Innovation Projects

The ambitious vision of EIT RawMaterials is realised by the creation of a structured collaboration within the Knowledge Triangle, which is the basis of the EIT model.

Call for Projects 2022 (KAVA 8) is open!

Call for Projects 2022

EIT RawMaterials Projects Timeline

385 Projects
Project Portfolio
Innovation Themes
Innovation Areas/Lighthouses

AWARE: Raising Public Awareness on Electronic Waste as a Source of Valuable Materials

Objective:

The project creates new types of education material designed to raise awareness among young people of electronic waste as a resource for valuable materials, and to involve them in collection campaigns in schools. The aim is to develop education material for schoolteachers, and awareness concepts for multiplication in Europe benefiting previous and ongoing studies and KCAs. Also, university students will be trained to act as envoys in schools.

The solution (technology):

In Europe, Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) is one of the fastest growing waste streams with high metal and impurity concentrations. Critical raw materials (CRMs) – defined in Europe as materials important to European economy but at the same time associated with supply risks – are used extensively in electronics. The concentrations of most CRMs in ores is limited and the environmental footprint of their use is quite high. Today, the biggest bottleneck for the efficient recycling of small household devices and telecommunications equipment is that a large share of devices is stored in homes and ends up in unknown destinations, instead of dedicated recycling schemes. As a consequence, valuable raw materials are lost.

The focus of the project will be on education and the involvement of school children, both to raise the awareness of end-of-life electronics as a resource, and through them to bring the message into families and the society as whole. The aim of the project is to increase the share of waste ending up in official take-back systems instead of loosing the resource to waste disposal or incineration plants and collection outside official take-back systems.

The project will create new types of education materials co-designed with young people to reach their peers and to involve young people in planning collection campaigns for end-of-life electronics. The idea is to engage schoolteachers to be involved in new learning topics, and to distribute information on the circular economy of end-of-life electronics in primary, secondary schools and also higher education (in Finland) in novel, interesting forms (e.g. games and videos or phenomenon based learning). The main target group for the project is school children with open minds for action and an interest in protecting the environment. Besides the schoolteachers, university students will also be trained to act as envoys in schools. The project will provide the recycling companies, associations and municipalities with new ideas from the pupils for the arrangement of campaigns in schools or in society, based on feedback from schoolchildren.

Partners:

Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT (Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. VTT), Finland (Lead Partner)
Hub Innovazione Trentino S.c.a.r.l. (HIT), Italy
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium
Relight S.R.L., Italy
Technische Universiteit Delft (Delft University of Technology), Netherlands
Università degli Studi di Trento, Italy
Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK), Italy

Exploration

BalticPlus

Objective

The purpose of the co-investing event is for attracting Baltic investors, SMEs, start-ups and business idea holders (Universities/Researchers) in the field of raw materials.

The solution (technology)

EIT RawMaterials will organise a competition for start-ups with a possibility to win a rebate with which they could use EIT RawMaterials partners’ R&D infrastructure with a lower cost. These infrastructure are defined within the NoI KAVA. Another prize will be to offer start-ups a possibility to participate in an open Innovation platform, which will be piloted within EIT RawMaterials in 2017.

Partnership

Mineral Processing/Resource Efficiency

BATTERFLAI: Supply of BATTERy Minerals Using Lignin Nanoparticles as FLotAtIon Collectors

Project duration: 1 September 2019 – 31 December 2023

Objective

BATTERFLAI is a sustainable and efficient flotation process for the recovery of battery metals, using abundant resources for environmental friendly flotation reagents that can secure the supply and quality of collectors for the smooth operation of the mines. The new collectors have unique properties regarding the suppression of iron during flotation and selective recovery of battery base metals such as Cu, Ni, Co and Au from sulphide iron ores.

