Newsletter February 2021
A message from Bernd Schäfer
CEO, Managing Director
Dear members and friends of the EIT RawMaterials Innovation Community,
This week, President von der Leyen highlighted in the opening speech at the EU Industry Days 2021 the importance of the European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA) for the green and digital future of Europe. Currently, Europe is dependent on the third countries when it comes to strategic and critical raw materials for the EU industrial ecosystem. As pointed out by President von der Leyen, this is not sustainable, and we need to diversify our supply chains. Moreover, President von der Leyen emphasised the need to support innovation and investment in circular technologies to bring valuable resources back in the loop.
The message resonates during the meetings with the European Committee of the Regions and 17 Member States. To achieve and guarantee the active role for regions in ERMA, we welcome the Draft Opinion of the Commission for Economic Policy on the EU Action Plan on Critical Raw Materials. By joining ERMA and its clusters, national and regional authorities can play a key role in the ERMA consultation process and be actively involved in shaping the EU strategy, supporting the Alliance investment channel and meeting the EU Green Deal goals.
In the meantime, ERMA has officially launched the second Cluster on Energy Conversion and Storage Capacity. The cluster focuses on the raw materials needs to enable the European energy transition from the brown to the green economy, looking at the energy sector needs as a whole. The cluster will add to the development of policy recommendations and reflect the wider ERMA community’s combined aspirations and demands.
Furthermore, to unify a fragmented European innovation ecosystem and unlock its potential, EIT RawMaterials fully supports and will contribute to shaping the vision for a common European Innovation Area (EIA) for innovators and entrepreneurs. The EIA vision presented by Commissioner Mariya Gabriel is underpinned by five principles that create the conditions that empower people to transform their scientific expertise into market solutions.
By valorising and strengthening the expertise developed over the years while leveraging on the value of its partnership, EIT RawMaterials and the Commission’s DG for Education and Culture will discuss and set up concrete actions, which deliver on the EIA. The actions include Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) as engines of innovation, gender diversity in STEM and open innovation and co-creation. Over the next months, we will continue to work closely with the European Commission on further shaping and identifying the EIT RawMaterials contribution to EIA.
On this note, I want to invite our partners to the Brokerage Event on 11 March. We will introduce a new format of the Call for Projects 2022 (KAVA 8) and give the floor to new members of our Innovation Community. The meeting will be followed by speed-dating to connect you with potential partners for your project consortium. I encourage you to join and identify new project proposals that will strengthen the EU industrial competitiveness, innovation capacity and human capital, aligned with the EU Green Deal goals.
I want to thank our team, partners and stakeholders for all the great work and progress achieved this month! I hope you are all doing well, and I am looking forward to seeing you at the upcoming events within our community!
CEO, Managing Director