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ERA-MIN Joint Call 2018 - Raw materials for sustainable development and the circular economy
Deadline: 31 Jan 2019   CALL EXPIRED

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 Forest Resources
 Low-Carbon Technology
 Low-Carbon Economy
 Raw Materials
 Natural Resources
 Sustainable Development
 Business Development


1. AboutERA-MIN2

ERA-MIN 2 is a global, innovative and flexible pan-European network of research f unding o rganisations, supported by EU Horizon 2020, that builds on the experience of the FP7 ERA-NET ERA- MIN (2011to2015).

ERA-MIN 2 aims to support the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials, the EU Raw Materials Initiative and further develop the raw materials sector in Europe through funding of transnational research and innovation (R&I) activities. This will be achieved through calls designed and developed specifically for the non-energy, non-agricultural raw materials sector. The network will address four key objectives:

  •   Support and promote R&I cooperation in Europe

  •   Reduce fragmentation of R&I funding in the area of non-energy, non-agricultural raw materials across Europe and globally

  •   Provide a pan-European support network and financial resources to improve synergies, coordination and collaboration

  •   Improve the efficiency and impact of human and financial investment in R&I activities in the area of Raw Materials.

The ERA-MIN 2 consortium consists of 21 funding organisations from 11 EU countries and 2 EU regions (Hermesfonds – Belgium/Flanders; FWO – Belgium/Flanders; Business Finland – Finland; ADEME – France; ANR – France; JUELICH – Germany; GSI – Ireland; MIUR – Italy; NCBR – Poland; FCT – Portugal; UEFISCDI – Romania; CDTI – Spain; ICE – Spain/Castilla y Léon; AEI – Spain; MIZS – Slovenia; Vinnova – Sweden), one EU Associated country (TUBITAK – Turkey), and four non-EU countries (MINCyT – Argentina; Finep – Brazil; CONICYT – Chile; DST - South Africa). Please note that for the Joint Call 2018 additional Funding Organisations are participating (Table 1).

ERA-MIN 2 is supporting the EU’s transition to a Circular Economy by addressing topics which are aiming at retaining the value of the raw materials that are used in products and returning them into the product cycle at the end of their use, keeping in mind the need for a sustainable and responsible industrial supply of primary resources to feed the circular economy.

ERA-MIN 2 will cover the entire raw materials value chain, from sustainable exploration, exploitation, processing, substitution of critical raw materials and resource efficient production to short-term economic feasible and low environmental impact recycling.


The Joint Call 2018 is the second call of ERA-MIN 2. Information and statistics on the projects funded in the first joint call are available at


24 Funding Organisations have agreed to allocate national/regional budgets for the Joint Call 2018, see table 1 below. The total indicative call budget is €14.530 million.


4. Scope and topics of the Call

The scope of the Joint Call is needs-driven research on non-energy, non-agricultural raw materials addressing one or several areas of the circular economy, as shown in Figure 1 above. As an overarching objective the proposed research should clearly demonstrate potential to foster the sustainable supply, processing, production and consumption of primary and secondary raw materials in a circular economy. Proposals should deliver convincing arguments on the potential impact of their innovation and research on the efficient supply, processing and use of raw materials. They should be able to quantify the expected impact using appropriate metrics and life cycle thinking. A specific work package on the follow up of these metrics should be considered in order to steer the project into the most environmentally beneficial direction.

The ERA-MIN Joint Call 2018 will address three segments of non-energy, non-agricultural raw materials:

 Metallic minerals
 Construction minerals  Industrial minerals

The research, development and innovation topics to be funded under the ERA-MIN Joint Call 2018 address all aspects of the non-energy, non-agricultural raw materials life cycle, covering both primary and secondary resources. Proposals focusing on one or more of the 27 Critical Raw Materials listed in 2017 by the European Commission1 are encouraged.

