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Expert Network on Critical Raw Materials

Acronym: 
ENCRAM
Abstract / executive summary: 

Since 2010 and the publication of the first list of Critical Raw Materials (CRM), published the European Commission, numerous European projects have addressed (part of) the value chains of these CRMs and several initiatives have contributed to gather (part of) the related community into clusters and associations. This led to the production of an important knowledge, unfortunately disseminated in a huge number of documents, most of them being part of the “grey literature”. Numerous databases have also been developed to gather this information, sometimes as duplicates.
Following past, ongoing and just starting networks or projects, several CRMs or issues related with the analysis of the value chain of these CRMs have been already addressed (the whole value chains for rare earths and refractory metals, the substitution of the CRMs listed in 2010, the mapping of primary and secondary resources in Europe, the mineral policy…). A few research and innovation actions also address some specific steps of the value chains of some CRMs . Much more have already contributed to the work in FP7.
Several associations have contributed at structuring the community, gathering experts in almost all the fields related to raw materials in general and including CRM in particular (EUROMINES, EGS, Eurometaux, WEEE Forum, CRM Alliance, ETP-SMR, MinPol, PROMETIA, EFG…).
ECRAM aims at gathering the different initiatives (associations, clusters, projects…) working on CRMs into an Expert Network on Critical Raw Materials. The network includes public entities and civil society representatives, in order to allow a multi-stakeholder dialogue on a topic with such key societal, economic, geopolitical and environmental implications. The first objective of ENCRAM is to establish this long lasting Expert Network on CRM and to define the way it can be operated after the end of the Project and gain its sustainability.

Coverage of the Action Areas referred to above: 

• Technological pillar: SCRREEN will contribute to settle the framework conditions for enhanced efficiency in material use and in waste prevention, re-use and recycling, and raw materials-efficient product design. It will also improve the European raw materials knowledge base with information, flows, and a dynamic modelling system for primary and secondary raw materials. Moreover, the Expert Network will ensure the support to the development of R&D programmes related to the new innovation potential.
• Non-technology pillar: SCRREEN will contribute by settling the framework conditions for primary raw materials that would provide a stable and competitive supply from EU sources and facilitate its public acceptance. Strengthening of the CRM network may allow to reduce import dependency and to put Europe at the forefront innovation. The WP5 “substitution” will contribute to the diversification of raw material sourcing.
• International cooperation pillar: SCRREEN will develop a pro-active international co-operation strategy of the EU at bilateral and multilateral level, promoting synergies with countries and regions such as the US, Japan, Australia, Canada, Latin America and the African Union across the different areas covered by the EIP due to the composition of both the expert groups and the consortium members. Moreover, the strengthening of the CRM community will shorten the implementation time of new technologies, processes and help develop the most environmental friendly and economically profitable processes.

Objectives of the commitment: 

ENCRAM aims at gathering the different initiatives (associations, clusters, projects…) working on CRMs into an Expert Network on Critical Raw Materials. The network includes public entities and civil society representatives, in order to allow a multi-stakeholder dialogue on a topic with such key societal, economic, geopolitical and environmental implications. The first objective of ENCRAM is to establish this long lasting Expert Network on CRM and to define the way it can be operated after the end of the Project and gain its sustainability.

Description of the activities: 

ENCRAM will contribute to improve the CRM supply chain by:
• identifying primary and secondary resources of CRMs, and their respective qualities, available for Europe (mapping, assessing, quantifying), in an international context;
• estimating the expected EU demand of various CRMs in the future and identify major trends;
• providing policy and technology recommendations for actions improving the production of the various primary and secondary CRMs and actions for their potential substitution, in order to secure their supply and decrease the relative dependence upon their imports;
• providing a plan for transparent consultation with relevant external stakeholders and effective communication of the findings to the professional and general public across the EU;
• addressing end of life products (EOL) and specifically the WEEE issues related to their mapping and treatment standardisation regarding CENELEC standard.
The strategic vision of ENCRAM is
- To establish an Expert Network covering the whole value chain for the present and coming CRM, mainly based on existing structures and initiatives, having an international dimension and establish a clustering between EU projects in the field, including potentially KIC upscaling projects.
- To identify potential tracks for innovation, breakthroughs, substitution options, new resources (primary, secondary, urban mines), etc. addressing both technology and market of CRM.
- To analyse their potential development according to current policies, regulations and standards; identify the related gaps and limitations; and propose tracks of evolution, for EOL and especially for WEEE. The aim is to lift barriers and ultimately boost the creation of new markets in Europe, inducing jobs and wealth.
- To capitalized the knowledge and share the data widely and efficiently. To support systemic change, the knowledge generated in the project will be made widely available to stakeholders and to the public through dissemination actions
The opportunities of conceiving and implementing new, innovative value chains to deliver on this vision are great. However, we also acknowledges the challenges (diversity of CRMs, potential evolution of the CRM list, technological, industrial, economic, knowledge management, etc.) posed by the disruptions which are required to implement such value chains, which is why stakeholder dialogue is at the core of ENCRAM: policy, society and industrial decision-makers are involved from the start, and the main project outcome is to facilitate strategic knowledge-based decisions to be carried out by these groups.

