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FORAM Report Summary

Project ID: 730127
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.5.3.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FORAM (Towards a World Forum on Raw Materials (FORAM))

Reporting period: 2016-11-01 to 2017-10-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The FORAM project aims to develop a platform of international experts and stakeholders, that will together advance the idea of a World Forum on Raw Materials and will enhance the international cooperation on raw material policies and investments. The overall objective of the project is to improve international cooperation on resource transparency and governance for a better stability, predictability and resource efficiency, which lead to better conditions for competitiveness on a sustainable basis.
The global use of mineral resources has drastically increased and supply chains have become ever more complex. A number of global initiatives and organizations have been contributing to knowledge and information transfer, including the EC, UN Environment International Resource Panel, the World Resources Forum, the World Material Forum, the OECD and others. It is widely felt that improved international resource transparency and governance would be beneficial for all, since it would lead to stability, predictability, resource-efficiency and hence a better foundation for competitiveness on a sustainable basis. The FORAM project works with the relevant stakeholders in industry, European and international organisations, governments, academia and civil society.
FORAM has reviewed the activities of international initiatives that aim at better transparency, governance and improved dialogue within raw materials communities. The project is now setting up a Stakeholder Network composed of experts from relevant organizations active in different sectors of the non-energy raw materials value chain. By sharing their experiences and increasing each other’s understanding these stakeholders work together to advance ideas for enhanced international cooperation on raw materials. Meanwhile a long-term vision and strategic positioning of a World Forum on Raw Materials is being defined. To evaluate the necessity and feasibility of such a forum, a pilot event will be organized, a roadmap will be presented and a synthesis report with key recommendations will be drafted. The study and stakeholder consultations will result in recommendations that point towards setting up a World Forum on Raw Materials in different formats, for instance by strengthening and improving existing other cooperation and networking initiatives.

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

In the frame of WP1, existing international initiatives, stakeholders and databases were evaluated. Based on a set of criteria and categories, a mapping file was made available for review and it was published on FORAM website allowing initiatives to provide information themselves. Up to now, the project has mapped more than 100 multi-stakeholder initiatives related to the primary and secondary raw materials sectors. Results of this task have been published as an online interactive Geo-Map on project’s website (Figure 1). These data and information will be checked and updated until the end of the project. Initiatives still have the opportunity to register. In addition to the mapping and assessment of initiatives, the project has developed a methodology with metrics, that can be used to rank the multi-stakeholder initiatives based on selected categories. Furthermore, in WP1 of the project, a directory of databases on primary and secondary raw materials has been created. In total 108 databases were collected and evaluated.
In the first year of the project a Stakeholder Network composed of more than 90 experts covering the entire raw materials value chain was set up (WP2). As a first step toward engaging these stakeholders into a dialogue, a survey was conducted on the stakeholders’ opinions about current pressing needs in the raw materials sector (Figure 2). Building up and expanding this network of contacts is a continuous process and it is planned to keep inviting new stakeholders until the end of the project. As the next step, the main target groups for starting the dialogue were identified around the following topics: 1. Innovation, Security of Supply and Growth, 2. Resource Efficiency, Environmental and Social Aspects, 3. Policies, Legal and Financial Frameworks, 4. International Cooperation and Outreach, 5. Research, Capacity building and Education.
Based on the findings of the other work packages a long term vision and a strategic position was defined (WP3). The vision expresses the fundamental aspirations of the World Forum of Raw Materials (Figure 3). The strategic position had in consideration the values, vision, purpose and mission of the Forum, combined with an appraisal of stakeholders’ needs, existing factors of competition and the knowable core competences that can be gathered in the future Forum. Furthermore, by means of literature study and interviews with experts, a review of changing international raw materials policy contexts and their expected evolutionary pathways was prepared.
One of the important steps of the project towards stakeholder consultation, is the organization of a pilot event (WP4). During the first reporting period, the first decisions about the date and location of the meeting and initial arrangements about the logistics have been made. The “FORAM 18 Pilot Event” will be held as a one-day event on 27 June 2018, back to back with the World Materials Forum 2018 (28-29 June).
In the first three months after the start of the project and within work package 5 (WP5), a Dissemination and Exploitation Plan was established. FORAM Kick-off meeting and the Public Launch were both organised during EU Raw Materials Week 2016 in Brussels. Furthermore, several communication materials such as project’s logo, templates, website, social media channels, postcard, brochures, newsletters and posters have been designed and publicly published or presented. FORAM project has participated or been presented in several European and international events.
FORAM has organized a workshop on 25 October 2017 during the World Resources Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. The workshop was titled “International Cooperation on Raw Materials in the European Union Horizon 2020 Programme” during which representatives of 12 other H2020 projects were involved in a discussion on cross-cutting issues related to international cooperation.

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)

The results of work package 1, mapping of existing initiatives, will be continuously updated and more initiatives will be added to the list. The directory of databases will also be updated and will be available on the FORAM website.
The process of aggregation of stakeholders into target groups and making them start the dialogue and interact, will be accomplished. This will be achieved by first organizing a set of conference calls with pre-defined discussion topics and then actively engaging the stakeholders in the FORAM Pilot Event. The ultimate goal and result of this process is a structured dialogue oriented towards the search for solutions to overcome existing difficulties and obstacles in worldwide access to raw materials.
In parallel to the organization of the pilot event in June 2018, a roadmap for the implementation of a structured approach for fostering raw materials initiatives will be presented. At the end of the project and based on the outcomes of the pilot event a set of key recommendations on how to structurally improve the international cooperation and knowledge exchange will be formulated.

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