Innovation has been identified in the European agenda as a top priority to boost the European economy and competition in the global markets by using breakthrough and/or scientific knowledge in key areas of industry. The “Innovation Union” is one of the seven flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy.

As part of this strategy, several European initiatives and projects have been initiated and are ongoing in order to link innovation with economic growth and better quality of life in Europe. The Innovation Union contains over thirty action points including ground-breaking proposals like the European Innovation Partnerships.

Raw Materials week

The raw materials week is a series of events organized by the European Commission in cooperation with industry organizations, including IMA Europe, addressing the latest news on raw materials in the EU. It is a unique opportunity for the Raw Materials community to discuss and exchange ideas on relevant issues: policy, technology, knowledge base, international cooperation, etc.

The 3rd edition of the EU Raw Materials Week will take place from Monday 12 to Friday 16 November in Brussels. The preliminary programme and the registration form is available on the dedicated website.

IMA-Europe has become a very active partner on some of the main European innovation platforms.

European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Raw Materials

The EIP on Raw Materials consists in bringing together the public and private efforts at regional, national and EU levels in research, development and innovation (RDI). For more information, see our page on Raw Materials.

Association Sustainable Process Through Resource & Energy Efficiency (A-SPIRE)

A-SPIRE gathers 50 industry and research stakeholders willing to form the largest European Private Public Partnership dedicated to innovation in resource and energy efficiency in the process industries. For more information, go to our page on  SPIRE.

STOICISM (Sustainable Technologies for Calcined Industrial Minerals in Europe)

STOICISM is a European consortium project consisting of 17 companies, universities, associations and R&D institutes. The aim of this Research Development and Innovation consortium is to develop technologies, design and integration to reduce impact on the environment, contribute to the sustainability of European mineral resources and exploiting new, high value-added mineral products.

The RDI technologies will be tested for the calcination of minerals, notably diatomaceous earth (DE), perlite and clay. Eventually, the processes implemented will easily be transferable to many other industrial minerals. The STOICISM project will benefit from a FP7 (Seventh Framework Programme) grant. IMA contribution in the project will mainly consist in disseminating the initiative to the concerned audiences. For more information, go to the project page STOICISM

Raw Materials in Multiple Financial Framework Programme (MFF)

Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument focusing on EU Research and Innovation implementing the Innovation Union, with 80€ billion of funding available over 7 years. To fully benefit from primary raw materials and boost the innovation capacity of the sector, a number of challenges along the entire raw material value chain are addressed in the Societal Challenge 5: “Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials”. Since the focus is on non-energy and non-agricultural raw materials used in industry, Industrial minerals are well included. For the next MFF programming period known as the HORIZON Europe the discussions are ongoing. The European Commission has drawn up a list of 12 themes for missions – a new form of objective-focused research – and for 13 industry partnerships, as it seeks to persuade ministers of the attractions of its plans for the €94.1 billion programme, set to begin in 2021. An agreement on the principles of the 2021-2017 MFF programming period is expected in Q2 2019.