MINE.THE.GAP is an EU funded project. With the aim to improve the sustainability of the raw materials value chain through cross-regional and -sectoral innovation, MINE.THE.GAP offers direct financial supports to SMEs through open calls and business support services.

The first MINE.THE.GAP open call was open for application between March and May 2021. It was well received and currently in the proposal evaluation process.

Why joining us?

As a MINE.THE.GAP stakeholder, you will not only receive the news about the open call, which can fund your next innovative ideas, but also information about the awarded projects, which may bring you fresh perspectives.

Select “hear more about collaborations between clusters and discussions about cluster policies” in the sign-up form, we will invite you to participate in surveys, webinars, and workshops from 2021 to 2023. The activities provide opportunities to network with different clusters and organisations on various cluster related topics.

Based on the networking within the framework of the EU HORIZON MIREU project, Saxony and Cornwall are entering into a closer relationship in business, research and specialist administration. The two regions have a lot in common in terms of their resource development and regional transformation. And both regions own a mining UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The challenges in common are the increasing interest in the revitalization of underground mining, the valorisation of the world heritage and the development of geothermal energy. GKZ and its members as well as the Camborne School of Mines were and are partners in many joint projects. The kick-off was preceded by a series of video events with participants from civil society and professional associations.

The first MINE.THE.GAP Open Call offers 100% funding rate to SMEs in the raw materials sector as well as SMEs providing innovative ICT, resource efficiency, advanced manufacturing and circular economy technologies and/or solutions.

The application process is simple compared to the other cross-national funding programmes. It is a single stage Open Call with the length of proposal not exceeding 20 pages. Two partners from different eligible countries can already form a consortium while one consortium can at most have up to three partners. The key actions to be funded are closely linked to the top 10 challenges of sustainable mining along the raw materials value chain. The deadline of proposal submission is 05 May 2021 at 17:00 (Brussels time).

The second MINE.THE.GAP Open Call is expected to open at the end of 2021/beginning of 2022.

GKZ, as a partner of the MINE.THE.GAP project, is the German national contact point for the MINE.THE.GAP Open Calls (but not as a potential consortium partner). If you would like to know more about the MINE.THE.GAP Open Calls, please address your questions in English to our responsible project manager, Ms. Meng-Chun Lee: mengchun.lee@gkz-ev.de

As part of its membership as a cluster partner in the H2020 project MINE.THE.GAP, GKZ now offers a new financing option for R&D especially for SMEs in the raw materials sector with a funding rate of 100% by a call-based procedure that is much simpler in comparison and less time-consuming but also based on the interaction of European institutions. The first Call addresses various key issues of the raw materials value chain, you can find more information about here. In preparation for the first call, there will be a
MINE.THE.GAP International Info Day "Open Calls" on March 11, 2021 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. CET.

Furthermore, GKZ, as a member of the MINE.THE.GAP project and co-implementer (but not a potential consortium partner) of the call, offers you another webinar on March 18, 2021 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. CET held in the English and German language with the following agenda.

- Brief introduction to the objectives of the MINE.THE.GAP project and INNOSUP program
- Key topics of the first call
- Funding mechanisms and framework conditions for project implementation
- Question & Answers

Please address questions and expressions of interest about the introductory course on March 18, 2021 in English to our responsible project manager, Ms. Meng-Chun Lee:

Brussels, 19.11.2020

Partnering with the HORIZON 2020 MIREU project (Network of Mining and Metallurgy Regions in EU) we are pleased to invite you to a series of webinars from the MIREU project! The series is a chance to learn more about some of the project’s key findings. In the attachments you will find the event invitation as well as detailed agendas for each of the three sessions taking place:


Wednesday 25 November – 10:00 – 13:00 CET
The soft skills approach to responsible mining and metallurgy: education as a key ingredient for society-wide SLO
-> program

Wednesday 2 December – 14:00 – 15:30 CET
Funding and investment conditions: how to attract money but also to trigger innovation and build expertise in Europe
-> program

Thursday 3 December – 14:00 – 17:00 CET
Network of Mining and Metallurgy European Regions – joining our resources and giving the regions a voice in Brussels
-> program


Registration is now open for all three sessions on the MIREU website. You will receive a separate link to join each session you sign up to. We look forward to engaging with you throughout the series.


