The VERAM project will produce a Vision and Roadmap for European Raw Materials in 2050 based on raw materials research and innovation (R&I) coordination.
Two leading European Technology Platforms (ETPs): ETP SMR (Sustainable Minerals Resources) and FTP (Forest Technology Platform) are joining forces to develop a common vison and roadmap with the support of ECTP (European Construction Technology Platform), represented by UNIVPM, SusChem (ETP for Sustainable Chemistry), represented by Cefic, and EuMaT (Advanced Materials ETP), represented by VITO. This partnership provides VERAM with expertise from downstream applications and additional knowledge on secondary raw materials.
The main objectives of the VERAM project in the area of raw materials research and innovation are:
Objective 1.1: To provide a web-based portal that facilitates information handling and to collect and exchange information between all relevant stakeholders in the raw materials community
Objective 1.2: Identify gaps and overlaps in ongoing research efforts to make way for a better use of resources
Objective 2.1: Produce a European Vision 2050 for the raw materials community
Objective 2.2: Produce a European Research and Innovation Roadmap 2050 for Raw Materials
Objective 2.3: Enable collaboration between established trans-national research and innovation programmes in the area of raw materials
- Objective 3.1: Create awareness of new research results and technologies and thereby facilitate their exploitation by European industry
The VERAM project aims to include all relevant aspects of non-food, non-energy raw materials related research and innovation. It challenges the current compartmentalisation into scientific disciplines and fragmentation into industry sectors to increase synergies and facilitate uptake of research results. It will continue to respect the individual visions of each stakeholder group in recognition of the specific contexts in which they operate.
The project encourages capacity building as well as transfer of knowledge. It expects to provide an innovation reference point for the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) Raw Materials (formerly the KIC Raw MatTERS), to coordinate the network involved in the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Raw Materials Commitments and relevant proposals funded under Horizon 2020. It provides a platform for identifying gaps and complementarities and enable their bridging.
VERAM will be able to advise the European Commission and Member States on future research needs and policies to stimulate innovation and assist in overcoming fragmentation in the implementing the EIP Raw Materials Strategic Implementation Plan. VERAM looks for mutually beneficial information exchange, encourages cross-fertilization between actions undertaken by different raw material industries, and expects to accelerate exploitation of breakthrough innovations.
One of the main deliverables of the project is the presentation of a common long term 2050 Vision and Roadmap for relevant raw materials including metals, industrial minerals and aggregates and wood. The Vision and Roadmap have the objective of highlighting the path to achieving the European Commission’s ambitious target of 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050.
Project Work Plan
VERAM’s Work Plan includes the identification of the current status and a gap analysis, the development of a long-term vision and a roadmap, and the dissemination of the vision and roadmap for 2030 and 2050.
Project Work plan and work packages (WPs)
The WP objectives are project coordination (technical and financial) and management activities, maintaining EU relations and project reporting. This WP will supervise the activities in the different working groups and will be responsible for a smooth workflow.
An important task is to take care of facilitating contacts and collaboration with external stakeholders, and research initiatives in the field of raw materials.
In the frame of this WP, the group will carry out a feasibility study considering the potential models and routes for a systematic R&I Raw Materials stakeholder platform that will be able to continue after the project termination and decide upon concrete future actions in this respect. This R&I Raw Materials stakeholders Platform should ensure the relevance and usefulness of the project results and constitute a systematic, dynamic, open and proactive platform for the entire stakeholder community aiming to facilitate the sustainable coordination of European Research and Innovation on raw materials.
This WP will develop and implement the appropriate communication and dissemination tools to support promotion of the overall project and, when needed, of specific WPs’ progress. Promote the importance of having a coordinated strategy and focus on Critical Raw Materials Research and Innovation at European level.
To facilitate the access to relevant information generated during the project for a wide range of stakeholders including: policy makers; national, regional local authorities; consumers; industries and academia (covering both supply and demand side).
This WP will define and explore the raw materials playing field as an input for developing the raw materials roadmap towards 2050. The WP will perform an analysis of the current RTD and Innovation system, addressing full and global value chains: primary and secondary resources for a resource effective production of globally outstanding quality.
