The EU raw materials strategy recognises that innovation policy, which covers demand-based and supply-side measures, can play a crucial role in achieving the main policy goals set out in this strategy. It states that there is a need for innovation along the entire value chain, including exploration, extraction, sustainable processing, eco-design, recycling, new materials, substitution, resource efficiency and land use planning. For this reason, the Commission is considering the launch of an Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials – in line with the ‘Innovation Union’ flagship initiative.
The proposed partnership should stimulate innovation
· to explore and extract more efficiently and safely;
· to re-use and recycle more;
· to find alternatives/substitutes for critical or environmentally/energy demanding raw
· to be more resource efficient by decoupling resource use from growth, and;
· to mitigate the overall negative impact by global extraction and use of raw materials.
Fields to be covered by the tenders related studies are exploration and exploitation of raw materials on land and in marine environments, such as computer-animated modelling and simulation, geoengineering, microbiology, mining engineering, remote-controlled underground mining and related mechanical engineering, innovations for collecting, sorting, and
re-use and recycling technologies including product and service design including efficient dismantling aimed at increasing the quantity and quality of recycled
materials. Specific attention shall be given to the following main areas:
· Exploration, and safe exploitation, including environmentally-sound mining technologies or extraction technologies;
· mineral processing and refinements technologies, solutions for high-grade recycling including accumulation, enrichment, collecting and sorting;
· alternatives / substitution for three critical raw materials; or those of a significant hazardous potential
The study is to be awarded in the context of the EU 2020 strategy flagship initiative on Innovation Union and on the basis of the European Raw Materials Initiative.
The purpose of the proposed study is to support the European Commission in carrying out an analysis of potential pilot plants, technological processes and techniques which could demonstrably improve the availability of non-energy non-agricultural raw materials. This study should also serve to demonstrate the potential contribution such pilot plants could make to improve the competit iveness of the European economy. It should cover the entire raw materials value chain including exploration, extraction, processing, and substitution or respectively finding alternative solutions of these materials as well as recycling and land use planning.This means that clear improvements should be shown in terms of economic feasibility and
environmentally-sound management of raw materials (primary and secondary), management of downstream products as well improvements in resource efficiency and social impacts. In terms of content, the study will, in particular, identify and assess the desirability, feasibility and added value (cost and benefits, including acceleration of benefits to the civil society) of possible new innovative plants and technical applications in the areas mentioned above that may act as drivers for new business models that would provide a real advantage for Europe.
The study report will provide technical input to the future work of the Commission in relation to its policies and organisational structures involved in Innovation.
Deadline for submission of tenders is 9/9/2011.