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Annual Meeting of the Cluster Hub “Production of raw materials for batteries from European resources”

On Thursday, 16 November, during the 2023 edition of the Raw Materials Week, the twelve EU funded projects that constitute the Cluster Hub ‘Materials for batteries’ gathered for their annual event in Brussels. Co-organised by RELiEF, the event was also the opportunity to welcome the four new members of the Cluster (EXCEED, RAWMINA, METALLICO and CRM geothermal). The workshop gathered nearly 100 organisations driving the production and the recycling of raw materials for battery applications from primary and secondary resources. The event brought four partners of the RELiEF consortium together: EURICE and TechConcepts as organisors, and LUT and the coordinator ABEE as participants for the dedicated sessions.

Building on the initial objective of creating an environment that could foster knowledge exchange on different approaches for the recycling and recovery for battery applications, the event focused on three major topics that depict the transversality characterising the projects: the raw materials through research and science, the roles and challenges of industry and market for raw materials, and the raw materials under the scope of sustainability, durability and social acceptance. During this annual meeting, an interactive session led by Anish Patil from TechConcepts and representing the RELiEF project had the objective of Mapping the European battery material recycling landscape – more details to be found below. This session scrutinised stakeholders’ perspectives on the Green Deal Industrial Plan, Net Zero Industrial Act, Critical Raw Materials Act and the European Battery Regulation 2023.

Mentimeter facilitated an interactive session, engaging the audience to explore how these policies intersect, complement each other, and identify critical measures and incentives for achieving their objectives. More than 30 persons participated in the live-poll proposed, which results display the priority to be set on Funding and state aid regarding ranking the four pillars of the Green Deal Industrial Plan in order of relevance (followed by skills development, conductive regulation, and open and fair trade). Another major topic regarding the stimulation of investment in net Zero technologies, the majority of persons asked place the ‘enhanced skills’ as first priority, shortly followed by facilitating the access to the market.

Lastly, the participants were divided regarding the what critical measures to implement in the EU in order to stimulate investment in building EU capacities for extraction of CRM: indeed, though the majority chose ‘cutting red-tape and accelerated permitting’, almost half of them were unsure as to where to start, which demonstrates the need of engaging policy makers as external stakeholders in all projects.

During the last session, RELiEF was strongly represented between the moderation led by Eurice and the active presentations and participation of LUT represented by Laura Kainiemi and ABEE through the coordinator Gabriel Hidalgo.

Their intervention demonstrated the importance of triggering new dialogues on responsible mining activities, and the joint involvement of regional, national and European authorities, academia, industry partners, and citizens in shaping these initiatives.

A big thank you to all participants for this co-creative and very constructive and inspiring meeting.