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EFP Brief No. - European Foresight Platform


									          Breakthro      techno
                    ough t           s
                               ologies to se      the upply
                                            ecure t su
         of cr           rals an met
             ritical miner     nd                 U    nomy
                                     tals in the EU econ
                                                                 P        o.
                                                               EFP Brief No 181

Auth               uke Georghi
                  Lu             iou luke.geo
                                  , Jac             t
                                                                    cques Varet j.varet@br             ppe Larédo
                                                                                , Philip
  onsors:         EU Commissio
                   U            on
Type:             EU            e                        e
                   U-level single issue foresight exercise
Organizer:        FP FarHorizo Project Co
                   P7           on                      MIOIR, Luke G
                                            oordinator: M           Georghiou Lu
                                                                               uke.georghio            uk
   ation:         Se 08-Feb11
                   ept          1     Budget N/A
                                             t:              Time Hoorizon: 20330       Date of Brief: Apr 2011

   s                         EU                        ct
This exercise was part of an E FP7 Blue Skies Projec aimed at pi                     oping and tes
                                                                       iloting, develo                                        oresight
                                                                                                  sting in real situations a fo
meth           signed to brin together ke stakeholde for the pu
    hodology des            ng            ey            ers           urpose of exp               r
                                                                                     ploring longer term challen nges and building a
   red         at            e
shar vision tha could guide the develop  pment of the r relevant Euro                ch
                                                                     opean researc agenda. T                    h             d
                                                                                                 This approach was applied to the
them of “Breakth                          e             supply of critical minerals a metals in the EU econ
                hrough technologies for the security of s                            and         n              nomy”.

                 e        s
               The Minerals Challenge                                              R
                                                                                   Raw Materia
                                                                                             al                 merging Tech
                                                                                                               Em          hnologies
                                                                                   Antimony                    Anttimony Tin Oxide, fla    ame
   erals and m
Mine          metals are e  essential to almost ever   ry
                                                                                                                  ardant, micro capacitors
                                                                                                               reta           o
aspe of mode   ern life and every econ   nomic secto  or.
   ospace, agr              ulture, defence, energy,
                riculture, cu                                                      Cobalt
                                                                                   C                                                         els
                                                                                                               Li-ion batteries, synthetic fue
   ironmental p
envi           protection, hhealth, housing, transpo  ort
                                                                                   Gallium                       in
                                                                                                               Thi layer photovoltaics, IC,
and water supply are all high dependent upon them
                             hly                      m.
Plan for economic recovery and the de
   ns                        y           evelopment o  of
  w            also depend on their av
new industries a                                       or
                                        vailability – fo                           Germanium
                                                                                   G                             bre optic ca
                                                                                                               Fib                     tical
                                                                                                                            able, IR opt
   mple “green” energy pr
exam                                    om
                            roduction fro solar cells                                                            chnology
and wind turbinnes, the gre een car of t tomorrow an  nd
                                                                                   Indium                        splays,
                                                                                                               Dis                 thin          ayer
man more all require a range of rare minerals an      nd
   als         production.
meta for their p
                                                                                   Platinum                      el           lysts
                                                                                                               Fue cells, catal
Altho           tial
     ough essent to our ec   conomies, deevelopment o of
this sector has been negle   ected in We estern Europpe                            P
                                                                                   Palladium                   Cat
                                                                                                                 talysts,                      ater
     ng          25          his         nly
durin the past 2 years. Th was main because o         of                                                         salination
the very low price of t      these comm  modities – a
cons            f
     sequence of abundant re  eserves disc
                                         covered in th
                                                     he                            N
                                                                                   Niobium                       cro capacito
                                                                                                               Mic           ors, ferroallo
1970 0s. As a r result, the mining and metallurgical                                                           high speed low alloy steel
induustry as well as related research a  and educatioon                            N
                                                                                           m                   Perrmanent        m
                                                                                                                                 magnets,        aser
almo disappea               e
                ared from the present Eur            n,
                                          ropean Union                                                           chnology
mak             nomies totally dependent upon imports
    king our econ            y                       s.
                                                                                   Tantalum                      cro
                                                                                                               Mic          itors,
                                                                                                                       capaci                medical

