Call for Innovation & Education Projects
Together we can shape a strong, sustainable raw materials sector in Europe
Europe has set an ambitious goal of becoming the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050. It must develop alternative ways to gain more secure and sustainable access to strategic critical raw materials. The EU has the raw materials; therefore, an immense opportunity lies before Europe to develop domestic sourcing of raw materials and meet the rapidly increasing demand for its key industrial value chains.
The European Green Deal has put a tremendous spotlight on the raw materials sector to deliver innovation, education and new technologies at an unprecedented pace and scale. It will cause an industrial shift that puts the environment, societal responsibility for our human capital and efficient governance at the centre of every business model practice. This transformation will lead to scales of innovation not seen before and will turn the industry into a powerhouse of innovation and change.
Europe must transition on all levels to adopt clean energy technologies and drive digitalisation, automation and electrification. All elements of the raw materials sector’s supply chains, from mineral extraction to recycling, digitalisation and data intelligence, as well as product and process, must be reconsidered and reconfigured, leaving behind our traditional methodologies, systems and approaches.
As a result, the industry will become more purpose-driven, where circular economy, environment, recycling and sustainable design will be popular motivators that will improve the lives of Europeans.
The EIT RawMaterials Call for Innovation & Education Projects offers funding to project consortiums from industry, research and education to upscale solutions linked to a sustainable raw materials value chain in Europe. There are also funding opportunities for modern education programmes to skill and train a new generation of talented and entrepreneurial minds, empowering them to be a driving force in Europe’s raw materials sector.
About EIT RawMaterials
The EIT RawMaterials Innovation Community is building a pan-European innovation ecosystem on raw materials that are essential for Europe’s open strategic autonomy.
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth
EIT RawMaterials is the world’s largest raw materials consortium with over 300 partners and provides a collaborative environment for disruptive and breakthrough innovations by connecting business with academia, research, and investment. It also invests in future generations of innovators for the raw materials sector through initiatives ranging from education of school students to higher qualifications for industry professionals.
The latest success stories from the EIT RawMaterials community:
- Anna Vanderbruggen, has won the prestigious EIT Change Award for her pioneering work on graphite recycling. Anna graduated from the EIT RawMaterials Master’s programme, EMerald, and later joined the Erzlabor start-up, which is supported by one of the EIT RawMaterials programmes for entrepreneurs. Anna’s solution enables European recyclers to recover tonnes of graphite needed for lithium-ion batteries to power renewable energy technologies across the continent.
- EIT RawMaterials funded project CSyARES (Circular System for Assessing Rare Earth Sustainability), led by Circularise, is developing a sustainability tracking tool to ensure that handling of raw materials follows environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards. This will improve the way companies track the transparency and sustainability of their supply chains.
- Europe’s solar sector will adopt a state-of-the-art recycling process. The project ReProSolar, led by Veolia Germany, and that includes two start-ups supported by EIT RawMaterials in their early development, is working on a new process where all photovoltaic (PV) module components are completely separated for the first time. This way, pure silicon, silver and glass, among other things, can be made available to the manufacturing industry again.
- Europe is the fifth global consumer of magnesium (Mg). However, EU fully relies on the supply of Mg, a key alloying material for the aluminium, steel, or diecasting industry, from China. EIT RawMaterials project EU Magnesium project, led by Mures Magnesium, will bring the production of magnesium back to Europe with up to 13.5% capacity to supply the annual EU demand for minimum nine years.
Who can apply
All organisations that are eligible for funding under the Horizon Europe programme can apply.
You do not have to be an existing partner organisation of EIT RawMaterials to apply for funding, but by becoming one, you will gain access to a valuable source of expertise and potential collaborators. They will work with you and help build your consortium if, or when, you decide to apply for funding.
We also encourage our partners and stakeholders from industry, research, and education, including start-ups and SMEs, to submit new project proposals. These projects should demonstrate how they will impact significantly on European industrial competitiveness, innovation capacity, and human capital, as well as empower students and entrepreneurs advancing the circular economy and the green and digital transition goals of the European Green Deal.
Strengthening sustainable innovation ecosystems across Europe
EIT RawMaterials Lighthouse programmes reflect the most pressing needs of the raw materials value chain.
- Responsible Sourcing Lighthouse leads the innovation in mineral exploration, responsible sourcing and processing of raw materials for Europe’s green future.
- Sustainable Materials Lighthouse guides innovation in the making, using, and recycling of sustainable and cost-efficient raw materials for future green mobility and energy.
- Circular Societies Lighthouse fosters innovation in the radical shift to a circular economy and society enabling economic growth and carbon-neutrality.
Investing in novel education and disruptive innovation
Disruptive innovations in the raw materials sector will bring transformative breakthroughs for a greener future. New research and deployment of the latest technology, as well as the introduction of sustainability and ESG practice, will shape the world’s leading raw materials sector in Europe and attract young talents, and EIT RawMaterials will support their scaling up.
Europe aims to become a global innovation powerhouse. Higher Education institutions will become a hotspot for future talent developing deep tech solutions to global challenges. In fact, EIT RawMaterials will support the mission to skill up 1 million students in Deep Tech by 2025. EIT RawMaterials will support new project proposals for PhD Summer & Winter Schools and Master Programmes, as well as Lifelong Learning activities for professionals already working in the raw materials sector.
The Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) remains a strong focus of our Call for Innovation & Education Projects (KAVA 11). RIS projects are a platform for fostering collaboration and boosting innovation in the RIS countries and regions. Please note, all submitted proposals should support financial sustainability.
EIT RawMaterials Innovation Hubs, together with the Education and Innovation team, is your point of contact for any additional information on the new call.
- DRAFT Proposal registration and submission: Thursday, 26 January 2023 at 13:00 CET
- FINAL proposal submission: Thursday, 11 May 2023 at 13:00 CET
Please note, you can submit and un-submit your FINAL application as many times as you like prior to the submission deadline. By doing so, you will be able to check if your application is complete and formatted correctly well ahead of the submission deadline. DRAFT proposals received after 13:00 CET on 26 January 2023 will not be considered under any circumstance, and the proposals selected at Stage 1 of the submission process will have to submit the FINAL proposal no later than 11 May 2023 at 13:00 CET.
Guidelines & Other Documents
- Guidance for Upscaling and RIS Upscaling Projects – Final Submission
- Guidance for Education and RIS Education Projects – Final Submission
- Guidance for RIS Capacity Building Projects – Final Submission
- EIT RawMaterials Communication and Dissemination Guidelines
- Go-To-Market Strategy Process and Guidelines
- Project Management Guidance
- EIT RawMaterials Strategic Agenda 2021 – 2027 (link to external platform SeedBook)