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EU Invests 410 Million Euros to Boost Raw Materials Research

HZDR Is Key Coordinating Partner of "EIT Raw Materials"

Press Release of December 9, 2014

On the 9th of December the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) announced the winner of the call for EIT Health and EIT Raw Materials – two integrated European partnerships of higher education, business and research aiming to tackle societal challenges across Europe. The winners of the EIT’s 2014 Call for Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) Proposals are the pan-European consortia InnoLife and RawMatTERS. For the latter the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) will be the key coordinating partner. The KIC will have its headquarters in Berlin jointly hosted by institutes of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the Helmholtz Association. Both organizations coordinated the application process of the proposal to EIT Raw Materials. This network brings together more than 100 partners from 20 EU member states.

"The outstanding factor behind the decision was the potential of the winners to create innovations needed to address critical challenges for today’s societies. EIT Health and EIT Raw Materials are excellent partnerships that will generate impact, in terms of growth and job creation, which are at the heart of the Europe 2020 Strategy and President Juncker’s Commission top priorities,” said Martin Kern, EIT Interim Director.

The HZDR will be the key coordinating partner of RawMatTERS – the winner of EIT Raw Materials (sustainable exploration, extraction, processing, recycling and substitution).“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 5 new primary/secondary sources of critical raw materials (CRM)”, said Prof. Jens Gutzmer from the HZDR.

According to Tibor Navracsics, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, these partnerships supported by the EIT and with funds from Horizon 2020 have a great opportunity to attract the best researchers, students and entrepreneurs. “This will be crucial to ensure that they contribute to our efforts to improve Europe’s innovation capacity and competitiveness,” said the Commissioner.

Up to 4 million EUR from the EIT in the first year

“Our task is now to rapidly launch EIT Health and EIT Raw Materials so that they can deliver innovation and growth", added Martin Kern, EIT Interim Director. In order to facilitate a rapid and smooth start during their first year, the EIT will provide each of the winners with a start-up grant of up to 4 million EUR. The KICs are expected to become fully operational shortly after having signed a seven-year Framework Partnership Agreement with the EIT in 2015.

The EIT will launch the next call for KIC Proposals in 2016 focusing on Food4Future and Added-value Manufacturing with a further call tentatively planned for 2018 addressing Urban Mobility.

You can find the original version of this press release on the EIT website.