WS8 ESM Workshop and Criticality Debate


· Workshop Organiser: ESM – Foundation for Rare Metals

· Workshop Chair: Margarethe Hofmann, ESM/MatSearch

· Date and Time: Tuesday 13, 08h00 – 09h50 / 12h30 – 14h20 / 16h30 – 18h20

· Room: Seehorn

· Description: 

The Foundation Entwicklungsfonds Seltene Metalle, ESM (Foundation for Rare Metals) has held in 2011 a first workshop to discuss the criticality of metals and materials at the World Resources Forum. The first workshop was entitled “Less common elements – political risks, technical potentials, economic impact“ and reflected opinions and trends from industrial stakeholders on circular economy with respect to strategic resources including state of the art of recycling critical materials, requirements of the Swiss industry and the needs for „above ground mines“. In 2013, ESM has continued the series of workshops again with speakers from industry and from academia discussing the (potential) use of critical materials for energy applications, starting from resource efficiency and, discussing requirements, criticality of strategic metals, economic systems and substitution potentials.

The third ESM workshop in series in Davos will discuss amongst others supply and quality risks due to critical metals under economical as well as ecological and social aspects. Two challenges have been discovered during the last about 20 years: (i) the European industry has outsourced more and more production steps in emerging markets and (ii) materials and components for products are supplied by companies in various places of the world. In case of critical materials used for components or final products, supply chain interruptions due to political or regulatory risks in countries that are major producers of such materials may occur and may severely impact the market. In addition, the lack of diversity in producers and demand from competing technologies reduces the monitoring of materials composition and processing over the value chain and may affect their quality. Strategies to allow more insight in the critical materials flow from raw material also towards recycled products are needed. The “Circular flow economics” model may be used to depict the critical materials in the whole market system and value chain. Also needed are data management of information about such materials at the various stages of a product for a better monitoring of the value, and improvement of production design for a more efficiently use of such materials would be desirable.

The workshop session will discuss strategies to identify the influence of “critical materials” on European innovative products, monitor their life cycle, and possibilities to reduce critical materials by better design, substitution and recycling opportunities. Regulations and environmental friendly solutions for the use over the whole value chain and possibilities to ensure a responsible sourcing will be another topic. Further to this, it is necessary to know more about the product for deciding for an appropriate end-of-life strategy, also regarding the “pre-paid” recycling system by the legal framework of each country. The third workshop of ESM at the WRF tackles technical, legal and societal challenges with well-known speakers from industry, trade associations and non-governmental organisations and will take the time to discuss more in depth a strategy how to benefit from a monitoring system which may reduce problems with critical materials.

A “criticality debate” in the late afternoon will bring different stakeholders together and lead to a position paper summarizing different approaches and making recommendations for a criticality assessment method that meets industrial needs.

The day’s scientific programme will be followed by a common dinner at WRF.

· Speakers: 

-Dr. Bruno Walser , President ESM

-Prof. Tom Graedel, Yale University

-Dr. Hans-Jörg Althaus, Lifecycle Consulting Althaus

-Dr. James Goddin, Granta Design

-Karsten Schischke, Fraunhofer IZM

-Prof. Gerhard Sextl, Fraunhofer IWKS and University of Würzburg

-Willem Bulthuis, Business Angel and Digitization Advisor

-Prof. Dr. Gian Andrea Blengini / Prof. Dr. Jo Dewulf, European Commission DG JRC

Prof. Armin Reller, University of Augsburg

-Dr. Luis Tercero Espinoza, Fraunhofer ISI

Dr. Patrick Wäger, Empa

Dr. Christian Hagelüken, Director EU Government Affairs Umicore

· Detailed programme here