Besides technological innovations, non-technological aspects will play an important role in paving the way to a circular economy. Consortia may include players from the public and private sector with different backgrounds, e.g. physical scientists, engineers and technology developers, but also social scientists and policy advisors working closely together and covering different parts of the raw materials cycle.

The call focuses on four steps of the raw materials life cycle and horizontal cross-cutting topics. Nevertheless, following a systemic approach, other parts of the production cycle which are not

1 COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS on the 2017 list of Critical Raw Materials for the EU (COM/2017/0490 final mentioned explicitly (e.g. distribution, use, collection) can be included within project proposals. Big data and ICT- based tools play an important role across the whole product life cycle to increase the efficiency of raw materials supply (e.g. inventories, supply chain management, automation). Special attention should be paid to reconnecting raw materials to society. Therefore, applicants should describehowtheir projectwillengagethepublic.

For the objectives and expected impacts of the 5 main topics supported by ERA-MIN Joint Call 2018 please see the description below. It’s encouraged to include cross cutting topics in all topics, as well as addressing more than one topic for a holistic view of the value chain.

1. Supply of raw materials from exploration and mining: The availability of primary resources and waste from exploration and mining activities remains a major prerequisite to satisfy the growing global demand for raw materials. Therefore, exploration and mining will not disappear in a circular economy. Within this topic we are seeking for new techniques, as well as better understanding, for the exploration and mining of primary and secondary resources that are necessary for the industrial supply. Proposals can address new concepts, technologies and improved models to be used in mineral exploration aimed at understanding geophysical and geochemical processes and the evolution of the lithosphere, especially in Europe. Moreover, they can target comprehensive characterisation, mapping or remediation of abandoned mine sites, making them also potential sources of various raw materials, including valorisation of by- or co- products in complex mineral matrixes or historical stocks contained in tailings and spoil tips, that addresses environmental and social acceptability concerns. Proposals should aim at significant or demonstrable progress towards the goal of responsible and sustainable mine development, through increasing the raw materials supply while reducing impacts on the environment. Within this approach, contributions on the reclamation of former mine sites are included. Both onshore and offshore proposals will be supported (subject to national/regional regulations). It is encouraged to incorporate for example social science contributions, environmental impact of mines and explorations, new business models, eco-efficient waste management and sustainable management of closed mines and quarries.

2. Design: The design of products has a high impact on resource efficiency. Within this topic we are seeking for proposals focusing on innovative product design that contribute to the efficient use of raw materials (eco-design), or the substitution of critical materials in products and components. In addition to the design of products which use fewer raw materials, proposals can address new design concepts focusing on the circularity of products. This includes aspects like the extension of the product durability or the facilitation of its re-use, remanufacturing or recycling. Attention should be paid to strategies and technologies for the substitution of 'substances of very high concern' (SVHCs) of the REACH regulation or substances for which a scarcity may be foreseen. Applicants should be able to quantify the expected impact of the new productdesignon resourceefficiency,usingappropriatemetricsandlifecyclethinking.

3. Processing, Production and Remanufacturing: Production efficiency and remanufacturing processes in a circular economy provide a high potential to increase resource efficiency for primary and secondary sources. A major potential to increase the efficient use of raw materials is provided by resource intensive processes. Within a circular economy vision, waste occurring during the production phase could be recycled and therefore become a resource. As an alternative to the production of new products, used products can be remanufactured and therefore contribute to a higher efficiency of the raw materials use. To adapt the circular economy approach to production may require a re-design of complete industrial processes including new business models, e.g. for remanufactured products. In this topic we are looking for innovative technologies or methods re-designing industrial processes. For instance, proposals could address challenging subjects like metallurgical processes for low-grade or non-conventional ore deposits, bio-leaching, advanced purification or extraction processes based on bio-, hydro- or pyro-metallurgy, or a combination of them. Therefore, a full understanding of the innovation and research needs across the life cycle is required to ensure that the greatest environmental benefits can be obtained. Proposals should address reduction of waste and/or recycling of waste, like scraps, ashes, or industrial effluents, for more direct and less energy- and resource consuming processes. Additionally, energy efficiency, environmental, and social impact could be considered. Proposals should be of high impact both in terms of the market opportunity they address, and the environmental/societal benefits they will enable.

