Overcoming the great socio-economic challenges of our time, such as access to clean energy, mobility, digital transition as well as securing raw materials for emerging technologies in an environment of increasing global competition requires secure supply chains and a strong European raw materials sector. Answering such challenges requires innovative solutions based on sustainable materials resources, the core ambition of the European Technology Platform on Sustainable Minerals Resources (ETP SMR).
Officially recognized by the European Commission in 2008, ETP SMR successfully combines interdisciplinarity and deep commitment from its members. Its significance is underlined by the increasing political and strategic importance placed on the development of secure and sustainable raw materials supply. ETP SMR aims to build education, research, and innovation to form the basis of economically successful, self-confident, independent actions that are committed to sustainability for our future raw material supply through this Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA).
This SRIA supports a number of key areas in line with European Commission priorities for achieving the overarching socio-economic transition goals and technological leadership affecting the raw materials sector:
- Raising the competitiveness of the European Raw Materials Sector through innovation.
- Stimulating the commercialization of research results.
- Improving self-sufficiency in European raw materials supply.
- Enabling supply chain diversification through deployment of new technologies.
- Gaining industrial and technological leadership in core segments of the raw materials value chain.
- Raising resource and energy efficiency.
- Strengthening the mineral resource research and innovation sector from its existing small, fragmented base.
- Updating and expanding the knowledge base.
- Maintaining and strengthening university research, education, and training.
- Increasing the attractiveness of jobs in the raw materials sector and securing skilled workers.
- Raising awareness of raw materials and supporting research and development in school education.
- Maintaining natural sciences as a priority subject in curricula.
This SRIA outlines key areas of action which the ETP SMR believes should be included in the design of future European and national research programmes. The Strategic Ambitions within the SRIA are the result of a collaborative process conducted with our stakeholders, defining specific needs for action in relation to research and innovation. These ambitions also aim at increasing raw materials awareness within society, academia, industry, and policy.