A new European Innovation Partnership (EIP), launched on 12 February, is to examine how the European Union can innovate to improve resource efficiency and to recover materials for reuse, rather than relying on primary raw materials.
The EIP is a coalition of government ministries, research institutes and companies that have agreed to pool resources, and will aim to carry out by 2020 at least 10 innovative pilot actions (such as pilot plants for exploration, mining, processing, collecting and recycling), and to find substitutes for at least three applications of critical raw materials, among other activities. The European Commission will coordinate the EIP, which expects to publish a Strategic Implementation Plan in July.
EIPs have been established as part of the Innovation Union, a research and development framework designed to help the European Union achieve its strategic Europe 2020 goals. The Raw Materials EIP is a joint initiative of the European Commission directorates-general for environment, enterprise and research.