Description of the expected impacts: 

- achieving the objectives and the implementation of both the Raw Materials Initiative and the EIP on Raw Materials, in particular in terms of the access to critical raw materials (CRMs);
- better informed decision making by the EU and Member States policy makers and the producers and users of raw materials regarding the supply of raw materials;
- development of European standards for the treatment of WEEE, waste batteries and other relevant end-of-life products that would help towards optimising the recovery of critical raw materials;
- increased recovery rates in the EU as regards CRMs from WEEE, waste batteries and other relevant end-of-life products;
- in longer term reduced EU dependency on imports of CRMs;
- improved awareness of relevant external stakeholders and general public across the EU about importance of the critical raw materials for society, challenges related to their supply and about proposed solutions.

Short term impact (by 2019):
• Value chain integration of each CRM
• Diffusion of the information
• Support in the decision making

Medium term impact (by 2025):
• Innovation catalyser, emergence of new innovation projects
• Enhanced market conditions
• Cross sectorial knowledge transfer enhancement
• Increased standardisation of the WEEE treatment

Longer term impact (after 2025):
• New value chains & related economic impact
• Eco-friendly processes development

Expected innovation outcomes: 
New products to the market
New processes
New services
New technologies
New business models
New ideas to the market
Societal innovation
Name of the coordinating organisation: 
Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives
Country: 
France
Entity profile: 
Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: 

Coordinator
contributing to the creation of the network, the substitution and technological innovation issues

