News & Events

The first International Circular Hydrometallurgy Symposium (ICHS 2024), organised by SOLVOMET – KU Leuven’s Research and Innovation Centre for Circular Hydrometallurgy, will take place in Mechelen, Belgium, between 9-11 September.

Members of the Cluster Hub “Production of raw materials for batteries from European resources”, namely ENICON, EXCEED, AVANTIS, LITHOS and CICERO will organise one session. More information about the programme will be available soon.

Pre-registration available

 

The Raw Materials Summit is a call-to-action – a platform – for industry leaders, educators and innovative new talent to share their vision for a sustainable raw materials future. The aim is to raise awareness of the critical role of raw materials, exchange knowledge and break down the barriers that delay sustainable value chains.

The event will take place this year at The Egg Brussels, Rue Bara 175, 1070 Bruxelles, Belgium, between 14 and 16 May.

The transition to clean energy means changing how we identify, source, use and re-use raw materials. We are all dependent on a sustainable raw materials supply and need to play an active role in the creation and maintenance of a responsible raw materials sector.

The 6th edition of the Raw Materials Summit will feature topics such as:
  • Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA) and its impact
  • Raw Materials Academy and our future workforce
  • Changes to supply, demand and the latest trade policies
  • Electrification through renewables – and nuclear
  • Heightening mineral security for defense & space
  • Three nations present minerals investment plans
  • Looking beyond the EU’s existing strategic ties
  • Responsible sourcing for the automotive sector
  • The steel industry’s race to net zero
  • Reputation management and mineral transparency

More information

Join Europe’s metals industry on Thursday 18 April, for the launch of a quantifiable, six-part recipe for Europe to deliver Critical Raw Materials Act resilience by 2030. The event is hosted by Eurometaux.

High-level speakers will be debating where, how, and when the next European Commission and Parliament need to act with real ambition for getting Europe back in the global race for clean tech supply chains.

In a turbulent world of subsidies and geopolitics, Europe has to create a best-in-class “industrial kitchen”, so its strategic industries can not only survive, but also thrive – and prospects show potential to ensure European resilience.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Marek Balt, MEP
  • Hildegard Bentele, MEP
  • Kerstin Jorna, Director General, DG Grow
  • Judith Kirton Darling, General Secretary, IndustriALL
  • Sara Matthieu, MEP
  • Evangelos Mytilineos, CEO Mytilineos
  • Julia Poliscanova, Senior Clean Vehicles Director, Transport & Environment
  • Peter Tom Jones, KU Leuven

The event will take place at the Autoworld, from 13:30 to 17:00 followed by a cocktail, with a possibility to attend remotely.

In-person places are limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

More information

This Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) is a co-creation by the European Commission and the Batteries European Partnership Association (BEPA). In the development of the SRIA, BEPA has worked closely together with the Batteries Europe Secretariat. BEPA and Batteries Europe have collected input from the wider European Batteries R&I Community by organising six Working Groups and several Task Forces, of which the total attendance figures reach in the hundreds.

The recently published SRIA replaces the BATT4EU SRIA of 2021 and lists the key strategic actions outline that the European Batteries R&I Community that can bring leverage to collaborative research projects put forward by the BATT4EU Partnership, members of  the Cluster Hub “Production of raw materials for batteries” included. The SRIA builds on the Roadmaps which have been published by Batteries Europe and Battery 2030+ and is the results of the combined inputs of numerous stakeholders from the European battery landscape.

The new SRIA outlines time-based research and innovation priorities for every part of the battery value chain and points to 6 imperatives that need tackling in order to increase the competitiveness of the European battery value chain.

The 6 imperatives outlined in the new SRIA

  • Ensure research and innovation match industry needs to translate into gigafactories and markets
  • Increase the strategic autonomy of Europe by reducing the reliance on imported critical raw materials
  • Improve battery affordability to accelerate the green transition and keep the European industry competitive
  • Improve the flexibility of battery manufacturing and recycling systems
  • Implement a safe and sustainable by design framework for batteries
  • Support the continuity of excellent European battery research and academic-industrial

Download the official document

On 20 March 2024, BATT4EU is organising a webinar to present the new Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda (SRIA) for batteries.
Register to the webinar

 

On the occasion of the new Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) for batteries, BATT4EU Partnership is organising a webinar on 20 March 2024, between 10:00 and 11:30 Brussels time. The aim is to present the official document and to host engaging discussions with the experts behind this publication who will explain how this document will redefine the dynamics for the European battery sector.

The SRIA publication serves as a reference for Industry, Member States, Policy Makers and Researchers to highlight key technological challenges, promote research and innovation, and guide funding priorities across Europe.

