The European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA) aims to make Europe economically more resilient by diversifying its supply chains, creating jobs, attracting investments to the raw materials value chain, fostering innovation, training young talents and contributing to the best enabling framework for raw materials and the Circular Economy worldwide.
The Alliance addresses the challenge of securing access to sustainable raw materials, advanced materials, and industrial processing know-how. By 2030, ERMA’s activities will increase the production of raw and advanced materials and address Circular Economy by boosting the recovery and recycling of Critical Raw Materials. More specifically, the Alliance will:
The European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA) contributes to ensuring reliable, secure and sustainable access to raw materials as key enablers for a globally competitive, green, and digital Europe. The alliance will initially focus on the most pressing needs: increasing the EU resilience in the rare earth magnet and motor value chain. They are vital to key EU industrial ecosystems, such as automotive, renewable energy, defence and aerospace. The alliance will expand to address other critical and strategic raw materials needs, including those related to materials for energy storage and conversion (batteries and fuel cells).
Many strategically important industrial ecosystems in the European Union depend on a reliable supply of sustainable raw materials. Raw Materials and advanced materials in the context of Circular Economy are vital for European competitiveness and innovation capacity.
ERMA is an open and inclusive alliance that provides an open and independent forum for discussion and analysis, as well as a mechanism for translating potential projects into actual activities and infrastructures that will contribute to creating long-lasting added value and jobs for Europe.
ERMA will identify barriers, opportunities and investment cases to build capacity at all stages of the raw materials value chain, from mining to waste recovery. It complies with EU competition rules and EU international trade commitments.
ERMA objectives will be achieved through two major workstreams:
Both workstreams will be implemented through clusters dedicated to the specific value chains. The first two clusters will focus on Rare Earth Magnets & Motors and Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion.
Rare earth (REE) permanent magnets and motors are vital components in products ranging from small headphones to EV drivetrains and massive wind power turbines.
Discovered and initially commercialised by European scientists and engineers, the production of these materials in Europe is in decline.
ERMA supports a multi-sourcing strategy from feasible, sustainable sources (primary and secondary) to ensure resilient supply chains and increase European industrial competitiveness. In Europe, there are world-class REE deposits in various parts of Europe such as Sweden, Greenland, Finland and Spain. In addition, REE can be extracted as a by-product of phosphate production (for example in Finland) and regained from end-of-life products through various different recycling schemes. Enormous innovation potential also lies in the resource and cost efficient design of magnetic materials and motors.
The ERMA Cluster on Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion focuses on the raw materials that will enable the green energy transition in Europe. The energy storage and conversion sector is a key driver for a more sustainable future and can facilitate a globally competitive, green, and digital Europe. The shift to a clean and carbon-neutral economy inherently implies a significant increase in the demand for minerals and metals, including those which are needed for energy storage and conversion.
To ensure reliable, secure and sustainable access to such raw materials for European industrial ecosystems, ERMA has established an action plan framework and defined concrete actions under four areas within this Cluster. These are Fuel Cells and Electrolysers, Battery Materials, Alternative Energy Storage and Conversion, and Materials in Solar Energy.
Working together with its partners, ERMA will address strategic developments, technical innovation potentials, regulatory bottlenecks, environmental concerns, and civil society. ERMA will help identify and facilitate the necessary investments to support the EU’s policies on renewables energies.