The E                by                            G               part                             ded                         aring Platform’ for
     EFP is financed b the European Commission DG Research. It is p of a series of initiatives intend to provide a ‘Knowledge Sha                 r
     y               European Union. More information on the EFP and on the Knowledge Sharing Platfo is provided a www.foresight-
policy makers in the E                              n              d                                orm           at   
                ough technolog
        Breakthro                           the                         s                           my:         Brief No. 181
                             gies to secure t supply of critical minerals and metals in the EU econom Foresight B

Dem               se
   mand for thes minerals and metals is likely to in    n-              However, the
                                                                        H            ese solutions can take a long time to be
   ase dramatic
crea                                      w
                 cally. Much of this new demand w      will             i
                                                                        implemented and it is important to ide
                                                                                    d,                                      s
                                                                                                               entify today’s prior-
   me            dly
com from rapid growing, h     highly populaated emergin ng              ities for know
                                                                        i            wledge gene                            so
                                                                                                  eration and innovation s that
counntries, such as China, w which have a  attracted larg
                                                        ge              action can be
                                                                        a                                     s
                                                                                     egin. This in turn creates a need for a fore-
    s             rld
parts of the wor industrial production due to chea      ap              s
                                                                        sight approach that bring together t
                                                                                                  gs                        ge
                                                                                                              the knowledg and
   our, regardles of raw minerals and e
labo              ss                       energy issues.               i
                                                                        interests of t
                                                                                     the main staakeholders. It is in this ccontext
Already strong competition for access to natural re     e-              that the FarH
                                                                        t                                     ading experts in the
                                                                                    Horizon project invited lea            s
sour             ng
    rces, includin mineral re             al
                              esources vita to any econ n-              a
                                                                        area from goovernment ag              ustry and aca
                                                                                                  gencies, indu            ademia
omy is likely to accelerate fuurther in the coming year rs              t take part in a success scenario wo
                                                                        to                        s                         e
                                                                                                               orkshop. The aims
with possible sev             mental and s
                  vere environm            social impacts.              of           se
                                                                        o the exercis were
The EU econom is more th                   er
                              han any othe exposed t    to
thes developments, as it p
   se                         produces ver little of th
                                            ry          he                  •        entify the key challenges for raw ma
                                                                                to ide            y          s          aterials
mineerals it conssumes and a  almost none of the critical                             y
                                                                                supply in Europe;
mineerals it needs to develop its green tec
                  s                       chnologies.                       •   to ide
                                                                                     entify breakth
                                                                                                  hrough techno            ther in-
                                                                                                               ologies or ot
Against this bac              he
                  ckground, th creation of a new re     e-                      novattions that co            rm
                                                                                                  ould transfor the picture, in-
sear and inno
    rch          ovation conte in Europe has becom
                              ext          e           me                            ng substitu
                                                                                cludin            ution, new sources, wa   ays to
esse             nly          e
    ential, not on to reduce the EU’s de   ependence o  on                           ge           and
                                                                                chang demand a new appl       lications; and
impo             als           als        o
    orted minera and meta but also to chart th          he                  •        fine in broad terms the r
                                                                                to def           d                      d
                                                                                                             research and inno-
road ahead, to develop a win-win coo       operation wit th                          n
                                                                                vation strategies needed to ddevelop and make
deveeloping coun                            e
                 ntries and to stimulate the competitivee-                      use of such technoologies.
ness of EU techn  nology, products and ser rvice providerrs
to th global eco onomy.

                                                                        and growing sustainabil
                                                                        a          g                       ments. Geop
                                                                                               lity requirem         political
             cess Scena
          Succ                 oach
                      ario Appro                                         hemes were also touched upon.
                                                                        th                     d