The solution (technology)

As copper (Cu), nickel (Ni) and cobalt (Co) are three of the main components of the cathode of Li-batteries, rising demand from the battery sector will “have a disruptive impact” on their markets over the next 10 years. We expect copper demand from electric vehicles to rise from 208k tonnes in 2017 to 1.91m tonnes in 2030; i.e. a 19% annual increase. Moreover the annual nickel demand for lithium-ion batteries may rise to more than 190 000 metric tons by 2030 from about 5 200 tons in 2016 and cobalt will increase roughly by 450% from the same year to 2025. Gold is not currently used as a component in Li-ion batteries, however it has been suggested as a potential cathode material or LiMn2O4 coating due to its high volumetric capacity and power density. In contrast to falling supply, the gold demand is pro-jected to grow, especially when it comes to technology demand.
BATTERFLAI offers a sustainable and efficient flotation process for the recovery of base metals, such as Cu, Ni, Co and Au, needed for the manufacturing of Li-ion batteries from sulphide iron ores that com-pared with the current industrial practice of flotation, uses lower-carbon footprint, biodegradable and more environmental friendly reagents obtained from underutilized forest residues or side streams from the forest industry. One specific characteristic of the new flotation collectors is that they supress the flotation of non-valuable iron sulphide minerals such as pyrites or pyrrhotite Moreover, due to the need of importing flotation collectors, European mines have faced supply and quality issues. BATTERFLAI, using European resources for the production of flotation reagents, can secure the supply and quality of collectors for the smooth operation of the mines.
The BATTERFLAI project has a strong scientific base in the project research partners, i.e. Luleå University of Technology, RISE Research Institute of Sweden and National Technical University of Athens, and is organized along the value chain through Boliden, KGHM Cuprum, KGHM Polska Miedz S.A., IMN, Hellas Gold, ColloidTek and LTU Business to support the scaling up of a lignin based flotation concept, contributing towards an expanding circular economy and new business opportunities within and outside Europe.

Partnership

  • Boliden Mineral AB, Sweden
  • ColloidTek Oy, Finland
  • Geological Survey of Finland, Finland
  • HELLAS GOLD S.A., Greece
  • Institute of Non-Ferrous Metals, Poland
  • KGHM Cuprum Ltd. Research & Development Centre, Poland
  • KGHM Polska Miedz Spólka Akcyjna, Poland
  • LTU Business AB, Sweden
  • National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Greece
  • RISE Research Institutes of Sweden AB, Sweden
  • Luleå University of Technology (LTU) (Lead Partner), Sweden

BetterGeoEdu: Teaching Raw Materials Through Gamification

Objective

The project has five primary goals:

  1. Create educational material for primary schools based on BetterGeo
  2. Translate the mod and the material to minimum four languages
  3. Hold four test lectures in two different countries
  4. Hold a one-day workshop for primary school teachers (in Sweden)
  5. Spread the material through the channels of the EIT RawMaterials consortium and build a website

The solution (technology)

The educational material will focus on teaching raw materials and their importance in everyday life, from extraction to end-product. The game will function as a complement to practical studies, for example learning to identify different raw materials and their applications after working with them in the game. The material is aimed to be user-friendly, easily accessible and relevant for the different countries. BetterGeo is today available in Swedish and English and will be translated to two more languages in this project by the project partners. The educational material will likewise be developed in the same four languages.

Partnership

You can find more information and apply on the official BetterGeoEdu website.

Sustainable Mining

BGE2: BetterGeoEdu 2.0: Teaching Raw Materials to Primary Schools with Gamification

Project duration: 1 January 2020 – 31 December 2021

Objective

BetterGeoEdu will develop teaching material using BetterGeo – a modification of the immensely popular game Minecraft.

The solution (technology)

Teaching material will be tailored for primary schools, and cover innovation themes of the EIT RawMaterials like mining, processing and recycling, complete with a train-the-trainer programme for teachers. BetterGeoEdu brings a unique and innovative way of teaching raw materials to primary schools using a game known and loved by millions.

Partnership

  • Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU), Sweden (Lead Partner)
  • Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Italy
  • Geological Survey of Slovenia (GeoZS), Slovenia
  • Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria
  • Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
  • Trinity College Dublin – The Provost, Fellows, Foundation Scholars, and the other members of Board, of the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin, Ireland
  • Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, UPM (Technical University of Madrid), Spain
  • Université de Liège, Belgium

For more information, please visit the project website.

Recycling

BioFlex: Flexible Biometallurgy Infrastructure and Expertise network

Project duration: 1 January 2016– 31 December 2018

BioFlex is a network of infrastructure (NoI) bringing together biometallurgy related infrastructure.

