On 17 April 2018, the final conference of the VERAM project marked the release of a Research and Innovation Roadmap 2050, jointly developed by the European raw materials sectors. With close to 180 concrete activities, cross-cutting the minerals, metals and biotic raw materials value chains, it is the only European research and innovation roadmap for 2050 agreed between non-food, non-energy raw materials sectors in Europe. The roadmap embraces future trends shaped by digitalisation, sustainability and the evolution of consumer behaviour whilst aiming to boost European leadership in technology, competitiveness of the industry and the innovation capacity of the sector.
As a representative of wood as a raw material, FTP played a leading role in coordinating the joint efforts of the consortium, and its stakeholders, in shaping research and innovation priorities for 2030–2050. As a result, and in addition to having shared objectives, more than 50 activities are uniquely dedicated to the biotic sector, including the development of new biobased products.
Overall, the roadmap proposes actions throughout the entire cross-sectoral raw materials value chain from primary raw material exploration, extraction, management, harvesting and transformation through processing or refining, and the valorisation of waste into secondary raw materials to closed loop material flows and the development of new products and applications.
The VERAM cross-sectoral raw materials value chains and roadmap priorities.
The final VERAM conference reviewed the results of the project and the objectives of the roadmap. Many speakers applauded the final results, as well as efforts to integrate diverse input from a wide range of major stakeholders, highlighting the importance of raw materials issues for European competitiveness, jobs and growth. However, it was also noted that the sector still needs to step up its efforts to integrate raw materials with the interests of society at large.
It is therefore vital that the results of the project are disseminated as widely as possible to ensure that its recommendations and ideas are brought to fruition as soon as possible. The report will be presented to funding authorities at European, national and regional levels, including initiatives such as the European Innovation Partnership for Raw Materials (EIP RM) and the Sustainable Process Industries for Resource and Energy efficiency (SPIRE) public-private partnership, to ensure the inclusion of VERAM ideas in forthcoming research and innovation Calls.
The VERAM final conference, Brussels, 17 April 2018.
Read the full report with pictures of the conference here.
The presentations are available here.
Spanning more than two years, VERAM was a unique coordination project bringing together five European Technology Platforms in the fields of sustainable mineral resources, the forest-based sector, construction, sustainable chemistry and advanced materials.