4. Recycling a n d R e - u s e of End-of-Life Products: (e.g. waste of electric and electronic equipment (WEEE), permanent magnets, complex metal alloys etc.) It is essential to turn the raw materials value chain into a materials cycle, where dissipation and waste are avoided as much as possible. A specific challenge is the recycling of raw materials from complex products. In this topic we are seeking for proposals to address this challenge through new concepts, technologies andserviceswhichincreasethesupply ofrawmaterials,especiallycriticalrawmaterials,recovered from products and components at the end of their life. Proposals could, for instance, focus on collection and logistic methods; efficient and innovative separation, physical sorting and pre- treating techniques; innovative and efficient hydro- and pyro-metallurgical processes for critical raw materials separation and extraction from end-of-life products. The marketing of used products or products made from recycling material may face economic, legal or psychological barriers which should be addressed if needed. Innovative business models will be a major driver to overcome these barriers. It is expected that the assessment of the potential impact of the proposed innovation on raw materials efficiency considers the whole life cycle of the products. Proposals could furthermore address energy efficiency, environmental issues or social impact.

5. Cross-cutting topics that are relevant to any part of the raw materials life cycle can also be specifically addressed. Therefore, within this topic we are looking for proposals addressing non- technological innovations in order to increase the economic, environmental and social sustainability in the raw materials sector regarding:

 New business models,
 Improvement of methods or data for environmental impact assessment,  Social acceptance and trust/public perception of raw materials.

A major challenge in the raw materials sector is that entrepreneurs, with novel, high-impact and potentially transformative approaches to raw materials supply, may face barriers, such as substantive investments in existing infrastructure, making the system resistant to change. Applicants are therefore encouraged to respond to this challenge and to develop new business models for a successful implementation of the developed technologies. Development of new, efficient methods of Life Cycle Analysis and stock flows, also for environmental monitoring (including real time monitoring), are encouraged. Gaining public trust in industrial activities is increasingly important in securing the raw materials supply in Europe from primary and secondary sources. Understanding the public perception of raw materials related activities will be supported in the cross-cutting topics. To address the topic of social acceptance/public perception, adequate expertise both from social scientists and geoscientist/engineers/industry is essential. Proposals will be evaluated by considering the potential presented for new, high-impact and potentially transformative business models, environmental and/or societal benefits in the raw materials sector. We encourage inclusion of cross-cutting topics in proposals addressing the other topics.

The topics and sub-topic areas are shown in Appendix I. Background information on the research needs per topic and sub-topic areas was identified by the ERA-MIN Research Agenda, which can be downloaded from the ERA-MIN 2 website at the following link: https://www.era-


5. Who may apply

This call for proposals is aimed at all actors in the raw materials value chain, including academia, industry, NGOs, public authorities and civil society that can contribute to the objectives of ERA-MIN 2 and who meet the eligibility criteria in section 7, as well as national/regional regulations (see Appendix IV).

A consortium must consist of at least three project partners eligible to request funding from the participating Funding Organisations of, at least, two different countries whereof one is an EU Member State or Associated Country. Please note that not all participating Funding Organisations are EU Member States, namely Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Canada (Québec) and South Africa and the only EU Associated Country participating in the call is Turkey.



Organisations from countries/regions not participating in the Call can be partners of the consortium on the condition that they provide evidence of the availability of their own funds to cover their project activities.

The consortium size should be suitable for the level and complexity of the project and each partner should have a significant contribution for the transnational added value of collaboration.

Consortia involving both academic and industrial organisations are particularly encouraged to apply.

Project consortia covering the entire innovation chain from idea to end-user/market are considered positive as well as consortia with actors traditionally working in other industries, so that more ground- breaking innovations can be created through new approaches.

