Newsletter November 2021
A message from Bernd Schäfer
CEO, Managing Director
Dear Partners and Friends of EIT RawMaterials,
It was a busy summer and autumn for everyone at EIT RawMaterials and in our industry. There is unprecedented evidence on the importance of raw materials in confronting global challenges in a number of industry specific and societal areas. Undoubtedly there is a massive surge in interest in raw materials, most easily noted by dozens of articles in mainstream media on various related topics but also in the political, NGO and wider society arena.
Attention is good. The challenge and the opportunity is huge. It’s time to act, and the necessary investment can’t wait until tomorrow.
- The publication of the European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA)’s first Action Plan in September’s “Rare Earth Magnets and Motors: A European Call for Action” was a very visible step that has raised the highest level of attention from the political, industrial and media spheres from across Europe – a strong proof of the effectiveness of our approach. A special thanks to all contributors to this project. We continue to work on different and complementary action fields.
- We have expanded our outreach activities at the Member State level, leveraging our integration into regional innovation ecosystems. Furthermore, last month we were excited to inaugurate the EIT RawMaterials Hub – Regional Center Southern Spain.
- Our strong presence at Raw Materials Week in Brussels this month, was another opportunity we took to ensure support in securing raw materials for Europe, allowing us to highlight projects and to strengthen relationships. As part of RM Week at the High Level Conference of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Raw Materials, Commissioner Thierry Breton thanked EIT RawMaterials for our continuous involvement in driving the European Raw Materials Alliance.
- On 24 November, Members of the European Parliament voted for the adoption of the Critical Raw Materials report put forward by MEP Hildegard Bentele. During the hearing, Bentele underlined the key role of ERMA, managed by EIT RawMaterials, in achieving security of supply for CRMs in Europe.
- Over recent months, I have had the opportunity to meet in person with a number of our partners across Europe to present and discuss our strategy as well as the benefits to our partners of EIT RawMaterials’ extensive service model. Thank you for the fruitful discussions and valuable input!
We plan to further build on this momentum and count on your contribution in doing so: the RawMaterials Summit 2022 (23-25 May in Berlin) is fast approaching. The event will form part of our call for action, since action is what is needed now, across all areas: from education to innovation, from exploration to recycling, from research to development. Investment is indispensable to deliver the scale of resources needed to achieve EU Green Deal goals and to secure Europe’s vital raw materials supply. I strongly believe that this is a great opportunity to rejuvenate Europe’s raw materials sector while supporting the green and digital transitions.
Meanwhile the EIT’s HEI Initiative, led by EIT RawMaterials, has launched its second call for proposals. Consortia of Higher Education Institutions together with industry and research partners are invited to apply for funding of up to €1.2 million per project to boost HEIs’ innovation and entrepreneurship capacity. The application deadline is 28 February 2022. Look out for December’s online info sessions.
Finally, another highlight for me was seeing the EIT RawMaterials team meet in person last month for a social gathering and action, during which I was delighted to meet many staff members face-to-face for the first time; meanwhile we together planted 1,800 trees with the help of the Plant-my-Tree foundation.
Hoping that you and your loved ones are staying healthy.
CEO, Managing Director