Newsletter December 2020
A message from Bernd Schäfer
CEO, Managing Director
Dear members and friends of the EIT RawMaterials Innovation Community,
This year has united us to overcome the challenging time and find ways to support each other. It was also the time to slow down and find new ways to approach unprecedented circumstances.
Innovation and our commitment to the EU Green Deal have remained one of our key focus areas. We launched a call for entrepreneurs and innovators to adapt to the post-COVID-19 crisis and support the recovery of the EU economy with the Booster and the Fast-Track Calls. Our events moved online, including our flagship Raw Materials Summit 2020 that was a great success. Matchmaking and networking events for partners and stakeholders, as well as education activities introducing a new format of the Raw and Circular Economy Expedition (RACE), became virtual events in 2020.
We are particularly proud of having received the mandate from the European Commission, through Commissioner Thierry Breton and Vice President Maros Ševčovič, to manage the European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA), which has been launched on 29 September. Just last week, ERMA kicked off the first Cluster to strengthen the domestic supply chain of one the most critical value chains for many key EU industrial ecosystems: rare earth elements used in high-performance magnets and motors. Over 700 participants registered to the meeting, where six rare earth-related projects were presented to identify investment opportunities, synergies and collaboration across the value chain. Next month, on 26 January, the second meeting of the first Cluster will take place. I encourage you to join the online workshop and also sign up for a task force group.
Moreover, on behalf of our community, I was a part of the discussions on the creation of a European Innovation Area by Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. Commissioner Gabriel will address the need for a decentralised ecosystem to empower idea holders to realise their full potential to innovate in Europe. EIT RawMaterials has a strong record and experience that will contribute to the implementation of a European Innovation Area. I will share more information on our involvement in this exciting initiative soon.
Last Wednesday, our Innovation Community won the EIT Awards 2020. I am thrilled to congratulate María José Jurado (upscaling project INNOLOG) and Arpit Singh Parmar (start-up METHEORE) on taking the third place and winning EUR 10 000 in the EIT Innovators and EIT CHANGE Awards 2020! EIT Awards is a platform to celebrate the talent and achievements of the EIT Community and a great recognition of the innovation in the raw materials sector, contributing to a green, healthy, and digital Europe.
To conclude, we have ambitious plans for the upcoming year 2021. We build on all the valuable experience and lessons learned operating in the times of the pandemic to continue supporting our team, partners, entrepreneurs, students and stakeholders. I wish you and your families to stay healthy.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a good start into 2021!
CEO, Managing Director