Other partners: 
Name of partner: 
BRGM
Country: 
France
Entity profile: 
Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: 
contribute to the development of the knowledge management strategy
Name of partner: 
PROMETIA
Country: 
Europe
Entity profile: 
Other
Other: 
non for profit association
Role within the commitment: 
member of the Network, contributing to CRM value chains analysis adn to the dissemination activities
Name of partner: 
AFNOR
Country: 
France
Entity profile: 
Other
Other: 
non for profit association
Role within the commitment: 
achieving a mapping of existing standards and standards under development related to CRM with a strategic view on the leader countries (CEN, CENELEC, ETSI, ISO, IEC). regular updates and alerts on work progress specific researches based on bibliographical data, of existing standards in some countries few feasibility studies on the possibility to launch some work, if identified as useful, in relation with CRM
Name of partner: 
AMPHOS 21
Country: 
Spain
Entity profile: 
Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: 
Potential help with the coordination and knowledge management Integration of primary and secondary mining resources Technology gaps Assessment of WEEE issues
Name of partner: 
CHALMERS
Country: 
Sweden
Entity profile: 
Academia
Role within the commitment: 
Expertise from both the industrial materials recycling group and the competence center recycling (CCR) will be used giving a significant experience in critical metals recovery process development from both primary and urban sources. CCR will contribute a wide competence including e.g. technical aspects, philosophy, systems analysis, toxicology economy etc. Also, more than 20 different industries are linked to CCR which will create unique insight
Name of partner: 
CIME Cluster
Country: 
France
Entity profile: 
Other
Other: 
association
Role within the commitment: 
1. Standardization issues (linked to CENELEC / WEEELABEX) in order to optimize the CRM recovery 2. Mapping of WEEE 3. Recovery of Critical raw materials from WEEE (rare earth and more specifically neodymium, praseodymium used in Hard Drive Disks magnets) 4. Efficient production of wood pulp and soft wood lumber. Resource mobilization and screening of innovative technologies. 5. Rubber (from tyres), batteries (Ni-Cr, Li…) and metal
Name of partner: 
CRM Alliance
Country: 
Europe
Entity profile: 
Multi-national organization
Role within the commitment: 
The CRM Alliance can provide guidance on the role ‘country legislation’ and the role ‘support’ (or otherwise) for mining will play on the availability of CRM’s. A great deposit in the wrong country will never be mined. The CRM Alliance is also the best source to understand the (negative) effects of substitution efforts on the demand and application of CRMs.
Name of partner: 
European Federation of Geologist
Country: 
Europe
Entity profile: 
NGOs
Role within the commitment: 
EFG works closely with international counterparts in the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Brazil and Africa, and the concerted contribution of this network of geoscientists is relevant to frame and answer to the challenges that industrial needs and technology advances impose on (critical) raw materials.
Name of partner: 
ENCO-srl
Country: 
Italy
Entity profile: 
Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: 
management of international and national projects, market analysis and developing and implementing dissemination and exploitation plans. Will provide effective communication with relevant external stakeholders, while being responsible for all the communication, dissemination and exploitation activities. ENCO will create a connection with SMART GROUND network and community, providing if necessary some data about the expected EU demand of some CRM
Name of partner: 
University of Belgrade, Faculty of Mining and Geology (FMG)
Country: 
Serbia
Entity profile: 
Academia
Role within the commitment: 
Our main focus is: - Production (mapping, assessment, quantification) of CRMs predominantly from primary sources; - The gaps in technology and policy (more policy as we have some experience from three EU projects); - To help in establishing an expert network; - To help in stakeholder consultations. We particularly see our role in enabling enough data on primary existing and potential mineral resources of borates and magnesites,
Name of partner: 
Geo IT Ltd
Country: 
Latvia
Entity profile: 
Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: 
dissemination and communication / expertising activities of ENCRAMs actions for BSR and we can also stimulate participation from BSR countries in ENCRAMs supported HORIZON2020 and similar partnerships
Name of partner: 
Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS)
Country: 
Denmark
Entity profile: 
Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: 
GEUS established in 2013 the unit Mineral Resources and Materials (MiMa) as the mineral intelligence arm of the department Petrology and Economic Geology. MiMa is focusing on assessments on the consumption and supply of critical raw materials as well as assessments of the mineral resource potentials in Denmark and Greenland. GEUS/MiMa is actively involved in research projects on critical minerals (e.g. EURARE, ERECON, Min4EU, ProSum, MICA)
Name of partner: 
Optimización orientada a la sostenibilidad S.L. (IDENER)
Country: 
Spain
Entity profile: 
Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: 
IDENER as part of REE4EU project (REE recycling from permanent magnets development) is able to provide feedback about REE value chain and could be in charge of knowledge management at an internal level through the setting of dedicated Data Management System and Decision Support System tools. The Knowledge manager (IDENER staff member) could retrieve, handle and process along with IDENER ICT team all the information generated during the project.
Name of partner: 
EUROMETEAUX
Country: 
Europe
Entity profile: 
Multi-national organization
Role within the commitment: 
Eurometaux's mission is to be the voice of the no ferrous metals industry, in Europe and internationnaly. Through its members, Eurometaux represents many critical raw materials including the PGM, Tin, beryllium, etc. Eurometaux's role will consist in relaying information to and from its members to the network
