In order to secure a sustainable supply of raw materials and to better manage resource use, Europe requires comprehensive knowledge related to the entire raw materials value chain, i.e., exploration, extraction (incl. waste management), processing/refining, product design, substitution, by-product management, use, smart collection, recycling (incl. recovery, re-use), end-of-life treatment. Knowledge needs relate to both high-quality data and information. Fulfilling identifies knowledge needs/gaps is key to support factual decision- and policy-making in the field of raw materials. In this context, the RMIS is expected to fulfill a number of identified Knowledge needs, including:
- In the context of the Raw Materials Initiative (RMI): methodological advancements in the area of analysis of raw materials criticality and update of the list of EU Critical Raw Materials (CRM);
- In the context of the EIP-SIP monitoring: collect data and information required to develop the indicators included in the forthcoming Raw Materials Scoreboard;
- In support to the Circular Economy Communication: provide information on material stocks and flows in the EU economy and globally for both primary and secondary raw materials.
As highlighted by the European Raw Materials Knowledge Base Architecture (KBA) project, raw materials data and information are being collected and analyzed from a diverse range of EC-funded projects and related partners, stakeholders along the value chain, EU Member States and third country entities. In addition, EC services such as DG JRC and DG ESTAT, EU Agencies (e.g., the European Environment Agency), and International Bodies (e.g., UNEP Resource Panel, OECD) are also key sources of data and analyses. However, this knowledge is often scattered and difficult to access. The RMIS explicitly attempts to overcome such situation, towards improved competitiveness and visibility of the EU raw materials sector.