12/10/2014

Montanuniversität part of KIC Austria

Montanuniversität has been chosen to develop raw-material strategies for East- and Southeast Europe for the Knowledge and Innovation Community- KIC, a project founded by the European Institute of Technology (EIT).

The "KIC Raw MatTERS"-Consortium

The winning "KIC Raw MatTERS"-Consortium consists of 62 partners, amongst them Montanuniversität Leoben and the Styrian INTECO- special melting technologies GmbH, and 54 associate partners, including the FJ Elsner Trading GmbH, “Geologische Bundesanstalt”, Karl-Franzens Universität Graz and the Technical University of Vienna. The Austrian application was supported by the Ministry of Education, the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), Land Steiermark and Eco World Styria.

The EU organisation EIT was called to life in order to strengthen Europe’s innovative drive, thereby increasing competitiveness. “Horizon 2020” will finance the project with over 2,7 billion Euro.

EIT works with knowledge- and innovation-communities, so called KIC’s. Until now, there have been three: Climate KIC, KIC InnoEnerger and EIT ICT Labs. These are now joined by EIT Raw Materials and EIT Health.

Austria profits as an industrial Standpoint

“With universities, research organisations, and companies involved, this project covers the entire innovation-chain and underlines the benefits of international cooperation. This interplay will become increasingly important in the future, and will hold the key to solving major social challenges. By developing new raw- material strategies, Austria will profit from being a centre of knowledge and an industrial standpoint”, claims Dr. Reinhold Mitterlehner, the Minister of Education, Research and Economics, who has supported the project politically and executively since the beginning.

In his first statement concerning current developments, Rector of Montanuniversität, Wilfried Eichlseder, also seems very pleased: “Being awarded KIC will underline Montanuniversität’s importance concerning raw materials and working materials. This is a commitment and a motivation to carefully develop the commitment that has been made to develop our society.”

Tackling European Raw Materials Sustainability

The abbreviation “TERS”, from “Raw MatTERS”, stands for “Tackling European Raw Materials Sustainability”. In terms of essential raw-materials, the EU is much more reliable on the global market than China, the USA or Russia, who together produce around 47% of the worlds traded raw-materials. A strong output compared to the EU’s 5,5%, making it dependent on energy resource imports worth 500 billion Euro, and working material imports worth 200 billion Euro. Through KIC, the competitiveness, growth and attractiveness of the raw-materials sector will be boosted with innovation and entrepreneurship.

Altogether, the involved companies and research institutions from 20 EU States have a yearly turnover of around 200 billion Euro and 700,000 employees. Companies and institutions involved include the Polish Mining Company KGHM, the RISE Research Institutes of Sweden and the Milano- Bicocca University from Italy. Key coordinating partner is the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf.

ESEE Strategy – Raw Materials for East and Southeast Europe

“Within KIC Raw MatTERS, Montanuniversität has developed a raw-materials strategy for the ESEE region, a region rich in rare earths, platinum group metals, antimony, borate, chrome, gallium, germanium, indium, and magnesite”, explains Vice-Rector of Montanuniversität and project manager, Peter Moser.

Further Information:
Dr. Alfred Maier
Tel.: +43 3842 402-2017, +43 660 4896549
E-Mail: alfred.maier(at)unileoben.ac.at