ERA-MIN 2 supports gender equality, therefore applicants are encouraged to consider gender equality in, for example:

  •   Selection of project manager

  •   Composition of project group

  •   Division of work, power and influence in the project

  •   Involvement of target groups


6. What do we fund

ERA-MIN Joint Call 2018 addresses all aspects of the non-energy, non-agricultural raw materials life cycle, covering both primary and secondary resources. It is encouraged to include cross-cutting topics in topics 1-4, as well as addressing more than one topic to get a more holistic view of the value chain.

In line with ongoing efforts within a circular economy approach, ERA-MIN 2 will emphasise the contribution of proposals to the EU’s transition to a circular economy by funding projects aiming at retaining the value of the raw materials that are used in products.

Overall, ERA-MIN 2 can fund basic research, applied research and experimental development projects that are 12-36 months long and address the scope and topics of the call. However, not all funding agencies can fund all types of research, see Table 3.


7. Eligibility criteria
For a proposal to be assessed by the Scientific Evaluation Board (SEB) the following eligibility criteria, as well as the national/regional funding regulations, must be met:

  •   The proposals must be submitted via electronic form through the ERA-MIN 2 Electronic Submission System, by the Lead Researcher of the consortium coordinator no later than January 31st, 2019, at 17:00:00 CET.

  •   Each consortium must comprise at least three independent legal entities eligible to request funding from the participating Funding Organisations of, at least, two different countries where at least one country is an EU Member State or EU Associated Country (Turkey) named in this call.

  •   The coordinator of the consortium must be eligible for funding and be established in a country or region participating in the Call.

  •   A Lead Researcher can only represent the coordinator in one proposal (i.e. if a Lead Researcher coordinates one proposal, he/she can only participate in other proposals as a researcher/key personnel of a consortium partner).

  •   Researchers from the participating Funding Organisations cannot apply to this Call.

  •   The total efforts of partners from one country in a proposal cannot exceed 70% of the total project efforts (measured in person-months).

  •   The project duration shall be a minimum of 12 months and shall not exceed 36 months.

  •   Each partner requesting funding must comply with the national/regional funding criteria and regulations of their respective Funding Organisation to ensure the eligibility of the consortium proposal (see Appendix IV). Please note that this may include sending additional information/documentation to your national/regional Funding Organisation.

  •   All applicants requesting funding must provide a statement of commitment (Form B, available at, duly signed and stamped by the legal representative of the organisation or the Lead Researcher.

  •   Applicants not requesting funding, or not eligible for national/regional funding, can be partners of the consortium on the condition that they provide evidence of the availability of their own funds to cover their costs by providing a signed Statement (Form C available at https://www.era-

  •   The language of the proposals is English.

  •   All sections of the proposal technical description (Form A) must be filled in and the total length cannot exceed 23 pages, excluding the financial plan, references, ethics issues table, CVs, Forms B and Forms C.

  •   The ethics issue table, the CVs of key personnel and the Forms B and Forms C (available at must be filled in and attached to the proposal.

    Not all Funding Organisations can fund projects related to all topics, and funding eligibility criteria may differ between countries/regions. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that the Funding Organisation for their country/region has confirmed its participation in the relevant topic and sub-topic for their proposal, and to check which type of organisation can be funded at what level of support and the maximum budget available. A summary of some national/regional funding rules is provided in Table 2 and 3, as well as in the national/regional funding regulations (Appendix IV) but applicants are obliged to check with their national/regional contact point ( T a b l e 1 ) f o r r egulations.


8. Evaluation criteria and procedures

The evaluation procedures are designed to identify the best proposals in terms of scientific excellence, impact, quality and efficiency on the implementation, as thoroughly and accurately as possible; and to undertake the assessment in a fair, transparent and homogeneous way for all proposals submitted in the Call.

