In the first project year the partners will map the contextual environment of the target countries (Australia, Canada, Japan, South Africa and the United States) against the contextual environment in the EU. This will lead to a better understanding of the achievements made in these countries in the field of raw materials research & innovation, educational and skills programmes, trade, exploration, exploitation, processing, recycling and substitution. In addition, the corresponding policies and practices of each of these domains will be mapped and compared to their European counterparts. The data will be centrally processed, which will facilitate the comparative evaluation and cross-impact analysis of the investigated raw materials domains in each of the participating countries and the EU.
Based on the best practices identified in the target countries, cooperation strategies will be developed in the second project year. Special attention will be given to communication methods and tools, regular and systematic market monitoring, export-import policies, foreign cooperation, taxation incentive programmes, research/ industry cooperation, geological data availability and reporting and skills training.
Towards the end of the project, the European Union’s International Observatory for Raw Materials will be set up and launched as a permanent body that will continue to work as an independent entity after the project’s end. The Observatory will capitalize on the work made in the previous two years to improve the framework conditions of the EU raw materials sector, contributing to the enhanced competitiveness and stability of both EU and non-EU countries that face similar challenges.
One of the strengths of the international consortium is that INTRAW relies on a well established network of more than 150.000 geoscientists working in industry, academic research, governments and NGOs, leveraging innovation and international cooperation between the EU and the target countries.
In addition, three expert panels, each comprising a mix of European experts and representatives of technologically advanced countries (Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, South Africa and the USA), will support the project consortium:
- Panel of Experts on Research & Innovation;
- Panel of Experts on Education & Outreach;
- Panel of Experts on Industry & Trade.
The Experts being all outstanding representatives of the international raw materials community, the main function of the Panel of Experts will be to mobilise knowledge and to strengthen the Consortium’s capacity in reaching out towards the stakeholders. The experts will participate in three dedicated workshops, evaluate project deliverables and support the development of communicational strategies. The Panels of Experts will also assist the identification and development of opportunities for innovation and will ensure a proper and realistic definition of the conditions required for setting up the EU International Observatory for Raw Materials.