Name of partner: 
INSTYTUT METALI NIEŻELAZNYCH (IMN)
Country: 
Poland
Entity profile: 
Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: 
IMN has a long experience in recovery, processing, production and analysis of non-ferrous metals from primary and secondary resources, as well as in development of new and advanced materials based on non-ferrous metals. Participation in numerous European initiatives, organisations and projects, its experience in management and execution of R&D and innovation projects for industrial applications ensure high level of activities.
Name of partner: 
Ministry of ecology, sustainable development and energy-DGALN
Country: 
France
Entity profile: 
Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: 
THE MEDDE/DGALN particularly well placed to communicate with ENCRAM information needs to define and implement public policy on strategic metals and it will be particularly attentive to the relevance, quality and operability of the informations produced by ENCRAM. It can also make available its own network of expertise.
Name of partner: 
Swerea MEFOS AB
Country: 
Sweden
Entity profile: 
Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: 
MEFOS has a long knowledge and experience in operation and modification of existing and new pyro-metallurgical processes for recovery of specific elements and compounds and is well known for its unique pilot equipment. MEFOS can support with knowledge on properties and processing of alternative raw materials, residuals and EOL materials including WEE and batteries for recovery of elements and replacement of coking coal
Name of partner: 
MinPol
Country: 
Austria
Entity profile: 
Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: 
Policy analysis and policy recommendations – providing recommendations for policy makers to support improvement of production of CRM Stakeholder needs and preference assessment – policies for the use, recycling and substition of CRM will only be implementable, when stakeholders agree and committ to them; assessing their needs and preferences, therefore, is a critical element in policy development.
Name of partner: 
National Technical University of Athens (NTUA)
Country: 
Greece
Entity profile: 
Academia
Role within the commitment: 
• Lead the efforts on identifying the technology gaps and construct a roadmap on innovation capacity towards CRM primary and secondary resources production • Connecting node with the stakeholders in Greece and Balkan area • National contact point at EIT Raw Μaterials • Policy gaps in waste management (MIN-GUIDE, WP leader) • Highly expert on REE value chain (EURARE coordinator, ERECON steering committee) • WEEE mapping
Name of partner: 
RECHARGE
Country: 
Belgium
Entity profile: 
Other
Other: 
association
Role within the commitment: 
RECHARGE proposes to bring its expertise of rechargeable batteries. Our association has access through its members to primary information on materials used in batteries, as well as on the future market and technology trends.
Name of partner: 
Geological Survey of Sweden/Sveriges Geologiska Undersökning (SGU)
Country: 
Sweden
Entity profile: 
Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: 
we will mainly be focused on current and future primary sources, including mapping, assessment, and quantification, where applicable. We can also identify gaps in the knowledge regarding said primary sources. SGU is also exploring the potential of secondary resources as sources for CRMs.
Name of partner: 
Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)
Country: 
Netherlands
Entity profile: 
Academia
Role within the commitment: 
(1) Network building: contacting/inviting WEEE recycling industry in the Netherlands to join the commitment or the supporting partner. (2) Conducting the activities for studying the WEEE and ELVs as part of the Eol products, in relation to the use and destination as well as potential substitution of the CRMs
Name of partner: 
Ghent University
Country: 
Belgium
Entity profile: 
Academia
Role within the commitment: 
UGent is internationally renowned for research in deep-sea exploration and environmental technology. It also provides expertise in resource recovery through physicochemical and bioprocesses, assessment methodologies of sustainability (resource efficiency, life cycle analysis and criticality), and development of light-weight as substitutes. This is combined with infrastructural capacity of test equipment, analytics and advanced characterization
Name of partner: 
United Nations University, Vice Rectorate in Europe, Sustainable Cycles Programme (UNU-ViE SCYCLE)
Country: 
Multinational organisation
Entity profile: 
Other
Other: 
United Nations Organisation
Role within the commitment: 
Lead of Work-Package on “E-waste/WEEE”
Name of partner: 
WEEE Forum
Country: 
Europe
Entity profile: 
Other
Other: 
non for profit association
Role within the commitment: 
The WEEE Forum will seek to contribute to the success of the Commitment by sharing its expertise, gathered through its projects, notably ProSUM, as well as through its network of producer compliance schemes that collect and manage recycling of WEEE. Findings and policy recommendations arising from the Commitment can be disseminated through its network
Name of partner: 
LGI Consulting
Country: 
France
Entity profile: 
Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: 
project management, market studies, dissemination/communication
Name of partner: 
VTT
Country: 
Finland
Entity profile: 
Other
Other: 
RTO
Role within the commitment: 
Contribute to CRM substitution issues
Name of partner: 
KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER NETWORK LIMITED (KTN)
Country: 
United Kingdom
Entity profile: 
Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: 
leading the substitution
Name of partner: 
PNO INNOVATION
Country: 
United Kingdom
Entity profile: 
Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: 
contribution to the organisationof the networking and clustering activities
Name of partner: 
ICCRAM
Country: 
Spain
Entity profile: 
Academia
Role within the commitment: 
Contribute to substitution, links with regions
Existing EU contribution: 
No
Period to implement the commitment: 
Monday, 2 January, 2017 to Friday, 28 June, 2019