The following is a schematic representation of the evaluation and decision-making process:
1. Proposal submitted via the Electronic Submission System (ESS).
2. The submitted proposals will be subject to a general, as well as a national/regional eligibility check performed by the Joint Call Secretariat (JCS) and by the Call Steering Committee (CSC), composed of representatives from the participating Funding Organisations, to confirm compliance with national/regional priorities, rules and regulations before the start of the international independent peer-review evaluation process.
3. The quality assessment of the eligible proposals will be performed by the Scientific Evaluation Board (SEB) composed of international independent expert reviewers. This will result in a ranking of the proposals and recommendations for funding or not.
4. The CSC decides which projects will receive funding based on the ranking list and national/regional available budgets.
5. Applicants are notified of the decisions and receive feedback on the evaluation of their proposal.

Proposals will be evaluated based on three main evaluation criteria: 1) Scientific Excellence, 2) Impact and 3) Quality and Efficiency of the Implementation. Evaluation scores will be awarded to the three main evaluation criteria and not individually for the different sub-criteria.


  •   Clarity and pertinence of the objectives;

  •   Soundness of the concept, and credibility of the proposed methodology;

  •   Extent that the proposed work is beyond the state of the art, and demonstrates innovation potential (e.g. ground-breaking objectives, novel concepts and approaches, new products, services or business and organisational models);

  •   Appropriate consideration of interdisciplinary approaches and, where relevant, use of stakeholder knowledge;


  •  The extent to which the outputs of the project would contribute at the European and/or International level to expected impacts in line with the integrated strategy proposed in the EU Raw Materials Initiative (RMI) and the Strategic Implementation Plan of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Raw Materials;
  •   Any substantial impacts that would enhance innovation capacity, create new market opportunities, strengthen competitiveness and growth of companies, address issues related to barriers/obstacles, and any framework conditions such as regulation, standards, public acceptance, workforce considerations, financing of follow-up steps, cooperation of other links in the value chain, or bring other important benefits for society;

  •   Quality of the proposed measures to exploit and disseminate the project results (including management of IPR), and to manage research data where relevant;

  •   Quality of the proposed measures to communicate the project activities to different target audiences;

  •   Support the development of technological solutions and services for the implementation of the Strategic Implementation Plan of the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials.


  •   Quality and effectiveness of the work plan, including extent to which the resources assigned to work packages are in line with their objectives and deliverables;

  •   Appropriateness of the management structures and procedures, including risk and innovation management;

  •   Quality and complementarity of the participants and extent to which the consortium as whole brings together the necessary expertise;

  •   Appropriateness of the allocation of tasks, ensuring that all participants have a valid role and adequate resources in the project to fulfil that role.

Each criterion will be scored out of 5 and the threshold for individual criterion will be 3.
The overall rating will be the sum of the individual criterion scores (0-15). The overall threshold for proposals, applying to the sum of the three individual scores, will be 10. Proposals not meeting the thresholds will not be recommended for funding by the SEB.


9. How to apply

A joint transnational proposal shall be prepared in English by the consortium and submitted via the ERA-MIN 2 Electronic Submission System ( by the Lead Researcher representing the coordinator no later than January 31th, 2019 at 17:00:00 CET.

If required by the national/regional regulations, the submission forms or other documents must be submitted directly to the participating Funding Organisations according with their deadlines, no later than 10 working days after the proposal submission deadline. Please consult your regional/national contact point (Table 1) for further details.


The coordinator(Partner 1), who will represent the consortium, will have to register at theERA- MIN 2 Electronic Submission System (coordinator registration link) before submitting a proposal. Once registered, the coordinator will receive a registration email with the login link (coordinator login link). The coordinator will need to register the partners of the consortium. After registration, all the partners will receive an email to activate their account. With his/her account, each partner will enter his/her own profile (partner login link).

Proposal form

The proposal form must be filled in by the coordinator, except for the partner’s profiles.
Templates for the technical description of the proposal (23 pages, Calibri, 11pt, single spaced; the template’s margins of the page should be kept) and annexes are available at https://www.era-

Signed Statement of Commitments from all partners requesting funding (Form B) and Statements of Own Funding (Form C) from partners not requesting funding must be included as annexes to the proposal. The coordinator has the duty to ensure that Form B and Form C are signed in due time. Resubmitting the proposal before the submission deadline is possible.


