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This study aims to illuminate the role of research and innovation (R&I) in ensuring a safe and sustainable supply of critical raw materials (CRM). It provides background information on CRMs, related EU policies, sustainability issues, and public controversy, tying all these in with their respective R&I needs. The study reviews the role of R&I and cooperation in securing the EU's raw material supply, highlighting the significance of R&I along the value chain and analysing patenting activities and ...

The EU Global Gateway, a €300 billion infrastructure investment strategy launched in December 2021, seeks to build sustainable and secure connections in the digital, energy and transport sectors and boost Europe's competitiveness and supply chain security across the world. What might the strategy look like in future? This paper presents four possible scenarios for the Global Gateway in 2030, based on survey responses from 30 policy experts: 'optimal gateway', 'failed gateway', 'corporate gateway' ...

This report evaluates the need and scope for an EIT Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) focused on water, marine, and maritime areas (KIC WMM). It identifies existing gaps in innovation ecosystems and recommends thematic focus areas with the highest potential for technological development, market deployment, and benefits for EU citizens. Key stakeholders, public engagement methods, funding mechanisms, and legal and regulatory barriers are analysed. Policy options are provided to foster innovation ...

Horizon Europe is the EU's key funding programme for research and innovation, containing ambitious commitments to scientific progress, climate neutrality, and improving the EU's competitiveness and growth. This study evaluates the following selected items in Horizon Europe: the evolution of calls and funding, adoption of the Common Model Grant Agreement (CMGA), implementation of the strategic plan, discontinuation of the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Flagship, the participation barriers ...

The European Green Deal, aimed at making the EU climate neutral by 2050, outlines a comprehensive approach to sustainability, requiring profound transformation across all industrial sectors. Horizon Europe, the EU's foremost research and innovation programme, can be a critical enabler, providing the necessary funding, framework and innovation pathways to support this transition. Employing a combination of desk research and stakeholder consultations, this study evaluates Horizon Europe's alignment ...

A European digital product passport (DPP) could enhance textile industry traceability, circularity, and transparency. This study focuses on the possibility to introduce a DPP, framed within the European Union's strategy for sustainable and circular textiles. It examines the potential, needs, benefits, and challenges associated with deploying a DPP for all stakeholders throughout the European textile sector's value chain. A DPP could benefit all actors in this complex value chain, including producers ...

Fisheries in Europe's marine environment use different types of mobile and static fishing gears that come into contact with the seabed, including mobile bottom-contacting gears (MBCGs) towed through the water and across the seabed. This study explores: the innovative gears that could be deployed as an alternative to the exclusion of bottom trawling in EU marine protected areas (MPAs); the efficacy and feasibility of implementing such innovations; and the environmental and socioeconomic effects on ...

Exposure to 'forever chemicals', air pollution, stress and many other factors depends on where a person lives and their lifestyle choices. These exposures combine over the course of a lifetime, affecting human biology and health. The 'exposome' concept offers a framework for understanding and analysing this complex reality, and ultimately for informing the shaping of evidence-based policy on chemicals, food and the workplace, as well as on pollution, public health and the environment more generally ...

Academic freedom is a fundamental principle of any university and research system or institution, and is essential for a healthy democracy. The concept can be traced back to the birth of the Humboldtian research university model in Germany in the early 1800s. Despite international declarations and constitutional and legal protections, in recent years there has been renewed interest in academic freedom around the world owing to major challenges and threats from governments, industry and civil society ...

Most of the world's cobalt, a strategic raw material for the EU, is mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It is then shipped to China for processing before being used, for instance, in batteries and electric vehicles (EVs). This creates inefficiencies, extra emissions and, above all, crucial critical raw material and green sector dependencies on China. The DRC wants to move up the battery supply chain. A 2021 Bloomberg study shows that building a Congolese processing plant to produce ...