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European Union Raw Materials Knowledge Base (EURMKB)

European Union Raw Materials Knowledge Base (EURMKB)

The European Union Raw Materials Knowledge Base (EURMKB) is a part of the European Innovation Partnership’s Strategic Implementation Plan. Its aim is to be a one-stop-shop for all information on raw materials in the EU. With the help of EU countries, the service will collect, store, maintain, upgrade, analyse, and disseminate information on the raw materials. This knowledge base will serve industry and policy makers as a valuable source of data.

The main objectives of the knowledge base are

  • Data - the EURMKB will provide EU level data and information on raw materials from different sources in a harmonised and standardised way;
  • New activities – it will encourage activities in the raw materials sector such as exploration, extraction, processing, and recycling, as well as trade, development, skills, and education;
  • Increased supply – the base will increase the supply of raw materials, as well as strengthen Europe’s position on the forefront of the raw materials sector.

See the European Innovation Partnership’s Strategic Implementation Plan for more information.

How the knowledge base will work

The information on primary and secondary sources of raw materials, together with expertise, will form the three main blocks of the EURMKB:

  • Data collection - data and information will be collected from different sources, such as EUROSTAT, the Joint Research Centre, agencies (such as geological surveys) in EU countries, other national and international organisations, European projects and programmes, and industry.
  • Maintenance - the EURMKB will apply EU and global standards, maintain and update data and information, and make it available to the public through the internet and publications.
  • Expertise - selected parts of the data and information will be analysed and reported to the public as expertise, for example Material flow analysis (MFA) for metals. Spatial data will be available in an INSPIRE compliant way, as well as in 3D when appropriate.

How the knowledge base will develop

The base of the three building blocks of EURMKB is already in place. Their outcomes will determine what is missing for the first three blocks. The EURMKB could be organised in different ways, possibly also as a permanent body. Close international cooperation could lead to a world knowledge base on raw materials.

The main EU projects providing information on raw materials

  • ProMine (Nano-particle products from new mineral resources in Europe)
  • SNAP SEE (Sustainable aggregates planning in South East Europe)
  • EURARE (EU Rare Earth Sustainable Exploitation)
  • SARMa (Sustainable Aggregate Resource Management)
  • AEGOS (African-European Georesources Observation System)
  • EGDI – SCOPE (Pan-European Geological Data Infratsructure)
  • Minerals4EU
  • Minventory
  • Project under H2020 in 2014: Secondary raw materials inventory for secondary sources
  • Planned projects under H2020 in 2015: Raw materials intelligence capacity for providing expertise

Knowledge Base Architecture

The objective of the Knowledge Base Architecture (KBA) project is to provide technical analysis of different components of the European Raw Materials Knowledge Base (EURMKB). The KBA will be used to monitor different projects’ compliance with the European Commission’s IT requirements and draw up a proposal for the IT compliance and architecture of the EURMKB.

What the Knowledge Base Architecture is for

  • Support - the KBA is a supporting activity of the European Union Raw Materials Knowledge Base (EURMKB). The project aims to provide all necessary technical details for EURMKB, including proposals for the knowledge base structure.
  • Preparation - the KBA is preparatory work for the EURMKB and should develop scenarios regarding the integration and/or harmonisation of information, and ultimately the form which the EURMKB could take.

Supporting information

  • Dates: 1/1/2014 - end to be decided
  • Status: On-going
  • Funding: European Commission

Raw Materials System Analysis

The study focuses on creating a data inventory for the Raw Materials System Analysis (MSA). The main challenges are to fill the data gaps and remove the bottlenecks of data flows. Solutions for these challenges are either finding data sets or developing appropriate MSA modelling that would fill the gaps and remove the obstacles.

Why the MSA is important

  • Decision-making - a comprehensive data inventory of materials flows in industry and society is essential for informed discussion and decision making on the supply of raw materials.
  • Sustainable supply - information on the quantity and quality of raw materials in each stage or phase of the flow allows decisions providing balanced, secure, and sustainable supply throughout the entire materials flow.

What the MSA will provide

  • a complete overview of sources and existing data sets, their exploration, and assessment of their quality;
  • a definition of a procedure on establishing the full MSA data inventory;
  • exploration of possible complementarities with data of certain non-EU countries;
  • recommendations on how to establish and maintain the full MSA for 22 raw materials;
  • delivery input for a data base, to be developed by the Commission’s IT service.

Background information

Supporting information

  • Dates: Jan 2014 to Oct 2015
  • Status: On-going
  • Funding: European Commission


The study on structured statistical information on quality and quantity of EU raw material deposits (Minventory) takes stock of information on mineral reserves and resources that is available in the EU and certain neighbouring countries. It supports the creation of a common data base for an efficient resource strategy for the EU's access to raw materials, and it will be one of the building blocks of the European Union Raw Materials Knowledge Base (EURMKB).

Main objectives of the Minventory

  • investigate how to achieve structured statistical information;
  • give recommendations and create a roadmap regarding interoperability and harmonisation of data for the European Minerals Yearbook (to be achieved by 2020 and beyond);
  • display the findings on an interactive web site.

The study will feed into the EU Raw Materials Knowledge Base, which is one of the objectives of the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials described in detail in its Strategic Implementation Plan of 18 September 2013.

More information:

Supporting information:

  • Dates: 1/1/2013 - 31/12/2014
  • Status: Finished
  • Funding: European Commission

Databases in the Commission