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Proposal to boost EU raw material innovation

Europe – The European Commission has proposed the creation of a European Innovation Partnership for raw materials. By bringing together capital and human resources from all member states, it is hoped to encourage industry and researchers to innovate and explore new possibilities in this field.

‘We must intensify our efforts and combine our forces to exploit Europe’s vast potential in natural resources,’ says Antonio Tajani, Vice President of the European Commission responsible for enterprise and industry. ‘Therein lies the key to our ability to develop the technologies of tomorrow.’ Europe must work towards acquiring ‘leading expertise’ on extraction, processing, recycling and substitution by 2020 because ‘innovations in these areas are critical to the competitiveness, sustainable growth and new jobs’, he adds.

Advanced technologies need to be developed to enable mining at greater depths, in remote areas or under difficult conditions so as to tap the vast mineral resources currently uncaptured, it is noted by way of example. These are most commonly located at depths between 500 to 1000 metres and have an estimated potential value close to Euro 100 billion. Additionally, Mr Tajani stresses the need to improve access to minerals and to promote the development of products with lower CO2 intensity, including photovoltaic materials.

To help reach these goals, the European Commission has compiled a list of targets, focusing predominantly on efficiency, pilot projects, research and multi-disciplinary approaches.


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