INTRAW Update & Observatory Launch


Kaylene Camuti
Member, INTRAW Panel of Experts

The INTRAW project was launched in early 2015 with the objective of mapping best practices in raw materials technology, regulation, research and education.  The project also aims to foster cooperation opportunities with technologically advanced non-EU countries.  The three-year EU-funded project is part of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Programme for Research & Innovation.  The project is coordinated by the European Federation of Geologists (EFG), and brings together an international consortium of 15 partners with extensive experience in research, innovation, education, industry, trade and international networking across the entire raw materials value chain.

The ultimate goal of the project is the development of the European Union’s International Observatory for Raw Materials. As a permanent international body, the Observatory will aim to establish and maintain strong long-term relationships with the world’s key players in raw materials technology and scientific developments. Its core activities will be to continuously monitor opportunities for collaboration and cooperation, and to promote these opportunities through funding programs and incentives between the EU and other technologically advanced countries.

The INTRAW project is now in its third year and the launch of the Observatory is scheduled for early November.  The Observatory launch represents the culmination of several phases of data acquisition, review, analysis and synthesis, aided by regular intensive workshops with partner organisations and expert panels.

In the first year the project partners reviewed the contextual environment of the raw materials economies in the five reference countries – Australia, Canada, Japan, South Africa, USA – for comparison to the contextual environment of the European Union. The reports on each of the reference countries are available from the INTRAW web site.

In the second year the project partners produced reports analysing the operation of critical processes in the raw materials chain.  The three reports covered:  Education and Outreach, Research and Innovation, and Trade and Industry. The analyses led to an improved understanding of the factors that have both enhanced and hindered growth and success in the fields of raw materials research & innovation, educational and skills programmes, trade, exploration, exploitation, processing, recycling and substitution.  These analytical reports are also available from the INTRAW web site.

When the International Raw Materials Observatory is launched later this year, it will operate as an independent, apolitical, international not-for profit organisation, offering a range of services aimed at promoting international cooperation, including:

  • A comprehensive database on collaborative opportunities between the European Union/individual EU members and non-EU countries.
  • Information on events relevant to international cooperation on raw materials.
  • Information on industry-financed grants and other funding opportunities for collaborative research.
  • Communication and liaison services aimed at fostering the development of cooperative research and innovation activities between the EU, individual EU members and technologically advanced countries.

The launch of the INTRAW Observatory in November will take place at the EU-Advanced Mining Countries Conference, which is being run as part of the European Commission’s Raw Materials Week in Brussels.  Raw Materials Week is an opportunity for the European and international raw materials communities to discuss and exchange information and ideas about issues relevant to raw materials, from discovery to production to recycling, including policy, research, technology, international cooperation, and regulatory issues.

More information to follow soon via and @intrawproject.

In the meantime, enjoy the teaser of the INTRAW project video.

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