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Development of Resource-efficient and Advanced underGrOund techNologies (DRAGON)
Start date: Oct 1, 2012, End date: Sep 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Increased global competition, economic requirements in order to act budget-conscious as well as current (and future) environmental regulations have caused/will cause the need for new underground construction technologies in order to guarantee resource-efficiency within the tunnelling processes. The before mentioned situation also calls for a paradigm shift from only landfilling with excavation material in a direction to re-use the excavated material by nearly 100% as valuable new raw material in other industrial processes and sectors.Therefore the overall goal of DRAGON is to develop new work flows and new techniques in order to guarantee a) a fast detection of useable materials; b) an immediate separation of high value materials already within the underground construction site and c) the recycling of that material on the backup system of the tunnel boring machines.Based on that research results a number of different prototypes will be developed and tested throughout the project duration.Another important impact of DRAGON is that the LCA (life cycle analysis) is going to provide scientific evidence that the re-use of excavated tunnelling material will result in more resource-efficient and more closed-loop related systems (even in industry-related economy) in Europe.A complex project such as DRAGON can only be addressed by joint and concerted actions of outstanding experts: DRAGON`s scientific partner MUL belongs to Europe`s leading tunnelling experts; the 4 participating SME partners are highly specialised companies which are active in environmental niche markets; HK as market leader of mechanized tunnelling systems guarantees the market power and brings in the corresponding market knowledge whereas PORR as end user partner will mostly benefit from the newly developed equipment and the way to save costs either by commercializing valuable excavation materials or by re-using excavation material as its own raw material.

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