Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 112

research and development compared to the
KIC, which focuses on pulling together
knowledge and innovation.
The KIC will nonetheless provide a maximum
of 25% of the cost of developing a new
technology. In return, we have a much more
comprehensive framework that also benefits
the education sector and funds certain
developments to help with the up-scale and
piloting of new opportunities. The KIC is a
different concept to the classical research
funding that Horizon 2020 also supports, and I
see the initiatives as complementary.
What are the next stages in the
development of the KIC?
EIT Raw Materials needs to become operational
this year. The first step will be to conclude a
start-up agreement with the EIT. We will then
start communicating, internally and externally,
with our partners and develop the tools for
implementation. At the same time, we need to
move very quickly towards the establishment
of the first business plan, which will receive a
second draft by the end of June, allowing us to
negotiate with our partners.
EIT Raw Materials has been in the making for a
long time – we spent two and a half years
preparing our proposal before submitting it to the
EIT. Our partners and core co-location centres
are very involved and we have a management
team comprising seven people, allowing us to
move our proposal forward and ensure, by the
end of the year, that we have a good business
plan and can start active operation.
Our sector will greatly benefit from EIT Raw
Materials. The concept of the KIC is a rather new
instrument from the EU’s toolbox, and we really
appreciate the unique opportunity it presents for
significant innovation in raw materials.
and business, opportunities that currently remain under-utilised in the
raw materials sector.
Such skill development is an essential part of the KIC and beyond what
is typical of Horizon 2020 or other research projects; these are the unique
features and benefits of the EIT and its KICs.
How does the work of the KIC differ from the EIP on
Raw Materials?
Many of the partners joining EIT Raw Materials are also involved in
the EIP on Raw Materials, and both partnerships are closely linked.
The EIP on Raw Materials is much more focused on classical
I S S U E S I X
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
Professor Jens Gutzmer
EIT Raw Materials
B R OW S E
/
H O R I Z O N
2 0 2 0
112
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
In December 2014 the EIT selected the winner of its 2014 KIC call
entitled ‘Raw materials: sustainable exploration, extraction,
processing, recycling and substitution in the raw materials sector'.
The ‘RawMatTERS’ partnership was designated as the EIT Raw
Materials Knowledge and Innovation Community.
On hearing the news, Professor Jens Gutzmer said: “The new KIC
is, for the first time, Europe’s leading network for the entire raw
materials value chain. This is a unique opportunity for the European
resources sector, and I am confident that all partners will help to
promote innovation in Europe.
“The EIT will enable our partnership to make a real societal change
and to turn the challenge of raw materials dependence into a
strategic strength for Europe. Our goal is to boost the
competitiveness, growth and attractiveness of the European raw
materials sector via radical innovation and entrepreneurship. We
want to focus on sustainable growth and job creation by boosting
start-ups, SMEs and education; and we are the strongest
consortium ever created in the raw materials field. By 2022, we are
aiming to create, among others, 64 start-ups and five new
primary/secondary sources of critical raw materials.”
Gutzmer added that he hoped the new KIC would “create new jobs
in the resource sector” and make the industry “more attractive to
young scientists”.
Sweden’s Uppsala University will also be closely involved in EIT Raw
Materials as one of the KIC’s European partners. Adding his
thoughts to the announcement, Professor Roland Roberts, who co-
ordinated the university’s activities in developing the KIC
application, said: “Our successful participation in this consortium is
important for Uppsala University and builds upon our world-class
expertise in areas such as Earth and material science, a strong
tradition of innovation, and well-established contacts with industry.
“Today, Europe uses about 20% of the Earth’s primary metals but
produces only a small proportion of this material. Modern
technology demands many different materials. Mobile phones, for
example, contain dozens of different chemical elements, including
rare Earth elements. Many such metals must be imported, not least
from China.”
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