The “Success S  Scenario App   proach” is a action-bas
                                          an           sed              The basic str
                                                                        T             ructure was to identify the key challenges
appr            e
     roach where senior stak  keholders deevelop a shaared               acing the sec and then to explore t potential role of
                                                                        fa           ctor        n             the
visio of what s
    on          success in th area wou look like, to-
                              he          uld                           b
                                                                        breakthrough technologie in addre
                                                                                    h             es                     e
                                                                                                              essing those chal-
geth with appr  ropriate goals and indicat
                               s           tors, which p
                                                       pro-              enges. A thir main session examined the key ele
                                                                        le           rd                        d         ements
vide the starting point for de
   e            g             eveloping a roadmap to get                needed for a sectoral stra
                                                                        n                                     ovation.
                                                                                                 ategy for inno
     e.         ose           g           on
there The purpo of having such a visio of success is   s                T figure be
                                                                        The       elow gives an outline of th methodolo
                                                                                              n             he        ogy:
     et                        ll
to se a ‘stretch target’ for al the stakeho            dis-
                                           olders. The d
cusssion and debbate forming an integral part of the p pro-
cess leads to deeveloping a m mutual under rstanding and a
com              m
   mmon platform of knowle   edge that helps to align the
acto for action. .
Impo             mes         e
     ortant outcom of these workshops are the insig  ghts
    y                        e
they provide in terms of the level of maturity in po olicy
desi ign and dev             nd
                 velopment an the viabil lity and robuust-
ness of long-te  erm policy s            o
                              scenarios to guide policy-
mak king. The w workshops al  lso provide indications on
wheether there is a need for further discu
                 s                       ussion to reffine
thinkking and po olicy design and/or to b            onal
                                         bring additio
stak             o           sion.
    keholders into the discuss
The theme wa developed in partned           ership with the
Frennch geoscien  nces institut tion BRGM. The worksh   hop
brou             er
    ught togethe twenty re      epresentative of scientific
orgaanisations, in             d             nt
                  ndustry and governmen agencies to
   ntify the role of technolog in addres
iden                            gy                      cio-
                                            ssing the soc
econnomic and p                 enges facing Europe in t
                 political challe           g            this
sect             n             s
    tor. Briefs on key issues were prepa    ared before the
workkshop, and p                                        e
                  participants took part in an exercise to
   ntify key driv
iden                           he
                 vers using th STEEPV framework (       (so-
cial, technologic cal, environm mental, economic, political
and values). Common theme were incr
                                 es         reasing demaand

                                                              Page 2 of 4
        Breakthrough technologies to secure the supply of critical minerals and metals in the EU economy: Foresight Brief No. 181

                                                                         2. Accessing seabed deposits
        Challenges in Three Dimensions
                                                                         3. Better health and safety; prediction of seismic
Informed by the drivers, participants were tasked to                        events and natural or man-made hazards
identify the key challenges for raw materials supply in                  4. Using less water and energy
Europe and to prioritise these. If these challenges can
be met, we can expect to achieve a situation as defined                  5. Reducing CO2 footprint
by the successful vision for the sector in 2030 and real-                6. By-product handling
ise its benefits to Europe. Three dimensions of the chal-
lenge were addressed:                                                    7. Social and business organisation

          Geology and Minerals Intelligence                                  Sustainable Use, Efficiency, Recycling and Re-use

1. Access to data on mining, production and geology                      1. Downstream resource efficiency
2. Knowledge of deeper resources                                         2. Better citizens’ understanding/attitude
3. Better knowledge due to improved models of how                        3. Building capabilities and providing training
   deposits are produced                                                 4. Transforming waste into mines/urban mining
4. Better exploration                                                    5. More systemic view of different critical minerals
5. Systematic data sharing                                               6. Better use of other resources, e.g. water and energy
6. Exploitation of ‘exhausted’ mines                                     7. Global governance of new extractive activities
        Mining, Ore Processing and Metallurgy                            Against these challenges, breakthroughs were sought in
                                                                         four areas: new applications, substitution, new sources
1. Exploiting deeper deposits                                            of materials and rare metals, and changes in demand.

                                                                         portant for developing this horizon. There is a 7-8 year
Four Key Actions toward a Comprehensive                                  challenge to develop a new lead market.
 Policy for Securing Raw Materials Supply
                                                                         Key Action 2: Move from stop and go to a lasting
Policy recommendations geared toward securing the                        approach with three central aspects for a research,
supply of raw materials in Europe were summarised in                     technology and innovation programme.
terms of four necessary key actions:
                                                                         Support up to now has been project-based and provided
Key Action 1: Establish an integrated strategy for raw                   only to a limited extent on a stop and go basis while
materials supply and support it by providing continu-                    continuous policies and knowledge development would
ous funding.                                                             be necessary.

