The Eramet Water Resource Challenge, in partnership with EIT RawMaterials, has crowned Weeefiner as its 2023 winner. This Finnish innovator won the prize with its 4D Scavenger technology, designed to extract metals from wastewater in industrial settings.

WEEFiner invented a technology capturing dissolved metals

The 4D Scavenger uses a 3D-printed porous filter to capture dissolved metals, yielding not only a concentrated form of the metals for reuse but also purifying the water. The scalable technology can also be adapted to target specific or multiple metals.

The finish startup received a prize of 50 k€ to test its solution and validate the proposal’s feasibility within the Eramet Group.

The 2023 Eramet Water Resource Challenge, marked its fifth year of supporting sustainable practices in the mining and metals sector. This year’s competition drew over 90 global participants, narrowing down to four finalists who presented their cutting-edge solutions in metal recovery, water treatment, and monitoring in March 2024.

EIT RawMaterials was pivotal in orchestrating open innovation challenge, accessing a wide range of innovators and startups and running the application processes to guiding the selection of candidates.

EIT RawMaterials champions sustainability in mining and metals by empowering global startups and SMEs. The initiative embodies EIT RawMaterials’ dedication to sustainability and innovation within the mining and metals sector. It empowers start-ups and SMEs worldwide to contribute meaningful advancements in mining and metals and actively facilitates matchmaking with established industry leaders.

In a practical application of their winning solution, Weeefiner is set to start a pilot at Eramet Norway’s Porsgrunn plant, focusing on the extraction of nickel from wastewater. This initiative marks a significant step forward in refining water management strategies across the industry.

Find out more about EIT RawMaterials’ Open Innovation Challenges and how you can get involved in future initiatives.