This WP will converge the societal challenges and the corresponding needs of EU industries and global markets that have been uncovered by existing roadmaps and strategic research agendas. When these needs and agendas are then combined with the mapping of ongoing research activities and research funding at European and national level, gaps in the research and innovation landscape will be revealed.
The vision 2050 for raw materials in Europe, the outcome of this WP, will be the basis for the development of the roadmap towards this vision – one of the final results of the project. Based on the gap analysis, the WP will develop a vision of future raw materials demand and supply and the technologies required to achieve them. The WP will identify the needs for future research related the required innovation deployment and capacity building.
A stepwise approach will be taken including:
A general economic vision to 2030 and 2050;
A specific vision for the future European industrial landscape to 2050 and its raw material demands;
An identified research demand to deploy this industrial development to 2050; and
A long term-vision of the innovation and capacity building needs to 2050.
The process of establishing the 2050 Roadmap is interdependent on the gathering of background information in WP3 and WP4. A stakeholder consultation will be an important part of this WP. The main objectives of the VERAM project addressed here are:
Identify the gaps and overlaps in ongoing research efforts to enable better use of resources;
Produce a European R&I Roadmap 2050 for Raw Materials;
Enable collaboration between established trans-national research and innovation programmes in the area of raw materials.
These activities include:
To analyse and identify gaps between industrial needs, ongoing research activities, and research funding as identified by EU and national research funding programmes.
To identify and describe cross-sector cooperation opportunities while also identifying raw material and specific value chain challenges and opportunities.
To identify megatrends and scenarios for the environment, demographics, raw material availability, substitution opportunities, new markets and consumption patterns.
To identify research and innovation areas of immediate importance (the 2030 perspective). The industry investments and research activities required for the achievement of the Vision 2030 should also be established as far as is possible.
Execute stakeholder consultations with the EIP Raw Materials, ETPs networks etc. at two to five occasions during the drafting process described above.
Gathering all this information to form a knowledge basis for the road mapping exercise.
Iteratively create a Research Roadmap for Raw Materials covering both medium term (2030) as well as long term (2050) developments and visions.
The VERAM project will embark on activities to boost R&I and efficient industrial exploitation in the fragmented field of raw materials. The impact of the project will be visible in the short term (1 to 5 years) by strengthened cooperation between the different stakeholders groups involved in the EIP Raw Materials, in the medium term (5-15 years) under the umbrella of the agreed 2030 vision and roadmap draft documents and on the long term (15 to 35 years) through the 2050 Roadmap.
The likelihood of realising the immediate project objectives is high due to the critical mass of stakeholders represented by the project partnership. Hence, the first expected impact listed by the VERAM project is:
The competence gained by the participants throughout the project implementation; establishing a more efficient cross-ETP platform and coordination with the National Funding Agencies.
Other expected impacts from the VERAM project are:
1. A coordinated EU policy on Raw Materials will raise confidence in the related activities and sectors bringing back investors and financing mechanisms.
(At European and national levels across the value chain from exploration/inventory, extraction/harvesting, primary raw material utilisation, secondary raw material utilisation, recycling and reuse, logistics, substitution concepts and processing)
- The analysis undertaken primarily in WP3 of ongoing European Research Projects will identify gaps and overlaps in ongoing research efforts in European Research funding. The gaps and overlaps can when identified, be addressed in an adequate manner.
- The Raw Materials Commitments will have a stronger forum for collaboration and support via the VERAM cooperation and the full backing by five European Technology Platforms.
- A significant improvement in the exchange and use of available information;
- A higher degree of science-based visibility to society and policy makers;
- Less risk of wasting resources on overlapping tasks and activities;
- Combining complementary research results and the filling of detrimental technology gaps by sharing of knowledge and by cross-sector fertilisation;
- A broader stakeholder base and critical mass for exploitation activities
More specifically in the long term:
- The Strategic Research Road Map for 2050 and the 2050 Vision will have a coordinating and defragmenting effect on European raw materials R&I activities
- Through the coordination of trans-national research funding through the ERA-Net representatives, the implementation of the roadmap can commence immediately
2. The work will prevent unnecessary overlaps in technology-related innovation activities undertaken on EU, national and regional level, more efficient use of resources and shortening time for results.
The VERAM consortium will raise the political awareness, visibility and will reach all the relevant stakeholders to disseminate the results throughout the European Community. On the Member State-level, the National Support Groups of the ETPs and the ERA-Nets allow for a strong national impact. On the European Level, the European Parliament, NGOs and the European Commission will be informed of the project process by the ETP secretariats. Further on, the consortium will go on and directly apply the results of the project themselves after the completion of the 2050 Vision and Strategic Research Roadmap 2050.
More specifically on the short to medium term:
- A stronger cooperation will allow for more precompetitive information sharing and transparency between ongoing R&I activities
- The foreseen R&I Portal will greatly simplify “benchmarking” of ongoing research
More specifically on the longer term:
- Through comparing successful industry projects with EU-, and National public funding of research programmes identify areas that receive comparably little public funding in relation to the potential impact.
- The Roadmap2050 and the intermediate step 2030 will help to coordinate the long term strategies of industry, researchers and public authorities
3. Brokering across ETPs, ERA-NETs, and other stakeholders and national activities will create cross-sectoral and cross value chain research and innovation.
- The deliverable Research Road Map 2050 will point to gaps and overlaps in European Research funding in general. The Roadmap will be used by the ETPs as a complement to their current Strategic Research Agendas (SRAs).
- Together, the ETPs of the consortium represent the industrial value-chain of Europe. The VERAM project will become the reference document for raw material-related R&I.
- Contribute to European and national policy development
With assistance from the harmonisation resulting from the activities of the VERAM project science-based harmonisation of standards, legislation and certification will be within reach
- Provide input to regional, national, trans-national and European research programmes through the Strategic Research Road Map 2050 and the good example of the intermediate study for 2030
- Unite the stakeholders of the relevant European Technology Platforms under a joint vision for 2050 and a R&I Roadmap 2050
- Provide recommendations for a Trans-National research programme in the area of raw materials.
- Increased competitiveness of European industry by a more rapid industrial investment process
- Facilitate the transfer of information from research projects to European industry, and to encourage the industrial exploitation and facilitate loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB) by providing expertise and being a link between the industrial stakeholders
6. Foresight seminars will enable review of research and innovation results achieved and forecast directions for future research and assist in reviewing the EIP on Raw Materials Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP).
- Popularising science in the area of raw materials
- Promote the activity and interest by the European citizen by stimulating dissemination
- Promote scientific and education culture in Europe through the EIT KIC Raw Materials
Indirect economic benefits will result from:
- Awareness of the potential of new emerging technologies
- Strengthening of cross-sector networks
- Improving researchers insight into the industrial demands for fundamental research
- Identification of industrial research priorities
7. The work will realise synergies available within individual initiatives at EU and national level.
VERAM will contribute to a positive impact on rural development by supporting projects that ensure a positive social impact and the deployment of new technologies that has wide-reaching benefits in rural areas where mining, exploration or forestry are major job-creating sectors
8. The results of the project will lead to improved raw materials policy and access to and utilisation of raw materials.
- VERAM will Increase public awareness, acceptance and credentials of the raw-materials supply industries in individual Member States.
- VERAM will contribute to secured European critical raw materials supply by supporting research projects and industrial initiatives that stimulates substitution, advanced exploration and resource efficiency
- Assisting in diversifying Europe’s raw materials sources to shield Europe from external crises
9. A more coordinated Raw Materials management will help reduce Europe’s external supply dependency and lead to a more efficient use of our resources, and therefore improve the competitiveness of European industry, its environmental impact and eco-efficiency.
- VERAM will support private stakeholder initiatives that minimize their impacts on the environment and at the same time contributing to combating climate change:
- With logistical solutions that achieve a minimum level of greenhouse gas emissions from transport
- With the best level of greenhouse gas savings throughout the value chain, not only compared to the production of currently used raw materials, but also to the alternative substitute for industrial and consumer use
- With minimal negative effects on biodiversity, other renewable natural resources such as biomass, soils, water and air
- Spearhead the integration of biodiversity and natural resource considerations in the raw materials depending value chain by raising environmental concerns for policy making as well as business investments