BERLIN, April 19 – As a signal of the heightened strategic prominence of raw materials for European policy and industry, the 4th annual RawMaterials Summit will open in Berlin with presentations from the EU Commissioners Mariya Gabriel and Thierry Breton, followed by an agenda comprising over 60 panel sessions speakers, all leaders from policy, industry, innovation, research, NGOs and education sectors within the raw materials sector.
Bernd Schäfer, CEO of EIT RawMaterials and Summit chief will issue a stark warning to the sector. With Europe’s raw materials supply under renewed threat from the latest geopolitical realities, it must act urgently to reduce dependencies on unreliable suppliers, ramp up investment and assemble highly innovative and sustainable supply chains.
Europe is facing a crisis. We have the raw materials, but little mining takes place and recycling needs to be boosted across the industry. No raw materials mean no electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels smart phones or buildings. We cannot continue depending on unreliable suppliers, many of whose environmental and social standards differ wildly from our own.
Bernd Schäfer, CEO of EIT RawMaterials
“We must aggressively ramp up the capacities of an entirely new industry based on the circularity of raw materials from responsible mining to recycling and traceability with no wastage of critical metals along the supply chain, supported by a reset of Europe’s existing permitting obstacles. By bringing together the best supply chain minds and circular practices, we can face, with confidence, the world’s fourth industrial revolution, which brings not just new challenges but tremendous opportunities,” he says.
The summit speakers range from Member State politicians, companies such as Tesla, Airbus, mining leader Boliden and ERAMET, as well as investors such as BNP Paribas, and organisations such as the World Materials Forum and WWF. The Summit will also spotlight Europe’s most promising start-ups from the sector and entrepreneurs to showcase the disruptive ideas needed to produce a world leading raw materials sector in Europe.
To launch the summit, EC leaders will discuss why securing raw materials is so fundamental. In the light of the recent International Energy Agency’s report, a quadrupling of mineral requirements by 2040 is needed to achieve the Green Deal climate targets. Other topics include the boosting of entrepreneurship in Europe, how to maximise the circularity of raw materials, driving decarbonisation within the battery materials value chain, how to develop the talent and skills needed in the raw materials sector, developing a globally responsible mining industry in Europe, and the Magnesium supply shortage.