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Apply until January 31, 2019 for funding in R&I on Raw Materials to foster Circular Economy

Posted on: 10.01.2019

Attention, all EREK aficionados ! 

The ERA-MIN Joint Call 2018 on "Raw materials for the sustainable development and the circular economy" is open for the submission of transnational joint R&I projects until January 31, 2019.


ERA-MIN 2 : a funding programme to boost circular economy through innovation in raw material use

Built on the experience of the EU project ERA-MIN (2011-2015), ERA-MIN 2 is the the second Research & Innovation (R&I) Funding Programme on Raw Materials to foster Circular Economy. It comprises a progressive, pan-European network of 21 public research funding organisations from 18 countries/regions (Argentina, Belgium-Flanders, Brazil (Finep), Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Spain-Castilla y Léon, Sweden and Turkey).

Through funding of transnational research and innovation activities, it aims to :

  •  enhance the coordination of research and innovation programmes in the field of non-energy, non-agricultural raw materials (construction, industrial and metallic minerals),
  • to support the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials, the EU Raw Materials Initiative,
  • and to further develop the raw materials sector, in Europe and globally.

In a nutshell, ERA-MIN 2 opens calls for R&I projects and encourages participation of SMEs.

Back in 2017, ERA-MIN 2 successfully implemented an EU co-funded joint call for collaborative R&I projects. As a result, 16 transnational projects were supported with €12.3 million of public funding and €16 million total costs. Two additional calls will be implemented with national or regional funds only (without EU co-funding) and will be designed and developed specifically for the non-energy, non-agricultural raw materials sector.


Joint Call 2018

This EREK news article is about the first of these two calls : the ERA-MIN Joint Call 2018

The scope is needs-driven research on non-energy, non-agricultural raw materials (metallic, construction and industrial minerals) addressing one or several areas of the circular economy. As an overarching objective the proposed research should clearly demonstrate potential to foster the sustainable supply, processing, production and consumption of primary and secondary raw materials in a circular economy. Proposals should deliver convincing arguments on the potential impact of their innovation and research on the efficient supply, processing and use of raw materials. They should be able to quantify the expected impact using appropriate metrics and lifecycle thinking. A specific work package on the follow up of these metrics should be considered in order to steer the project into the most environmentally beneficial direction. Proposals focusing on one or more of the 27 Critical Raw Materials listed in 2017 by the European Commission are encouraged.

Besides technological innovations, non-technological aspects will play an important role in paving the way to a circular economy.

Consortia may include players from the public and private sector with different backgrounds, e.g. physical scientists, engineers and technology developers, but also social scientists and policy advisors working closely together and covering different parts of the raw materials cycle.

The call focuses on four steps of the raw materials life cycle and horizontal cross-cutting topics. Nevertheless, following a systemic approach, other parts of the production cycle which are not mentioned explicitly (e.g. distribution, use, collection) can be included within project proposals. Big data and ICT- based tools play an important role across the whole product life cycle toincrease the efficiency of raw materials supply (e.g. inventories, supply chain management, automation). Special attention should be paid to reconnecting raw materials to society. Therefore, applicants should describe how their project will engage the public.

It’s encouraged to include cross cutting topics in all topics, as well as addressing more than one topic for a holistic view of the value chain.


The 5 main topics supported by ERA-MIN Joint Call 2018 are: 

  • Supply of raw materials from exploration and mining
  • Design
  • Processing, Production and Remanufacturing
  • Recycling and Re-use of End-of-Life Products
  • Cross-cutting topics


Each proposal can only select one of the five main topics and one, or more, sub-topics:

Topic 1 sub-topics:

  1. Exploration
  2. Mining operations
  3. Mine closure and reclamation


Topic 2 sub-topics:

  1. Product design for increased raw material efficiency
  2. Product design for reuse or extended durability of products
  3. Product design to promote recycling
  4. Product design for critical materials substitution


Topic 3 sub-topics:

  1. Increase resource efficiency in resource intensive production processes
  2. Increase resource efficiency through recycling of residues or remanufacturing of used products and components
  3. Increase resource efficiency using information and communication technologies (ICT)


Topic 4 sub-topics: 

  1. End-of-life products collection and (reverse) logistics
  2. End-of-life products pre-processing: pre-treatment, dismantling, sorting, characterization
  3. Recovery of raw materials from End-of-life products
  4. Increase recycling of End-of-Life products through information and communication technologies (ICT)


Topic 5 sub-topics:

  1. New business models
  2. Improvement of methods or data for environmental impact assessment
  3. Social acceptance and trust/public perception of raw materials