IDEALIST aims to facilitate the sustainable economic recovery of three European industrial ecosystems (ecosystems 1/ Energy-intensive industries, 2/ Aerospace and Defence, 3/ Mobility, Transport & Automotive). The objectives specifically include establishing relationships with alternate suppliers for critical advanced technologies, materials/components, and supply schemes. The coordination and support measures are structured into interconnected building blocks, which aim to provide foresight tools, drive technological adoption, strengthen supply chain resilience, and establish strategic alliances utilizing AGORA as a pan-European collaboration platform.




IDEALIST is to support SMEs in the given industrial ecosystems in their ability to understand and adapt to changes brought about by rapid and unexpected developments in the world such as the COVID-19 crisis or the war in Ukraine. These 3 sectors are of capital importance for the European economy and despite their specificity, have common challenges that the project will help to address: transition to more sustainable practices, competitiveness issues in a context of scarcer raw materials and more expensive energy, change in consumption habits… Being more resilient means giving SMEs the opportunity to be a player in these changes and no longer just a spectator or follower. To do this, the project will evolve around three pillars 1/ Strategic Foresight to establish relevant tools and behaviors to anticipate and better prepare for change in an orderly and systematic way, 2/ Technology Uptake to overcome obstacles related to the implementation work of Advanced Technologies and lay the foundations of alliances between tech-savvy and traditional SMEs and 3/ Supply chains to identify critical dependencies and weaknesses in order to limit the impacts of disruptions on value chains. This work will lead to the realization of Pilot Projects promoting the meeting between ecosystems, facilitated by the use of the Hack&Match method. The mobilization of the AGORA platform led by EIT Manufacturing will support this objective of matchmaking and community building. The project is carried by a relevant consortium of 14 partners from 6 European countries and Ukraine representing several thousand manufacturing companies. The project will take place over 36 months.

The ultimate goal of the project is to assess and increase the European Rail Supply Industry capacity to deliver the European vision of a radically transformed railway system in 2030, and thanks to this, to remain global leader.

To achieve this, LEADER 2030 has developed a very holistic approach and methodology thanks to a very strong and complementary partnership joining all the necessary competences from the Rail, Raw Materials and Innovation sectors, and strategically open to synergies with other relevant organisations in Europe that already support the project with their LoS (10).




The objectives of LEADER 2030 are: (1) Understanding (a) what has already proven to be vulnerable in the EU industrial ecosystems in general (given cross-sectorial problems), and in the EU Rail supply chain (OEMs and 1-3 Tiers) and Raw materials supply chain in detail; (b) what the ERJU-driven innovations for 2030 will look like in terms of components and raw materials (detail from OEMs to 1-3 Tiers level); (c) what the European supply capacity of such components and raw materials will look like; (d) what elements will impact on such supply capacity (enablers, obstacles); (e) how enablers can be further boosted and how obstacles can be fixed/mitigated to foster autonomy and resilience; (f) what will go out from the Rail supply chain in terms of demand in 2030, and (i) if this can be used to free-up components and raw materials useful to the new innovations (ii) how to support the reconversion (total/partial) of affected companies; (g) how to get the Rail supply industry – with specific attention to SMEs and start-ups – ready for 2030 demand; (2) Proposing/Recommending policy-level actions and industrial-level actions as result of all the intelligence analysis made in the project.

Sourcing the European energy transition from domestic resources – vision or wishful thinking? This one-day conference questions Europe's raw materials supply security in the context of its economically viable raw material potential and of current geopolitics. It examines the existing and future framework conditions for mining projects and their downstream value chain (regulation, financing, permitting). The question arises, which course do we follow?

The conference also focuses on the work of the European Geological Surveys for the territorial mapping of critical raw materials and highlights the potential for cooperation with Africa. On April 26th, a site visit is offered by United Lithium Corp. to Bergby Lake Lithium exploration project.

Sweden currently holds the EU Council Presidency for the first half of 2023. Sweden is one of the most important mining countries in Europe with great raw material potential for managing the energy and mobility transition and securing the raw material supply for future technologies.

The conference is hosted by the EU HORIZON 2020 project GREENPEG, in cooperation with the Swedish Mining Association SVEMIN and the European Technology Platform on Sustainable Mineral Resources (ETP SMR) and will take place in picturesque city of Uppsala, 20 minutes by train from Stockholm Airport. Participation is free of charge.

