The European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA) celebrates its first anniversary of operations, bringing a vast network of partners from 600 organisations across 50 countries working towards reliable, secure and sustainable access to raw materials as key enablers for a globally competitive, green, and digital Europe.
We are now entering an even more exciting stage as we are starting to reap the rewards of our hard work. The European Commission has welcomed ERMA’s Action Plan on Rare Earth Magnets and Motors, and we are looking forward to our close collaboration with Commissioner Breton. We see the need to ramp up investment in the sector to secure Europe’s strategic autonomy in critical raw materials for the green and digital transition. I am happy to announce ERMA’s plan to frame a raw materials investment fund in 2022. I encourage our sector to mobilise forces with us. It’s time to act!
Bernd Schäfer, CEO and Managing Director of EIT RawMaterials
The establishment of ERMA was announced in September 2020 as part of an Action Plan on Critical Raw Materials and the publication of the 2020 List of Critical Raw Materials. The European Commission mandated EIT RawMaterials to lead ERMA. Currently, the Alliance ecosystem comprises universities, RTOs, trade unions, NGOs, national authorities and ministries, financial institutions, associations and industry. ERMA partners bring expertise in primary raw materials, advanced materials and intermediate products, final products and recycling.
Launch of investment channel
The strategic scope of ERMA entails the identification of investment cases to build capacities across raw materials value chains, from mining to recovery and product design for a circular economy. ERMA has already identified over 30 investment proposals on projects from across the value chain with a value of EUR 11 billion. We encourage you to submit your project proposal.
Strengthening the domestic supply chain of rare earth magnets and motors
Launched in December 2020, the first Cluster of ERMA on Rare Earth Magnets and Motors brings together nearly 400 members to deal with one of the most critical value chains for many key EU industrial ecosystems. Rare earth permanent magnets are vital for wind power, electric mobility, and communications technology; however, more than 90% of rare earth magnets are currently produced in China. Ensuring a sustainable supply of rare earth magnets and motors is crucial for the green future of Europe.
A European Call for Action
On 30 September 2021, the ERMA Cluster on Rare Earth Magnets and Motors published Rare Earth Magnets and Motors: A European Call for Action, a report presenting current and projected European demand for Rare Earth Elements and the urgent steps which should be taken to secure their supply. Get your copy!
Supporting the domestic production of raw and advanced materials for the battery value chain in Europe
The second Cluster of ERMA on Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion was launched in February 2021. Our partners are working in four task forces with a special focus on supply chains for green energy technologies, such as fuel cells and electrolysers, battery materials, alternative energy storage and conversion, materials in solar energy. The cluster is working on the list of action points addressing the key raw materials issues of the energy storage and conversion sector, which will be presented in an action plan next year.
Next steps for the Alliance
After publishing the Cluster 1 Action Plan, ERMA will work closely with the European Commission and Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Market, to integrate the outlined actions in the framework and timeline of EU policies. Alignment and integration with other activities and agenda of the European Commission are important to consider in this process.
The Cluster 2 Action Plan release is another important milestone that we aim to achieve in the first half of next year. We want to make sure that we collect and process the full scope of valuable feedback from our community and other organisations outside the community. This will make the plan stronger.
ERMA has also taken the lead in the newly established Task Force on Clean Tech Materials. The new Task Force will identify funding opportunities and identify eligibility criteria for projects to boost investment capacity.
ERMA will continue to grow and consolidate the partnership while extending its geographic coverage. The strength of ERMA is in its ability to integrate the activities along the entire raw materials value chain and develop industries around these activities. This will continue to be the key focus area of ERMA.
The Alliance wants to consolidate ERMA’s role, international impact and visibility. ERMA will work closely with the European Commission and DG GROW to target specific parts of the world that are important in their strategic development agenda, such as Australia, Canada, Ukraine and the United States.
Our goal is to extend our portfolio of investment cases and continue to support high-impact projects and drive their success.