showing consequences of mineral extraction and use, not just for resource availability but also for economy, environment and society at large. D4.2 describes which methods are useful in answering stakeholder questions and recommendations are made with regard to combining different methods to have more powerful tools.

WP5 has developed a model for a comprehensive and systemic policy making based on the socio-economic context in the EU with a view to ensure a sustained supply of mineral raw materials to the EU. In addition, a range of fact-sheets were produced that summarise current foresight methods that would be applicable in minerals policy development. A core task was the development of a so-called Logframe Matrix for strategic approaches and foresight studies. The Logframe formed the basis for the review and assessment of range of foresight studies on raw materials from around the world that was undertaken.

The WP6 Team, in collaboration with other work packages, has developed from scratch the ontology covering the whole Raw Materials domains, from primary and secondary resources, transformation, economy, environment, policies and international reporting. In parallel, transversal ontologies such as commodities, space, time and value chain have been developed in order to refine end-user queries. The ontology is accessible through the VocBench collaborative tool. The architecture of the system has been set up with a RDF TripleStore, several doc/fact/flowSheets have been generated using the template developed with other WPs, and a tool allowing the annotation of these sheets over the ontology has been developed. Finally, a first prototype of the ontology-based Dynamic Decision Graph (DDG), along with its main specifications, has been released for testing at the end of 2016.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

WP2 has delivered a stakeholder inventory (D2.1) and an empirical appraisal of stakeholder needs (D2.2) that exceeds all previous activities in the raw material field. Its systematic approach, level of detail and comprehensiveness provide a sound basis for other strategic activities in the raw material intelligence domain.

WP3 has been developing an online MICA data portal and template, which will ensure direct access to data records and a consistent approach to metadata records being developed.

WP4 made a head start with Task 4.2, the case studies. A framework and outline for the case studies is prepared, and the number of case studies has increased beyond the four that have been indicated in the proposal.

The system dynamics model proposed by WP5 as the basis for raw materials policy development takes account of the wider socio-economic context in the EU and thus will provide for a more sustainable supply of the EU with the mineral raw materials needed.

The approach for the ontology and dynamic decision graph developed inside MICA is totally new, and makes this project similar to a research/innovation project. This project is laying the foundations of a Raw Materials Expert System. The results can be used and upgraded by new projects for different potential applications. The perimeter of the ontology and its depth/granularity can be easily extended and the mechanics behind can be used for expertise/decision-making in other domains/sub-domains linked to raw materials.

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