Summary of EU participation in raw materials area of Horizon 2020

Primary and secondary raw materials are essential for the economy of all countries and influence significantly their competitiveness. EU faces two main challenges, high dependence on the import of raw materials and the security of supply of raw materials. EU addresses these challenges among others in the EU Raw Materials Initiative and in the Innovation Partnership on Raw materials and of course this issue is reflected in Horizon 2020 as well.

Raw materials part of Societal Challenge 5 (SC5) is focused mainly on non-energy and non-agricultural raw materials used in industry. Since the launch of Horizon 2020 in 2014 till February 2017 altogether 6 calls for proposals have been evaluated in the frame of SC5 containing 21 topics focused on raw materials. Budget for H2020 research focused on raw materials amounts to 600 mil. €. European Commission received 198 proposals from which 40 were recommended for funding. 594 teams from 43 countries participate in those 40 projects altogether requesting 211 mil. €.

The overview of topics is given in Table 1.

Topic Identifier Type of Action Topic Title Teams Projects Eligible Costs (€) EC Funding (€)
SC5-13-2016-2017 RIA New solutions for sustainable production of raw materials 82 6 41 456 906,75 40 750 281,75
SC5-11d-2015 RIA New sustainable exploration technologies and geomodels 43 4 26 027 071,75 26 020 371,75
SC5-11a-2014 RIA Mining of small and complex deposits and alternative mining 54 3 24 331 664,25 23 394 161,50
WASTE-4d-2015 CSA Raw materials partnerships 41 2 2 986 542,50 2 986 542,50
WASTE-3-2014 RIA Recycling of raw materials from products and buildings 39 2 13 584 540,09 13 402 530,00
SC5-11e-2015 RIA New metallurgical systems 32 2 15 746 438,75 15 746 438,75
WASTE-4c-2014 CSA Secondary raw materials inventory 32 2 6 201 127,67 5 548 377,67
SC5-16-2016-2017 CSA Raw materials international co-operation 28 2 2 705 272,50 2 136 522,50
SC5-11b-2014 RIA Flexible processing technologies 26 2 12 550 541,25 12 542 532,75
SC5-14-2016-2017 IA Raw materials Innovation actions 25 2 28 191 725,00 22 027 943,50
SC5-12a-2014 RIA Materials for electronic devices 23 2 10 200 392,56 9 002 676,00
SC5-12b-2015 RIA Materials under extreme conditions 20 2 9 674 525,00 9 674 525,00
SC5-15-2016-2017 CSA Raw materials policy support actions 30 1 2 999 500,00 2 999 500,00
SC5-13a-2014 CSA Mineral deposits of public importance 25 1 2 092 687,50 2 092 687,50
SC5-17-2016 ERA-NET-Cofund ERA-NET Cofund on Raw materials 21 1 16 058 787,31 4 999 890,01
SC5-13e-2015 CSA Raw materials intelligence capacity 16 1 2 005 205,00 1 998 955,00
SC5-13b-2014 CSA Strategic international dialogues and cooperation on raw materials with technologically advanced countries 15 1 2 111 375,00 2 104 800,88
SC5-11c-2015 RIA Deep mining on continent and/or in sea-bed 14 1 7 991 137,50 7 991 137,50
SC5-13d-2015 CSA Raw materials research and innovation coordination 11 1 1 431 498,75 1 431 498,75
SC5-13c-2015 CSA Innovation friendly minerals policy framework 10 1 1 999 625,00 1 999 625,00
SC5-13f-2015 CSA Strategic international dialogues and cooperation with raw materials producing countries and industry 7 1 1 977 508,75 1 977 508,75
Total     594 40 232 324 072,88 210 828 507,06

 

Table 1. Overview of topics focused on the raw materials in SC5 area of H2020.

 

Proposals aimed on raw materials represent at least 15 % of all SC5 proposals (SME instrument is not included) in 19 of EU countries. SK, PL, FI and SE have the share of raw materials projects even higher than 20 %. It can be surprising that technologically advanced countries NL and IT have been up to now less interested in this area – share of raw materials projects is among 11 and 12 %.

Interest of EU-28 countries in the raw materials topics is shown in Chart 1 as relation between participation success rate of each country (ratio of all its teams in project proposals recommended for funding to the overall number of its teams in all project proposals) and number of participations per 1 million of inhabitants. Unfortunately data are not available for more suitable methodology calculating with relation to number of full time equivalent researchers in raw materials area. The chart shows the division of countries into several groups combining their activity and success rate. Big countries (FR, DE, UK), technologically developed DK and some EU-13 countries (PL, RO, BG, CZ) have higher success rate than EU-28 average, but on the other hand lower activity. It could be explained by different reasons in different countries. For example, teams from big developed countries are usually represented in high quality consortia, but at the same time they have strong national research systems enabling them to solve the problems without H2020 participation. Northern countries FI, SE and NL and BE as well as SL have both high success rate and activity. It is necessary to judge the position of small countries (HR, LU, CY, LV, MT) carefully in our analysis as their participation was very limited up to now.

The article is based on in-depth analysis which was published in the Czech language in bulletin Echo

by Jana Cejkova, Dan Frank