On March 3rd, 2015, the Workshop “Paving the way for substitution of Critical Raw Materials” was held in Brussels as a part of the CRM_InnoNet FP7 project. The CRM_InnoNet project aims at boosting innovation in the field of critical raw materials with a view of identifying and assessing opportunities for substituting Critical Raw Materials (CRM). In this context, the workshop gave opportunities to discuss a variety of aspects. The following non-exhaustive list include some of the key discussion points emerged during the workshop:
- Substitution of CRM should not be regarded as the most important research area in the raw materials sector. Reduction (of consumption of CRM) as well as all the options of CRM management should be considered in a comprehensive manner;
- With respect to substitution, there is a strong need to scale-up research and testing from lab-environment to demonstration and pilot scale;
- High need for improved coherence, coordination and harmonization among different initiatives and instruments supporting CRM substitution (e.g. harmonization of existing different approaches to substitution across Member States);
- Due to the high complexity of the raw materials sector/context, when analyzing options for substitution of CRM the entire supply chain should be accounted for.
- Towards improvements in CRM substitution, the industrial sector should be involved to a higher extent and the political cycles should more closely align with the industrial cycles.
The presentations given during the workshop are available at: http://www.criticalrawmaterials.eu/documents/project-dissemination-downloads/crm_innonet-workshop-presentations-and-posters/