Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 111

a technology concept may need a boost to help get the final product to
market. Yet ideas need to be incubated, and by assisting the development
of new concepts, we hope to create a large number of start-ups. The
new business will have the opportunity to first establish itself nationally,
then Europe-wide, and finally globally.
The resource problem facing Europe is one that needs tackling globally,
though our continent is particularly suffering. We need to fill an innovation
pipeline with good ideas and establish Europe as a major player in the
worldwide raw materials sector. Europe is a major consumer of raw
materials, and we are highly industrialised and populated, yet we have
not been a significant actor in boosting innovation in the sector. We want
to close that gap and ensure that Europe contributes and becomes a
leading player here.
How important will the education and knowledge
element be to the KIC?
Education is a core aspect of the new KIC, the development of which will
be a major opportunity because we are traditionally organised into
knowledge silos.
Personally, when I studied for my PhD, I was never encouraged to
become an entrepreneur; other research and development sectors are
much stronger at this. By urging the fostering of entrepreneurial skills
and encouraging business start-ups and the development of patents,
the raw materials sector has a unique opportunity to shape a new
generation of professionals. By equipping students in the field with
entrepreneurial skills, we can create new opportunities of employment
industrial products which are sold back to the
global market. It is this manufacturing process
that Europe’s wellbeing depends upon. If you
look at secondary resources, Europe collects
electronic waste and recycles it.
This whole value chain is very segmented and
strongly specialised. The most significant
challenge we have is to de-silo the sector and
develop a new landscape for raw materials
within Europe and beyond; it’s a highly
globalised sector. De-siloing will lead to
synergies and allow us to develop common
strengths and address the biggest challenges
that we have.
How do you hope to achieve the
aims of the new KIC?
The core concept of EIT Raw Materials is
connecting a number of strong partners in the
knowledge triangle – partners from industry,
research and education all have a vital role to
play. We need to connect islands of excellence,
and we have 116 partners contributing to
achieve these goals.
Once these partners are connected, we need
to identify and provide funding to the best
projects to achieve our core aims; for example,
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
I S S U E S I X
111
S P E C I A L F E AT U R E : E U R O P E A N I N S T I T U T E O F I N N O V AT I O N & T E C H N O L O G Y
EIT Raw Materials
seeks to develop
innovative solutions in
the extraction of finite
natural resources
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