Download the official document

RAWMINA and CRM-geothermal projects, both funded under the Horizon Europe programme and members of the Cluster Hub “Production of raw materials for batteries”, are organising a joint webinar on 12 March 2024, from 10:00 to 11:30 CET.

This collaborative effort embodies the spirit of innovation and cooperation driving European initiatives towards sustainable resource management. Both projects are at the forefront of developing cutting-edge technologies aimed at revolutionising critical raw materials (CRM) extraction methodologies. Utilising advanced techniques such as adsorption and other innovative separation methods, RAWMINA and CRM-geothermal are redefining possibilities in critical raw materials recovery from mine waste and geothermal fluids.

The webinar serves as a platform to delve into the intersecting realms of RAWMINA and CRM-geothermal, facilitating an exchange of insights and discoveries.

Key objectives:

  • Sharing Research Insights: Presenting initial research findings and milestones achieved by both projects, offering valuable insights into the evolving landscape of CRM extraction technologies.
  • Engaging with the Public: Fostering dialogue and knowledge exchange with stakeholders, academia, industry experts, and the public to cultivate a collective understanding of the challenges and opportunities in CRM extraction.
  • Exploring Collaborative Opportunities: Discovering synergies and forging pathways for collaboration with other initiatives like the Cluster Hub and the Raw Materials Helix

Register here

On 19 February 2024, the  EXCEED Horizon Europe funded research project organises the 1st Capacity Building Seminar.

The seminar will be held online. Three lectures will be given by Prof. Lev Filippov (University of Lorraine), Prof. Valerie Cappuyns. (KU Leuven), Toni Eerola Senior Specialist, (Geologist, Geological Survey of Finland), who are experts in their fields.

The target group of the seminar involves mainly graduate and post graduate students and early stage researchers, however all students and researchers in topics related to EXCEED’s objectives are welcome!

Registration is open by 15/02/2024. Registered participants will receive an email with the workshop’s Zoom link.

Register here

The detailed program is the following:

Lecturer Lecture Date
Valerie Cappuyns. Professor, KU Leuven. “Geochemical assessment in the field of mining and resource recovery” 19/2/202409:00 AM – 10.30 PM

(CET)

Lev Filippov,
Professor, Ecole nationale supérieure de Géologie , University of Lorraine
“Exploring the challenges and advances in processing of hard Li deposits” 19/2/202410.30 AM – 12.00 PM

(CET)

Toni Eerola
Senior Specialist, Geologist, Geological Survey of Finland 
“Preliminary assessment of the social licence to operate in four European lithium projects” 19/2/202413:00 AM – 14.30 PM

(CET)

Despite diverse objective, various member projects of the Cluster Hub “Production of raw materials for batteries from European resources”  have shown growing interest in the Digital Battery Passport, an initiative of FREE4LIB. This collaboration between hub members shows our commitment to contributing to the European battery community through the exchange of knowledge and experience.

The FREE4LIB workshop, held on 10 January 2024, had a three-fold objective, including a brief presentation of the preliminary results of the battery passport concept development, the outline of the implementation challenges and potential follow-ups of industrial scale-up, and the clear differentiation between battery second use (B2U) versus recycling. The event drew nearly 50 participants from various segments of the battery value chain, which ensured a comprehensive and multifaceted perspective of the subject matter.

The introductive session presented the FREE4LIB project, briefly highlighting past achievements and focusing mainly on the remaining activities outlined in the workplan. The following session was led by Julius Ott (industrial engineer with expertise in circular economy at Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz). During the past year, researchers at Univ. of Graz worked on finalising data collection and processing related to the development of a data model of the digital passport platform which aims to close the information gap between beginning-of-life (BoL) and end-of-life (EoL) battery lifetime. This interactive session turned out to be an appropriate opportunity for researchers at Univ. of Graz to present the outcomes of their data collection and handling, and to evaluate their relevance within the reality portrayed by the workshop attendees.

Participants, predominantly familiarised with the EU-funded battery projects, confirmed the findings reported by Univ. of Graz. However, they also raised concerns about data sharing. The outcomes of the interactive session, complementing prior research, will serve as valuable guidance for the FREE4LIB project in implementing the battery passport within their project.

Download workshop results

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.

The Cluster Hub has been initiated last year during the 7th edition of the Raw Materials Week. The main objective of the meeting was to meet and discuss the latest developments in the participating projects as well as the new challenges and opportunities discovered through the projects’ lifetime. Nader Akil, Operations Manager at PNO Innovation, inaugurated this second edition outlining the motivation behind the hub’s establishment. He underlined the positive reception and sustained interest from various stakeholders keen on joining this initiative.

Discover and/or rediscover the first edition of the Cluster Hub workshop

Co-organised by RELiEF, EXCEED, ENICON and RAWMINA, 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.

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, in the section referring to the interactive session.

