SSH Rate

Raw materials policy support actions

Specific Challenge

The EU is highly dependent on raw materials that are crucial for a strong European industrial base, an essential building block of the EU's growth and competitiveness. In order to secure the sustainable access to primary and secondary raw materials, including metals, industrial minerals, construction raw materials, wood, and particularly Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) for the EU economy, there is a need to tackle a number of specific non-technology challenges at local, regional, national EU and global levels, as well as gaps in the knowledge on raw materials to foster the supply from the EU sources.

While the challenge to secure the raw materials supply is of a global nature, the actions to respond to the challenge are usually implemented at regional and local levels. There is a need to identify and bring together the EU regions with raw materials production capacity and common Smart specialisation objectives to exploit synergies, gain the trust of citizens and jointly improve the framework conditions, availability and performance of the industry, social aspects, stimulate investment and exchange of knowledge, foster innovation and competitiveness of industries in the raw materials value chains etc.

Specifically, the supply of CRMs to EU is at risk as they are often mined as by-products and still have global recycling rates below 1% after decades of use. There is a need for an expert group covering all the CRMs and as much as possible of their value chains, which would be able to comprehensively map CRM sources, provide recommendations for sourcing and better use of CRMs, including improving the European standards for efficient treatment of WEEE and waste batteries and other end-of-life products, while building on the experience and knowledge of existing specific groups, such as ERECON and CRM-Innonet.

One of the major challenges regarding the EU knowledge base on primary and secondary mineral raw materials is the quality, harmonisation of the collected data and information sharing at the different levels within the EU. There is a need to optimise collection of data in Member States.

A specific challenge for the primary raw materials sector is an access to land within the land-use planning in parity with other activities. Most of the EU is densely populated and there are therefore conflicts of land-use caused by the competing interests of different activities and interest with economic requirements such as urbanization, nature conservation, agriculture, infrastructure etc.

For the secondary raw materials sector a proper collection of waste is a pre-condition for optimal recovery of materials from waste, which varies across the EU, Member States and their local governments who apply many different waste collection systems from co-mingled collection systems to separate collection. Decision-makers need more information about the overall performance of different systems, including their economic performance, and a better understanding of the conditions that are necessary for shifting to alternative, better-performing waste collection systems.


Projects should include a work-package to cluster with other projects financed under this topic and – if possible – with other relevant projects in the field funded by Horizon 2020, in support of the EIP on Raw Materials.

Proposals shall address only one of the following issues:

a) Expert network on Critical Raw Materials (2016)

b) Good practice in waste collection systems (2017)

c) Optimising collection of raw materials data in Member States (2017)

d) Linking land use planning policies to national mineral policies (2017)

e) EU network of mining and metallurgy regions (2017)

f) EU network of regions on sustainable wood mobilisation (wood supply) (2017)

Expected Impact

The project is expected to contribute to:


  • achieving the objectives and the implementation of both the Raw Materials Initiative and the EIP on Raw Materials, in particular in terms of the access to critical raw materials (CRMs);
  • better informed decision making by the EU and Member States policy makers and the producers and users of raw materials regarding the supply of raw materials;
  • development of European standards for the treatment of WEEE, waste batteries and other relevant end-of-life products that would help towards optimising the recovery of critical raw materials;
  • increased recovery rates in the EU as regards CRMs from WEEE, waste batteries and other relevant end-of-life products;
  • in longer term reduced EU dependency on imports of CRMs;
  • improved awareness of relevant external stakeholders and general public across the EU about importance of the critical raw materials for society, challenges related to their supply and about proposed solutions.


  • achieving the objectives of the EIP on Raw Materials in terms of waste management framework conditions;
  • better-informed decision-making at EU, national and local levels with regards to waste management framework conditions;
  • better performing waste collection systems in EU Member States, including socio-economic and environmental impacts;
  • in longer term, reduced EU dependency on imports of raw materials.


  • achieving the objectives of the EIP on Raw Materials, particularly in terms of the EU Raw Materials Knowledge Base;
  • improving the quality assurance and accessibility of primary and secondary mineral raw materials data in the EU;
  • adding to transparency of Member state and EU mineral raw materials data and information;
  • facilitating better informed decision-making for raw materials policy at EU and Member State levels, as well as for facilitating investment decisions by industry.


  • achieving the objectives of the EIP on Raw Materials, particularly in terms of improving conditions for sustainable access and supply of raw materials in the EU;
  • more transparent and efficient exploration and mining permitting and licensing processes in the EU;
  • better land-use planning based on a better knowledge of identified or potential deposits and their potential environmental impacts at EU level;
  • bringing mineral resources in parity with other natural resources within land use planning whilst implementing the environmental acquis.


  • achieving the objectives of the EIP on Raw Materials in terms of improving conditions for sustainable access and supply of raw materials in the EU;
  • creating a longer term sustainable network;
  • establishing operational synergies between R&I investments and ESIF to improve R&I infrastructure and capacity and to foster market uptake and replication of innovative solutions in the relevant fields;
  • improved framework conditions at regional level leading to a more transparent and secure environment for investment in new mining and metallurgy projects in the EU and economic growth in the regions;
  • improving awareness of the importance of raw materials for our society and about new ways of mining taking into account environmental, health and safety considerations;
  • helping stakeholders to make informed decisions about new mining and metallurgy projects in the EU through engagement of local communities, facilitating social agreements, improving the awareness, gaining citizens' acceptance and trust in a sustainable raw materials production in the EU;
  • effective implementation and widespread use of the Social Licence to Operate (SLO) guidelines and toolbox in practice.


  • achieving the objectives on sustainable wood supply of the EIP on Raw Materials, the EIP for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability, the new EU Forest Strategy and the EU Bioeconomy Strategy;
  • improving knowledge and framework conditions for sustainable wood mobilisation that result in increased supply of primary wood raw materials to the forest-based bioeconomy, whilst preserving EU forest ecosystems and forests' capacity to deliver all its functions;
  • innovation at regional and local levels leading to increased wood-based industrial competitiveness and rural development;
  • creation of clusters of regions with common interests on wood mobilisation;
  • establishing operational synergies between R&I investments and ESIF to improve R&I infrastructure and capacity and to foster market uptake and replication of innovative solutions in the relevant fields for sustainable wood mobilisation.
Call ID
SC5-15-2016-2017 - CSA Coordination and support action
Application date
8 Mar 2017
European Union
Social sciences Business and Administrative Sciences Communication Sciences Demography Economics Environmental Sciences Gender Studies Geography International Relations Law Pedagogic & Education Research Political science Psychology & Cognitive Sciences Social Anthropology Sociology
Required post-doc experience: 
between 0 and 99 years
H2020 programme type
Societal Challenges Societal challenge 5: Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials
Award granted
€ 3.000.000