10.Terms and conditions

For proposals recommended for funding, the partners will be asked to contact the respective Funding Organisation for further instructions regarding national/regional internal procedures. The negotiation phase is carried out following the usual rules of each Funding Organisation.

Each beneficiary will have a separate funding contract/letter of grant according to national/regional regulations with the appropriate national/regional Funding Organisation. Changes to the composition of research consortia or to the budget cannot occur during the contract/letter of grant, unless there is an appropriate justification. The beneficiaries shall inform the JCS and the Funding Organisations of that project of any event that might affect the implementation of the project.

The partners of the projects selected for funding must fix a common project start date, which will be the reference date for annual and final reports. It is expected that grant negotiations may take up to 3-4 months after the notification of results. The project should not start later than November 1, 2019, unless national/regional rules say otherwise.

The list of funded projects will be published on the ERA-MIN 2 website.

The beneficiaries of a project selected for funding must sign a Consortium Agreement (CA) for cooperation, preferably before the official project start date but no later than six months after the official project start date, considering that some Funding Organisations cannot conclude the grant agreements without a signed CA. Each Funding Organisation will indicate when they expect the CA and how to submit it. A copy of the duly signed CA should be sent to the Funding Organisations if asked for.

Models of CA are available (, but the consortium is free to define its own CA subject to applicable legal and regulatory provisions.

The national/regional Funding Organisations shall have the right to use documents, information and results submitted by the research partners and/or to use the information and results according to their national/regionalrulesonIPR.

Beneficiaries must ensure that all project publications etc. include a proper acknowledgement to ERA- MIN 2,theEuropeanCommission,andtherespectiveFundingOrganisation.

On behalf of the consortium, the coordinators of the funded projects will submit annual reports in English to the JCS that contain information on scientific and administrative aspects. In addition, each beneficiary in a selected funded project must report to their respective national/regional Funding Organisation, according to their administrative funding rules. The beneficiaries are instructed to immediately contact the coordinator, the Funding Organisations involved and the JCS with any contingency that may arise.

If requested, the Lead Researcher of the consortium coordinator (or a representative of the project) is expected to attend meetings organised by ERA-MIN 2 (max 2 meetings will be arranged). In addition, the beneficiaries should participate and contribute to any communication activity initiated by ERA-MIN 2 in the funding period and beyond.


11. Open Access and Open Data

The optimisation of the impact of publicly-funded scientific research is of fundamental importance to improve conditions to i) minimise the time spent searching for information and accessing it, ii) be able to speed up scientific progress, and iii) make it easier to cooperate across and beyond the European Union.

Open Access recommendations for all scientific publications produced by the funded projects will support Green Open Access (immediate or delayed open access provided through self-archiving), and/or Gold Open Access (immediate open access provided by a publisher) only depending on cost eligibility. In the case of Green Open Access, partners will (as soon as possible and at the latest on publication) deposit a machine- readable electronic copy of the published version or final peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication in a repository for scientific publications. In addition, partners will ensure open access to the deposited publication and bibliographic metadata.

In relation to Open Data, the funded projects will be recommended to submit metadata on all the data resources directly generated by the project on the Raw Material Information System (RMIS) of JRC, as well as additional information on how these data will be exploited, if and how data will be made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved. Additionally, we encourage the researchers to register online at “The Green Best Practice Community” of JRC and propose case studies and best practices. Metadata and additional information will be made publicly available via the ERA-MIN 2 website. The Contact Point on Open Access and Open Data will be disseminated on ERA-MIN 2 website, alongside specific information and procedures. ERA-MIN 2 will comply with the Protection of Personal Data Requirements by following the ethical standards and guidelines of Horizon 2020 and applicable EU and national law.


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