Your Start-up or an SME offers sustainable solutions for the raw materials sector? Apply for the Booster Call to get financial support and access to the EIT RawMaterials partner network to scale-up your business!

The EIT RawMaterials Start-up & SME Booster program provides support to start-ups and SMEs to develop innovative products/services that can produce an impact in the raw materials sector or benefit our partners.

Besides funding and customised services, the selected Start-ups and SMEs will also get access to the EIT RawMaterials partner network, participating in our networking events, as well as gain visibility through EIT RawMaterials network channels. Eventually, supported Start-ups and SMEs may join our network as an associate or full member to benefit from the ecosystem fully.

Start-up & SME Booster provides established start-ups with support:

  • to speed up a technology challenge resulting in a higher TRL, bringing the technology closer to the market
  • to accelerate market penetration by dedicating financial resources for a specific segment or target market
  • to facilitate product portfolio diversification, enabling product adaption or new product features to address a concrete market need

Start-up & SME Booster Call 2020 is open all year long. For the sake of clarity and to ensure a smooth selection and operational progress of the selected Start-ups and SMEs, three cut-off dates for proposal submission will be organised. The application deadlines are 17 January, 15 May and 4 September 2020.

Early Stage Start-ups Supported
Estimated External Investment Raised
Products and Services Launched
Applications Received

Thematic Scope

Europe is home to world-leading manufacturing industries, game-changing innovative technologies and an entrepreneurial infrastructure that can enable the transition to a resource-efficient, sustainable, society as envisioned in the EU 2020 agenda. A sustainable supply of mineral resources (metals, construction material) is vital for the development of these core industrial activities and their long-term economic success. However, Europe has become highly dependent on imports of these mineral resources, particularly critical raw materials, which is a key threat to future business in Europe.

The Start-up & SME Booster Program supports new businesses sharing our vision to develop raw materials into a major strength for Europe along the whole material value chain as follows:

Exploration and raw materials resource assessment

Mining in challenging environments

Increased resource efficiency in mineral and metallurgical processes

Recycling and material chain optimisation for End-of-Life products

Substitution of critical and toxic materials in products and for optimised performance

Design of products and services for the circular economy

The supply of a range of ores and metals is the main target of the EIT RawMaterials innovation community. Bio-based and polymer materials will be considered only given their substitution potential of critical and toxic materials and for optimised performance or multi-material product recycling. Petrochemical raw materials, food/agricultural raw materials and construction materials are excluded.

Examples are:

1. Exploration: Technologies and solutions for improved and new mineral exploration. As an example, solutions could include:

  • New and improved geological models, better exploration model understanding and techniques for going 3D/4D, drones, etc.
  • New instrumentation, methods and technologies for more reliable, cheaper, faster and safer mineral exploration, including technologies and services for innovative data acquisition, big data analysis/handling and utilise existing/historical dataset for exploration and mining.
  • Application of new innovations, new geological models and rethinking/re-evaluations of geological settings/prospects to provide new exploration prospects and mining targets.

2. Intelligent Mining: Technologies and solutions for more efficient, safer and sustainable modern mining. As an example, solutions could include:

  • Application of new technologies/services for more efficient production, better safety, better utilisation of equipment and employees for mining. Autonomous mining equipment, Internet of Things, virtual reality, UAVs/robotics, automation, real-time data that will improve planning, scheduling of operations, and delivering better efficiencies and cost savings. Self-aware and safe machines that are capable of ordering their spare parts and service engineers, and be connected, control centres and back offices far away.
  • Innovative services, approaches and products to ensure public understanding and awareness about the need for raw materials, exploration and mining, ensure corporate social responsibility and social license to operate as well as added values of mining including remediation.

3. Mineral and metallurgical processes: Technologies and solutions for mineral and metal processing and improved material production. As an example, solutions could include:

  • Optimised extraction and production processes for metals and alloys, improving the efficiency of the process, using less energy and water, reducing cost and the production of waste.
  • Technology that addresses equipment-damage problems such as wall thinning, creep, and corrosion.

4. Recycling: Technologies and solutions for materials supply from secondary sources and recycling. As an example, solutions could include:

  • Solutions for recycling of end-of-life products, extraction from industrial residues, tailings, urban and landfill mining (e.g. WEEE, batteries, magnets, solar cells etc.).
  • Cost-efficient and clever collection, dismantling and sorting of waste.

5. Substitution of critical and toxic materials and for optimised performance: New technologies or services that make it possible to substitute or use less critical or toxic materials in key industries. As an example, solutions could include:

  • Substitution of critical and toxic metals in specific energy materials, like Platinum in fuel cells, Cobalt in lithium-ion batteries, Nd and Dy in Nd-Fe-B permanent magnets.
  • Substitution of critical and toxic metals like Co and W in carbides, speciality metals in high strength steels and superalloys, incl. the design and manufacturing.
  • New material systems that contain no or less critical and toxic materials, for instance, for the use in batteries, permanent magnets, solar cells, and thermoelectric and magnetocaloric applications.
  • New/optimized materials for additive manufacturing, e.g., in printable electronics.
  • New lightweight composites and designs as substitutes for critical materials containing high strength steels and for optimised performance.
  • Solutions that integrate new materials into a Circular Economy, e.g., technology and business that enables and builds upon the reuse and recycling of newly developed, high-performance materials.
  • New products, systems, and services for optimised raw materials use, particularly with respect to mobility and energy technologies.

6. Circular economy: Solutions and business models implementing circular economy concepts. As an example, solutions could include:

  • New business models for resource recovery, product life extension (repairing, re-manufacturing, etc.), product as a service, sharing platforms.

In this Booster Call 2020, EIT RawMaterials is particularly seeking companies developing solutions dealing with:

  • Sustainable Discovery and Supply of primary and secondary resources (innovative solutions based for example on artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality etc.) for securing and processing strategic mineral resources in a sustainable and safe way and with a social license to operate.
  • Sustainable Materials for Future Mobility (e.g. materials for electrification such as batteries, fuel cells, magnets; materials for lightweight designs such as steels, non-ferrous alloys, composites, multimaterials etc.).
  • Raw Materials and Circular Societies (new circular business models such as reuse, repair, remanufacturing, sharing economy).

Amount of Funding

  • Financial support of up to a maximum amount of EUR 60,000.
  • Eligible costs follow the rules under the EIT framework agreements (FPA and SGA), please see the EIT RawMaterials Booster Call Terms & Conditions.

There is no formal minimum requirement of co-funding; however, projects that will show a co-funding and ask support for non-recurring costs (not for shareholders personnel costs) will be positively evaluated, as an indication of the commitment of the company in the initiative.

How to Apply

Please find below the Start-up and SME Booster templates and Terms and Conditions of the Booster Call 2020. After finalising your proposals, you can upload them on the application page (link below).

Applications must be submitted by the contact person of the company via the registration link:









Start-up & SME Booster Call 2020 is open all year long. For the sake of clarity and to ensure a smooth selection and operational progress of the selected Start-ups and SMEs, three cut-off dates for proposal submission will be organised. The application deadlines are 17 January, 15 May and 4 September 2020.

To get in touch with your regional EIT RawMaterials Innovation Hub, please check the list of Hubs and countries covered by them: