Stakeholder Consultation on the Research and Innovation Roadmap for European Raw Materials 2050

Have your say on the development of the future R&I actions needed to boost the European raw material sector and secure a sustainable and competitive supply

The European raw material partners from the abiotic and biotic sectors are currently preparing a Research & Innovation Roadmap 2050 that will lay out key research and innovation actions required to:

• secure a sustainable and competitive supply of raw materials to European industries,
• boost the sector’s jobs and competitiveness, and
• contribute to addressing global challenges as well as the needs of the civil society.

This is your final, and therefore crucial chance to influence future R&I actions and the evolution of the raw material sectors in mid and long term.

The Roadmap will be the main outcome from the VERAM project, feeding into the EU’s framework programme for research and innovation.

The aim of this consultation is to better define the priorities envisaged by the raw material stakeholders with regard to the future challenges, mid- and long-term objectives as well as concrete research and innovation activities that the Roadmap should ideally address.

We ask for your input into the Roadmap comprising four broader priorities:

1. supply of raw materials,
2. production of raw materials,
3. closed loops,
4. new products and applications

The input of stakeholders will be key to the finalisation of the Roadmap by April 2018.

The consultation is open for all stakeholders.  We encourage you to spread the message among your organization and network members of whom this might be of relevance.

We count on your participation and expertise that will help shape the Roadmap and hence response to future needs of the European raw materials sector.


To deliver your input, please follow the instructions below. All the consulted Roadmap documents can be downloaded below.

Please send your input to by 15 January 2018.

A step-by-step guidance on how to participate:

1) Get acquainted with the Roadmap structure by reading the descriptions of the priority areas below.

2) Download the parts of the Roadmap which you plan on contributing to and take your time to go through the content. You can focus on the area(s) of your expertise and interest.

3) Deliver your input by using track changes in Word. We ask for your direct input to the existing texts; side comments should be limited to clarifications if necessary. You can focus on missing or incomplete priorities, challenges and concrete R&I actions. Or you can revise, streamline and unify the terminology used throughout the Roadmap.

4) Return your input by sending all documents as Word files to: You can send your input throughout the consultation period but no later than 15 December 2017.

5) Stakeholder groups have the freedom to choose the methods and tools to consult their respective network of stakeholders provided that submissions using track-changes will be sent to the email by the given time frame.

Stakeholder consultation on:
– A Sustainable and Competitive Future of EU Raw Materials

Introduction to the R&I Roadmap 2050 for raw materials

The Roadmap 2050 for European raw materials envelopes relevant research and innovation activities of non-energy, non-agricultural raw materials used in industry, including metallic minerals, industrial minerals, construction materials, aggregates as well as wood and natural rubber. In addition, as part of the circular economy concept, secondary raw materials will become more and more integral part of the materials consumption, requiring targeted research and innovation efforts.

The Roadmap distinguishes two raw material categories: abiotic and biotic sectors encompassing the entire value chain from primary raw material extraction and harvesting and their transformation through processing or refining and the valorisation of waste into secondary raw materials to closed loops materials flows and the development of new products and applications to substitute fossil-based and/or critical raw materials.

Download the full introduction text

Download the structure of the Roadmap


Fostering a sustainable supply of raw materials to feed new and existing value chains

The acquisition of primary raw materials through mining, quarrying, timber logging and harvesting have been sustaining human civilisation since history began. Also in the foreseeable future, the gathering of metals, minerals, aggregates and biotic materials from natural sources will be essential to supply most manufacturing operations. This priority area focuses on research and innovation activities to leverage several practical challenges; collecting raw materials most often relies on heavy machinery and the working environment is hazardous. The operations are capital-intensive with relatively low margins. Harvesting operations and open mining operations are susceptible to shifting weather conditions and typically the primary collection is at low concentrations and has to be separated from waste and slag, raising environmental concerns.

Research and Innovation Areas:

RIA 1.1 New exploration and harvesting technologies for a sustainable supply
RIA 1.2 Mobilising an increased supply of raw materials from EU sources

Download the full text of the PRIORITY AREA I


Resource efficient processing, refining and converting of raw materials

Activities to foster resource efficiency in processing, refining and converting of primary and secondary raw materials have resulted in a continued relative reduction in energy and water use and material input in the European raw material industries per tonne of material produced. However, the deployment of new technologies with in-built artificial intelligence and the big data will not only contribute to a more resource efficient production but allow for adjusting raw material input to a new era of customised manufacturing imposed by conscious customers and shifting market demands. Meanwhile, the circular economy will open up new business models for production side streams that become valuable raw materials for new products and reuse, paving the way for integrated industrial symbiosis that benefit from old and new value chains.

Research and Innovation Areas:

RIA 2.1 Development of resource efficient processing, refining and converting technologies
RIA 2.2 Valorisation of production residues

Download the full text of the PRIORITY AREA II


Maximizing material closed loops by recycling consumer products, buildings and infrastructure

The shift towards increased material-efficiency in manufacturing will highlight the demand for more complex and diverse material compositions in various applications from consumer products to buildings and infrastructure. The trend is leveraged by the circular economy, which is expected to trigger research and development focusing on strategies related to service economy, eco-design, industrial symbiosis and waste prevention. The circular economy will also provide a significant momentum for the optimisation, redesign, and regeneration over the whole product lifecycle from extraction, utilization, and management of resources to materials design, production and processing, to the manufacturing, usage and end-of-life (EOL) phases. Actions are needed to increase knowledge and develop tools for analysing best available alternatives concerning product quality, energy consumption, environmental loads from reuse and recycling, including the cleaning and separation processes. From the very outset of the product design phase, innovations need to address both recycling and extended life-span of materials for abiotic and biotic raw materials.

Research and Innovation Areas:

RIA 3.1 Increasing collection through efficient sorting, separation and detection
RIA 3.2 Recycling technologies adapted to complex, durable, miniaturised and material efficient products
RIA 3.3 Developing and integrating methods for assessing and optimising cost and benefit in recycling

Download the full text for the PRIORITY AREA III


Raw materials in new products and applications

By 2050, a greater demand for new complex materials, including alloys, hybrid and composite materials, nanomaterials, is foreseen, that are expected to confer enhanced performances to advanced products in response to consumers demand. The substitution of scarce or energy-intensive materials can be in turn achieved by developing applications with an equivalent technology that does not rely on the same raw materials. New advanced products include the emerging biobased solutions and applications that will be key enablers in the shift from fossil-fuels towards a sustainable low-carbon society. The trend highlights the development of new material properties for new products and greater flexibility in manufacturing and production contributing a wiser use of raw materials through product design.

Research and Innovation Areas:

RIA 4.1 Substitution of critical raw materials
RIA 4.2 Development of new biobased products
RIA 4.3 Raw materials for hybrid and composite materials and applications

Download the full text for the PRIORITY AREA IV

Download the full Roadmap

To deliver your input, please send all the documents using track changes in Word to no later than 15 December 2017.

For questions concerning the Roadmap, please contact the VERAM partners:

Johan Elvnert, Managing Director, Forest-based Sector Technology Platform (FPT)

Corina Hebestreit, Director, Euromines

Should you need any assistance with the consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact the FTP Secretariat:

The VERAM project, funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme, aims to provide an umbrella and coordination function for the raw materials related research and innovation activities across Europe, in order to produce a common long term vision and roadmap to 2050 for the most relevant raw materials, including metals, industrial minerals, aggregates and wood. The successful implementation of the roadmap strongly relies on experiences, capabilities and constraints of European RM stakeholder groups.