Oct 2012: The European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials is officially supported by the Council of the European Union.
The supply of raw materials, the lifeblood of today's high-tech industry, is increasingly under pressure. With a view to increasing the availability of raw materials for Europe, the European Commission has proposed to set up a European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials.
Innovation can be a powerful vehicle in meeting Europe's challenges in the field of raw materials. For example, new technologies can help to extract minerals deeper underground, source the raw materials in more remote areas and under harsher conditions.
Action is also needed to develop substitutes for critical raw materials and to improve recycling of, amongst others, the 17 kg electric and electronic equipment waste that each EU citizen produces annually.
The current situation calls for targeted innovation and research efforts, breakthrough technologies and multidisciplinary approaches, as well as demand-side interventions (e.g. standards, public procurement and regulatory measures etc.).