Objective

BioFlex aims to bring together partners with infrastructure and expertise in biometallurgy. Biometallurgy includes bioleaching of metals from ores and waste, biosorption of metals from liquid streams, bioprecipitation of metals and bio-electrochemistry of metals. BioFlex operates within the ZeroWaste cluster of Networks of Infrastructure.

The solution (technology)

There is a need for a one-stop-shop for infrastructure and expertise related to different types of metallurgy, including biometallurgy.

Partnership

For more information, please check the project website.

Exploration

BioLeach: Innovative Bio-treatment of RM

Project duration: 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2022

Objective

High economic investments into the import of raw materials which are significant for further industrial utilization increase the importance of local sources, which after proper technical adjustments can represent an environmental and financially attractive alternative. However, their lower quality and lack of technologies improving their industrial value prefer serious financial investments into the import of higher quality materials. These materials include metallic raw materials (mRMs) – extremely important sources of CRM, REE and metals, but also non-metallic raw materials (nRMs) widely used in several industrial sections such as paper, ceramic, glass, chemical industry and agriculture.

The solution (technology)

The first aim of the project is to create an impact on the local ecosystem by and along the development and improvement of the technology and especially by engaging the relevant local players. Technology will be applied to local deposits to obtain RMs appropriate for industrial utilisation. While currently used technologies are very expensive and environmentally not acceptable, low cost and ecological method of bioleaching are suggested. Bioleaching is an alternative way of improving deposits via the activity of bacteria, which induce changes of chemical and structural features of rocks and minerals. The challenge of the project is to configure and improve this effective, economical and innovative method for specific local sources. The second aim is related to greater utilisation of local sources. Effective bacteria can be used industrially for treatment of mRMs to extract CRM, REE and metals, but also for treatment of nRMs, whose commercial value is decreased by impurities limiting the area of their application. Therefore the further aim of this project is to test and evaluate local minerals as new potential sources, whose increased industrial value was obtained by bioleaching.

Partnership

  • Technical University of Košice, Slovakia (Lead Partner)
  • Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna, Italy
  • Bay Zoltan Nonprofit Ltd. for Applied Research, Hungary
  • Caobar, S.A., Spain
  • ekolive s.r.o., Slovakia
  • G.U.B. Ingenieur AG, Germany
  • Gomez Pardo Foundation, Spain
  • Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e.V. (HZDR), Germany
  • Najpi a.s., Slovakia
  • Politechnika Wroclawska, Poland
  • Sifucel – Sílicas, S.A., Portugal
  • Trinity Dublin College, Ireland
  • Universidad Politecnica de Madrid,  Spain
  • Universidade Nova de Lisboa – Faculty of Sciences and Technology (FCT NOVA), Portugal
  • Università degli Studi di Milano – Bicocca, Italy
  • Zeocem, a.s., Slovakia

BizMet: Competetive Sustainable Business from Metal Recycling

Objective

Circular economy demands new approaches along the value chain and in business models of production. SMEs often have not the capacity to keep track with developments and align their strategies for the future. BizMet bridges the gap between SMEs and universities. Our goal is that 40 SMEs will benefit from BizMet by using new competences to innovate and shape new circular economy business models.

The solution (technology)

Reducing primary resources and increasing waste hills started making a difference to the standpoint of humanity and created a new trend known as Sustainable Future. Transformation towards sustainability is a significant issue that should be addressed not only by governments, but also companies as well as profit and non-profit organizations. Creating a sustainable future model is the common denominator of humanity.

BizMet project initiates a platform to bring together all regional actors within European countries to accelerate the transformation into a circular economy for a sustainable future. It provides an interactive education, networking and knowledge sharing opportunities in the field of metal recycling especially for SMEs, industrial experts, professionals, researchers/scientists, and graduate students. The innovative educational approach of BizMet integrates lifelong education and PhD education to train SMEs to create sustainable business models, to develop environmental processes and to release competitive products and services. The project establishes an ecosystem to promote the metal, mining and recycling industrials into a circular economy by improving the cooperation between SMEs and universities and the understanding of sectoral needs, and introducing cutting edge technologies.

Partnership

For more information, please visit the project web page.