Tuesday, 7 May 2013

CRM_InnoNet Newsletter published

The recently launched SusChem-supported Critical Raw Materials Innovation Network (CRM_InnoNet) FP7 project, has just published its latest newsletter. The project aims to support Europe’s strategic objective to ensure security of supply for the vast range of critical raw materials required by European industries. Its partners aim to achieve this by aligning research, development and innovation efforts towards substitution of critical raw materials that will secure existing value chains and lead to new applications and markets.

A main feature of the newsletter is a report on the formal launch of the Innovation Network at a workshop on April 15 in Brussels. This event brought together relevant actors from various parts of the value chain to establish an open, fruitful and enduring dialogue. The greatest challenge for Europe was identified right from the beginning of the workshop: The demand for materials is so intense that 20- 30% of the resources we use in Europe are now imported.

Key note speaker Renzo Tomellini, Head of Unit for Materials in DG Research & Innovation, drew attention to the fact that we are living ahead of our possibilities: “We need to redefine the parameters of our industrial economy and be more intelligent in the use and management of raw materials”.

Claire Claessen, CRM_InnoNet project coordinator, acknowledged that, in order to overcome Europe’s dependency on import of critical raw materials, “a multi-faceted approach is required, including increased resource extraction where appropriate, recycling, reusing, reducing the amount of material used and replacement or substitution”.

Sector specific
During the workshop interactive sector-specific sessions in the areas of Electronics and ICT, Energy, Transport and Cross-cutting initiatives were organized. The participants supported unanimously the need for establishing an Innovation Network in the field of substitution of Critical Raw Materials.

The Innovation Network will have four main objectives:

  • to catalyse the European innovation community in the area of substitution and create synergies
  • share information
  • promote best practices 
  • identify innovation pathways

A second Workshop for the Innovation Network is planned for May 2014, where the Innovation Network will have the opportunity to review the progress of the work and provide further input.

To register your interest to the Innovation Network, please visit the project website and for more information about the project, contact Antonia Morales Perez at Cefic. You can also contact the network by email and follow the project on Twitter via @CRM_InnNet.

RSC evening lecture
Critical raw materials will be featured at the SusChem Stakeholder meeting on May 14 and 15 with a dedicated workshop session on the second day.

Also on the evening of May 15 the Belgium section of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) will be hosting Dr Mike Pitts of the UK’s  Technology Strategy Board (TSB) for a public evening lecture on Critical Raw Materials at the British School of Brussels. For more information on this event contact RSC Belgium secretary Tim Reynolds.

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