Research in the area of raw materials supply needs to                    2.1 There are three broad research priorities:
be clearly linked to creating the right conditions for suc-
cessful innovation. There is some concern that the Eu-                   •     Research dealing with mineral resources intelli-
ropean Commission has no competence in minerals as                             gence. This is research of a totally different kind, i.e.
such but rather in matters of environmental protection,                        mainly interdisciplinary. It is needed to keep up with
trade or economic competitiveness. This limits the de-                         a dynamic situation where even what minerals and
velopment of a holistic, complementary approach need-                          metals are critical changes over time.
ed to tackle the various issues related to securing Eu-                  •     Research leading to new or better technologies with
rope's mineral resources supply within the sustainable                         a focus upon whatever is needed by industry. The
development context. The sector needs a more horizon-                          large scale South Korean national initiatives provide
tal approach – otherwise we may do research, but there                         a good example of speed, scale and pragmatism
is no innovation behind it. An innovation-friendly market                      and also represent the competition that Europe has
can be created by developing stringent environmental                           to face. The US investment on rare earths in the
and recycling regulations. Europe is at the forefront of a                     Ames laboratory is another example.
number of technologies in these areas. Regulators need
to understand that part of their job is to stimulate innova-             •     Research on mitigation and understanding of envi-
tion if not for today at least for tomorrow. Engaging them                     ronmental impacts.
in foresight, along with technologists and users, is im-

                                                               Page 3 of 4
         Breakthrough technologies to secure the supply of critical minerals and metals in the EU economy: Foresight Brief No. 181

2.2 Adopt a holistic approach to the innovation cy-                              tary. There is also a need to attract interest from re-
cle. Support for research should be long-term and struc-                         searchers outside the area; many of those doing re-
tured so that most publicly funded research is open and                          search in this field have a background in the minerals
shared internationally. The full range of mechanisms is                          sector, but breakthroughs may be more likely to come
needed: basic R&D, integrated projects or their equiva-                          from people currently working in other fields.
lent and joint technology initiatives. However, 80% of the
effort should be in large applied projects and the rest                          Key Action 4: Governance issues are critical.
focused on longer term work. Partnership with the US,
Japan and possibly South Korea could be meaningful in                            Securing raw materials is a task that goes beyond the
a number of areas.                                                               competence and capability of the individual member
2.3 Adopt a joint programming approach. Currently                                states and is inherently European. Even current Europe-
there is little or no coordination between European-level                        an initiatives in other fields are dependent on action in
                                                                                 this sector – rare metals are behind all the EU’s pro-
and national research. Some governments are in a posi-
tion to take the initiative in this area – notably Germany,                      posed Innovation Partnerships. Collaboration beyond
the United Kingdom, France, Finland and Poland.                                  Europe is also necessary, but a collective voice for Eu-
                                                                                 rope is more likely to be heard in the international arena.
                                                                                 There are also opportunities to exert a positive influence
Key Action 3: Increase the flow of trained people.
                                                                                 to halt environmentally damaging or politically dangerous
                                                                                 approaches in other parts of the world, notably in Africa
A supply of trained people is a significant constraint. The
                                                                                 and parts of the CIS. The momentum from the current
lack of investment in research and teaching in this area
                                                                                 EU Raw Materials Initiative, aiming to foster and secure
over the past 20 years has depleted the availability of
                                                                                 supplies and to promote resource efficiency and recy-
expertise to undertake the necessary research and
                                                                                 cling, needs to be carried forward into the EU’s Eighth
teaching. Training initiatives are needed and within the
                                                                                 Framework Programme, its innovation policies and also
European framework a pool of excellence should be
                                                                                 its wider policies including those concerning interaction
developed – a platform that coordinates the supply and
                                                                                 with the African, Caribbean and Pacific States.
demand for education and training in the area with some
elements being in competition and some complemen-

                                                        Sources and References
Georghiou, L., Varet, J. and Larédo P. (2011), Breakthrough technologies: For the security of supply of critical minerals
     and metals in the EU, March 2011,
European Commission (2010), “Critical Raw Materials for the EU”, Report of the RMSG Ad Hoc Working Group on defin-
     ing critical raw materials, June 2010
European Commission (2011), Tackling the Challenges in Commodity Markets and on Raw Materials, Communication
     from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and
     the Committee of the Regions, Brussels, 02/02/2011 COM(2011) 0025 final

About the EFP: Policy professionals dealing with RTD, innovation and economic development increasingly recognize a need to base decisions on
broadly based participative processes of deliberation and consultation with stakeholders. Among the most important tools they apply are foresight and
forward looking studies. The EFP supports policy professionals by monitoring and analyzing foresight activities and forward looking studies in the Euro-
pean Union, its neighbours and the world. The EFP helps those involved in policy development to stay up to date on current practice in foresight and
forward looking studies. It helps them to tap into a network of know-how and experience on issues related to the day-to-day design, management and
execution of foresight and foresight related processes.

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