Registration now open – Program and Logistics

5.4.2023, Brussels: EU Clusters Talks: On the way to sustainability: Raw Materials & Circular Economy

On the way to sustainability the EU Clusters Talks, an online format provided by the European Cluster Collaboration Platform, focused in its 5 April 2023 edition on raw materials & circular economy. Representatives of DG GROW introduced into the recently published proposal of a European CRM Act of the European Commission to the European Parliament, which was heavily debated by the panelists, including representatives from EU Platforms, EITs, and business associations, including GKZ Freiberg represented by managing director Dr Wolfgang Reimer. The major outcomes are concerns how contradictions between policy objectives and regulations can be avoided and how the framework conditions to implement the CRM Act can be improved. High energy prices, a volatile energy supply risk, shortages in skilled labor force, an increasing EC and Member States bureaucracy as well as hesitant willingness to restrict excessive participation processes and environmental regulations are increasingly impacting the economic feasibility to strengthening the raw materials sector including recycling. Dr Reimer pointed out that these issues are inadequately considered by the CRM Act proposal. More than this the 2030 benchmarks set in the CRM Act proposal were regarded by all panelists as too ambitious. Recent EC legislation such as the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive and Supply-Chain-Act are not at all very helpful to foster reindustralisation in terms of smart specialization which is very much needed to implement the European GREEN DEAL.

The GREENPEG Summer School aims at dual education giving advanced young careers strong practical insight into exploration for pegmatites, one of the most popular exploration targets in Europe now and in years to come. It will help students to familiarise themselves with the latest ground and airborne exploration technologies that meet the highest social and technical standards. Students will understand the economic aspects of mine development with a focus on exploration and investors´ approach in financing mining projects. Besides the lectures and practical sessions, an open day with the local community, a day of outdoor social excursion and a barbecue evening will take place during the weekend. The programme language is English. In general, students will have indoor lectures in the mornings and practical sessions in the field during the afternoon. The programme covers topics including geochemical mapping of pegmatite fields, geophysical exploration methods, drone-borne hyper-spectral data acquisition, remote sensing exploration, satellite data interpretation, life cycle assessment for exploration and mining and Critical Raw Materials and circular economy.

Please find more information about the GREENPEG Summer School here and if you interested in a participation, use the application form.

Contact: Ms Meng-Chun Lee, Email

What is going to be missed in Corona times, in person meetings, is being realized in GKZ´s working groups, as far as possible. For instance, exciting excursions into the raw materials industry to look behind the scenes. This time we met at the Zielitz potash plant of K+S Minerals and Agriculture GmbH, followed by an excursion going underground. Head of the Geological Survey of the Federal State of Sachsen-Anhalt, Dr. Bodo Ehling, introduced into the hot spots of the raw materials industry in Saxony-Anhalt with the forthcoming state raw materials concept. And he described the status quo of Saxony-Anhalt's exploration with regard to the site selection for the national nuclear repository. The head of GKZ working group, Prof. Holger Lieberwirth, introduced promising approaches to processing in salt and hard rock in terms of resource efficiency, waste management and, above all, energy saving. With regard to the latter, the energy balances alone in the mass movement made it clear to the participants how much energy is consumed primarily by the lifting process and how this can be reduced by pre-sorting underground.

Visiting the mine with the impressive drill and loader facilities not only gave one an idea of ​​the enormous dimensions of the extraction, but also of the potential for innovation that the operator is committed to. A striking number of young people were on the shift that was just leaving. A sign of high acceptance to mining in the region but also a proof for a reliable job in the lifetime of a deposit; which, with reserves well into the 2070s, opens up reliable, plannable career prospects.

GKZ´s EU flagship project GREENPEG invited 20 undergraduate and MSc students of energy engineering and social sciences to learn about value chains in the mining and energy industries during a one-week excursion through North-West Spain and Portugal in September 2022.

These are students whose training does not normally deal with the topic of securing raw materials. The aim was to raise awareness of the relevance of raw materials (not only metals but also aggregates and industrial minerals) and the role they play in society, in particular to manage the major challenges of our time such as the energy transition and climate protection as well as the development of advanced technologies.

The one-week bus tour included the Mitruku Wave Energy Converter in the Bay of Biscay, Aldeadávila Hydropower Plant in the Province of Salamanca, as well as the Arañuelo solar farm for the energy sector and Saloro´s Barruecopardo tungsten mine and the Gonçalo Li-Pegmatite quarry in the Guarda district in Portugal for the mining sector. The Iberian Peninsula has rich deposits of raw materials for the energy transition, but their extraction is also the subject of a lively debate among those affected. In order to better understand the positions of both sides, GREENPEG invited several representatives from both sides including associations, research, mining developers and politics to a Round Table at the University of Salamanca.

