The SusChem supported Horizon2020 project VERAM (Vision and Roadmap for European Raw Materials) brought together diverse stakeholders – including five European Technology Platforms (ETPs): Sustainable Mineral Resources, Forest, Construction, Sustainable Chemistry and Advanced Materials – to produce a medium-term (2030) Vision and a longer-term (2050) Strategic Research and Innovation Roadmap for raw materials. VERAM is now completed and its public project deliverables are available to download.
Demographic changes, such as population growth in developing countries and an ageing population in developed countries, coupled with increasing standards of living and urbanisation trends will foster a greater demand for products and applications linked to human well-being, health, hygiene and sustainability. As a consequence, the worldwide demand for raw materials is expected to increase while global resources and land become scarce. A shift towards a more resource-efficient, circular economy and sustainable development is essential.
Europe is confronted with many challenges along the entire raw materials value chain. Yet, innovation in raw materials value chains remains untapped despite the sector’s great potential. A more coordinated approach towards raw materials management will help reduce external supply dependency and lead to an efficient use of resources.
To achieve these goals, a long-term vision and roadmap to 2050could help tap the full potential of raw materials supply and use in Europe and boost the innovation capacity of the sector, turning it into a strong, sustainable pillar of the EU economy and an attractive industry, whilst addressing societal and environmental challenges and increasing benefits for society. This is where VERAM came in.
Key to success
“The key to the success of VERAM was the strong partnership that was forged through the project, linking diverse ETPs, value chains, industry sectors and academia,” commented Patrick Wall, VERAM’s project coordinator from the European Technology Platform on Sustainable Mineral Resources (ETP SMR).
“To address the challenges in the raw materials supply chain, VERAM initiated communication and dialogue between the different raw materials sectors, stakeholders (including civil society organisations) and all parts of the value chain to pool experience and knowledge and build the VERAM Vision and Roadmap for Raw Materials,” Mr. Wall continued.
Henk Pool, Innovation Manager at CEFIC, a partner in the VERAM project consortium said: “Predicting the future is a significant challenge, especially in a world that is experiencing rapid change, including accelerators of change such as digitalisation, however we can be certain that there will still be a significant need for raw materials in 2050! And VERAM has helped us understand what will be required and the critical need for innovation to ensure this need can be met.”
Deliverables to download
Work package 1: Management and coordination
- Results of the feasibility study to establish a R&I Raw Materials Stakeholder Portal
Work package 2: Dissemination and communication
- Project website design and initial promotion materials (logo, templates)
- Clustering with ongoing initiatives (EIT RM; clusters; EU projects on RM, …)
- Final Conference
Work package 3: Defining and exploring the playing field
- Report on the raw materials research and innovation network: the relevant players and their roles
- Report on the RM research & innovation funding and projects: relevant R & I topics in the EU and abroad, strengths and weaknesses of current EU and MS funding landscape
- Report on future societal challenges and the corresponding needs of global markets and EU industries
- Report on the challenge ahead: the gap between future EU industrial needs and current research and innovation funding
- Web based information handling portal
Work package 4: Creating a vision 2030 and 2050 for raw materials
- Report on economic outlook and raw material needs for 2050
- Report on Raw material research and innovation vision for 2050
- Report on innovation and capacity building needs across the EU economy till 2050
Work package 5: Creating the raw materials roadmap 2050
- RM Research Roadmap drafts
- RM Research Roadmap and recommendations