Research and science unlocking new opportunities in raw materials

The first session was moderated by Sonia Matencio from LEITAT, representing the RAWMINA project. This session had the objective of discussing the raw materials through research and science, under the scopes of mining, refining, processing as well as the battery data. Sonia introduced this topic under the scope of RAWMINA, explaining the integrated innovative pilot system for Critical Raw Materials recovery from mine waste in a circular economy context. To this end, Christophe Aucher, from LEITAT as well, highlighted the need on an open battery passport system to better reflect and account for any adaptations that might be required due to the changing regulatory landscape.

Sonia welcomed afterward Brecht Dewulf from KU LEUVEN and representing ENICON, who discussed the sustainable processing of Europe’s low grade sulphidic and lateritic Ni/Co ores and tailings into battery grade metals. The idea behind this was to show all the potential of Ni/Co resources for Europe.

Xochitl Dominguez from VITO concentrated her speech on gas-diffusion electrocrytallisation (GDEx), a crucial topic for the projects LiCORNE and RHINOCEROS she works with. GDEx is an electrochemical process of reactive precipitation of metals in solution with oxidising or reducing agents produced in-situ by the electrochemical reduction of a gas, in a gas-diffusion electrode. This was followed by Katrin Kieling from GFZ Potsdam, working there for the CRM-geothermal project and shortly explained the challenges of extracting critical raw materials from geothermal fluids. To conclude this first session, Sandra Pavón from Fraunhofer IKTS explained the demonstration of battery metals recovery from primary and secondary resources through a sustainable processing methodology in the METALLICO project.

Discover presentations from Session 1

Insights from stakeholder perspectives: Interactive session on key EU Policies and priorities

The annual meeting followed its course with an interactive session led by Anish Patil, which 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 this interactive session, engaging the audience to explore how these policies intersect, complement each other, and identify critical measures and incentives for achieving their objectives.

Over 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 answers placed the ‘enhanced skills’ as first priority, shortly followed by facilitating the access to the market.

 

Lastly, the participants were divided regarding the critical measures to implement in the EU to stimulate investment in building domestic capacities for extraction of critical raw materials (CRMs). Although the majority opted for ‘cutting red-tape and accelerated permitting’, approximately half of the answers evoked uncertainty, which emphasised one more time the need to engage with policy makers as external stakeholders in all projects.

Navigating the nexus: industry challenges, market dynamics, social acceptance and sustainability

This interactive workshop was followed by two sessions, which aimed at discussing the challenges and opportunities of raw materials within the frame of industry and market, as well as the social acceptance, sustainability, and durability.

Alan Gonzalez from PNO Innovation Begium, representing LiCORNE, moderated the industry part, whereas Sam Hoefman from RELiEF moderated the last session on social acceptance, sustainability, and durability. Distinguished panellists took the stage to engage in debates on various topics.

Edvarts Emerson, Production and Testing Engineer at Watt4Ever, presented his work on the benchmark depository of 2nd life use of lithium in batteries, acceptance criteria and guidelines, work developed within the RHINOCEROS project. Benjamin Wilson, representing the RESPECT Project, displayed Aalto University’s work advancing efficient, sustainable, innovative and safe battery recycling processes in the EU. Laura Kainiemi from LUT University, representing the RELiEF Project, Konstantinos Komnitsas from the Technical University of Crete (TUC), on behalf of EXCEED, and Vitor Correia from INTRAW for the CRM-geothermal project, collectively debated the role and impact of social acceptance among affected communities, 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.

Discover presentations from Session 2

Discover presentations from Session 3

Snapshots from the second edition of the Cluster Hub workshop “Production of raw materials for batteries from European resources”

 

 

The Cluster Hub “Production of raw materials for batteries from European resources” is a knowledge exchange ecosystem, where partners involved in different European projects (private companies, support organisations, experts, universities and research institutes) can identify and discuss common topics related to their projects, and to the production of materials for batteries, as well as synergies that can foster innovations in this field.

The initiative to establish a permanent clustering hub appeared first in November 2022, during the 7th edition of the Raw Materials Week, when eight EU-funded projects gathered together for the workshop with the same name: “Production of raw materials for batteries from European sources”. Encouraged by a first successful event, and echoed by the stakeholders’ vivid interest for collaboration, the European Commission welcomed with enthusiasm the proposal to establish a permanent Clustering Hub.

This year’s annual meeting will allow all representatives – counting today no less than 12 projects, to share the preliminary results of their work, address the remaining challenges that all EU initiatives face, and interact with external stakeholders actively interested in the issues and opportunities raised by these projects.

The Cluster Hub’s annual workshop is a satellite event organised within the Raw Materials Week 2023, and it will take place in hybrid format, on 16 November 2023. 

Register here

Interested to join the Cluster Hub or learn more about this initiative?