On the agenda were nine questions that dealt with the challenges of sourcing the energy transition, implementing the European GREEN DEAL, but also the socio-economic challenges and user conflicts in this regard. Each question was followed by a poll of all participants for their views. Read more about the Focus Group Meeting Spain in our October Newsletter Special published soon.

Find out more about GREENPEG and follow us with your subscription to GREENPEG Newsletter!

At the 14th Saxon Resource Day, we will also address the topic of "reducing bureaucracy" and the perception of industry in Germany. We are very grateful to the German Chemical Industry Association for giving the presentation: "Germany as an industrial hub - demands and reality from the perspective of practiced planning and approval law". This is a view point of the Chemical industry as one of the big pillars of the German economy.

In addition to the presentation we refer to the study “The Chemical Industry in the public eye: Between devil´s work and solutions”. The perception of the affected public of the chemical-pharmaceutical industry in Germany, prompted the German Chemical Industry Association and the Mining, Chemical and Energy Industrial Union to commission this study. First and foremost, one wanted to know: What makes Germany tick in the crisis? How do people view the chemical industry? In addition, it was important to find out how the employees think and feel.
The study was elaborated by the Cologne-based rheingold Institute for qualitative market research. The depth-psychological methodology the institute uses goes beyond purely statistical-quantitative surveys, enabling a broader understanding of what actually moves people with regard to the chemical industry. Deeper motives – whether behind radical positions or behind factually presented criticism – are also explored.
It has been demonstrated that such efforts to understand can give rise to surprising insights into the often-intricate ways in which judgments and prejudices about the chemical and pharmaceutical industries are formed. If one is willing to explore these paths, one can draw important conclusions for one’s own dealings with the various stakeholder groups.
The chemical industry is convinced that they are making many important contributions to solving major challenges of the future, such as climate protection, the circular economy, and research into new vaccines. However, one knows that one cannot solve these problems alone. With this study, the aim was also to explore the following questions: Which misunderstandings need to be clarified and which divides need to be overcome in order as part of society to enable joint solutions to major issues of the future.

GKZ supports the African state in mining-related occupational health and safety with knowledge transfer - Minister of  Economics Dulig says: "Qualification saves human lives!"

GKZ has a long-standing cooperation with Mozambique and in particular with the Mozambican mining authority IGREME. Since 2012, this has been steadily implemented in various projects with partners from the GKZ network. During this long period, a modern mining administration was established and expanded - today's IGREME. Specialists for mining administrations and companies were trained and further educated, thus improving mining safety in Mozambique. Saxon experts played a key role in various sets of rules and laws for sustainable occupational health and safety structures in the mining sector, founded in ILO C176. Mozambique acceded to this convention in 2019. A wide range of training and transfer measures flanked the joint implementation process.

In the current project on "Occupational Safety and Health in Mining Mozambique", a one- week study trip deepened the contents of the various competence development segments of the last one and a half project years and also opened up new topic areas. The seven experts, multipliers and decision-makers from Mozambique's mining and government authorities gained key insights into the active implementation of occupational health and safety in the areas of exploration, old mining, use of explosives, inspectorate as well as water monitoring at the excursion sites and in the expert discussions. Members of GKZ were actively involved with their technical expertise.

The talks at ministerial level in Dresden underlined the growing cooperation and friendship between the stakeholders in Mozambique and Saxony. In his press release on the occasion of the Mozambican delegation's visit, Minister of Economic Affairs Dulig emphasised that the bilateral cooperation between the two countries should be deepened or expanded with regard to mining, raw materials extraction and recycling. To this end, the Minister is planning a second visit to Mozambique next year after 2017.

During the delegation's trip to Saxony, very practical equipment was also handed over to equip the regional mine rescue teams.

Photo: Drilling Simulator of the Technical University of Clausthal in Celle (Source: GKZ)

Power-to-X pilot projects, reuse of abandoned underground space and, above all, district solutions with medium-depth geothermal energy were the central topics of the three-day exchange. This was enriched by a visit to the deep drilling rig "BETA" BH Experimental Test Area) of Baker Hughes in Ahnsbeck, the Drilling School in Celle and the Drilling Simulator of the Technical University of Clausthal. Both associations see a particular need for practical action in the creation of guidelines for the planning of medium-depth geothermal systems. Cooperation in this area will be expanded.