The ERMA (European Raw Materials Alliance) is part of the Strategic Plan of the European Union to improve the efficiency of its own resources and promote a circular economy in this area through innovation and the use of sustainable products.

CIC energiGUNE, the Basque research center of reference in electrochemical and thermal energy storage and a member of the Basque Research & Technology Alliance-BRTA, has joined the European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA) in order to contribute to the reduction of the dependency of the European Union in the area of critical raw materials, as well as improving the efficiency of the resources and diversifying the supply sources.

The launch of this alliance is the first course of action in the Strategic Plan of the European Union about Critical Raw Materials, designed to build a resilient value chain inside the industrial ecosystem of the EU. CIC energiGUNE’s role in this initiative will be framed within the group of raw materials and advanced materials for energy storage and its conversion to mobile applications as well as stationary applications.

The ERMA, which was officially launched at the end of September by the vice president of the Commission Maroš Šefčovič, will function as a fundamental tool of the EU to strengthen the internal supply of raw materials and eliminate the instabilities in international commerce. “As we have done with the European Battery Alliance –of which CIC energiGUNE is also a part of- we need to unite forces all across Europe to ensure a sustainable supply of raw materials since the demand is only going to grow in the coming years” has declared Šefčovič. 

From this point of view, Europe understands that metals, minerals and various advanced materials are key elements in order to configure the continent as a sustainable and digital agent at a worldwide level. Its position in this field will allow for the European economy to be more resilient, diversify its supplier chain, generate new jobs and attract investments and talent.

Along the same line as this concept, the mission of the Alliance is to ensure access to strategic raw materials, and to transfer the acquired knowledge to the main industrial ecosystems of the continent, such as Aerospace, Defense, Automotive industry and Mobility, or Renewable Energies, among others. This way, a trustworthy, secure and sustainable channel will be set in motion which will allow access to its own resources, as well as investment sources and financing for the development of projects.

Thus far, more than 250 associates make up the Alliance; among which companies, associations, universities, research centers and institutions from all over the continent are found. Its operation has been established around four main activity lines: setting up an agile and inclusive consulting process with the interested parties; supporting the industrial policy of the EU to mitigate the regulatory and financial congestion; putting together a raw materials investment platform to help take advantage of the investment on a key project portfolio; and promoting a deeper strategic consciousness, including public acceptance and future perspective about the role of raw and advanced materials in the transition to a green and digital economy.

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