Hilary Webb
Junior Policy & Communications Officer
Tel: +32 2 503 35 54
Mob: +32 2 486 47 61
Email: hilary.webb@errin.eu
Web: www.errin.eu

We are pleased to announce that the new Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda (SRIA) on Circular Economy is now published, and available for download here.

The SRIA was developed based on eight priority themes (biomass and biotechnologies, chemicals, construction and demolition, food, plastic, raw materials, waste and water) and builds on four societal areas that face sustainability challenges (urban areas, industrial systems, value chains and territory and sea) to identify priority areas to tackle EU region-wide issues and facilitate the circular economy transition.

Developed within the H2020 CICERONE project in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, the SRIA will constitute the backbone of the future joint programming platform for circular economy: the EU Circular Cooperation Hub.

GKZ contributed and paid attention to include raw materials and metallurgy. And we are please to have these subjects considered in SRIA to a wide extend. We would like to take this opportunity - also in the name of CICERONE consortium - to thank all stakeholders that have provided feedback throughout the development of the SRIA, working with us to build more alignment and cooperation for circular economy R&I.

For more information on the CICERONE’s outputs, including the recent publication of a policy paper on “An innovation policy to meet the EU’s Green Deal circular economy goals”, visit our website at http://cicerone-h2020.eu/newsroom/

Photo: Courtesy Nickelhütte Aue.

With its latest Communication to the European Parliament on “Critical Raw Materials Resilience: Charting a Path towards greater Security and Sustainability”the European Commission recognizes that the “Access to resources is a strategic security question for Europe’s ambition to deliver the Green Deal. The new industrial strategy for Europe proposes to reinforce Europe’s open strategic autonomy, warning that Europe’s transition to climate neutrality could replace today’s reliance on fossil fuels with one on raw materials, many of which we source from abroad and for which global competition is becoming more fierce.

The EU’s open strategic autonomy in these sectors will therefore need to continue to be anchored in diversified and undistorted access to global markets for raw materials” and to foster exploration and extraction of domestic raw materials. This is where GREENPEG comes into play. The project focusses on LCT and NYF type pegmatite that may show economic grades of critical materials such as high purity quartz or lithium, essential for the energy transition. They are small but occur in large numbers, allowing exploitation with little investment, but hard to find. The aim of GREENPEG is to develop innovative, competitive toolsets at TRL7 for the exploration of buried LCT and NYF pegmatites, including three new instrumental techniques and new datasets for prospect scale (<50 km²) and district scale (50-500 km²) exploration.

Under the slogan „Join us feeding the energy transition“ GREENPEG started Juli 2020 comprising 13 partners from five European countries. The project is coordinated by the University of Oslo and financed by the EU HORIZON 2020 programme. GKZ is responsible for „Exploitation, Dissemination, Clustering“ and developed together with scharfe//media, Dresden the GREENPEG website.

Chemnitz Industrial Museum is expanding the permanent exhibition thematically

On the initiative and with expert advice from GKZ, the Chemnitz Industrial Museum is expanding its permanent exhibition thematically to include the importance of raw materials, especially domestic raw materials, for the economy and our daily life. This should also promote more acceptance for this branch of the economy and more awareness of raw materials. In addition to examples from the past, from ore, hard and lignite and uranium mining of former Sowjet-German WISMUT AG, the focus is on the importance of raw material extraction for the current needs of people. It also deals with questions of consumer´s responsibility towards the environment, value chains and the circular economy, historical and current development paths in mining and the importance of raw materials for the future.
In three exhibition areas, selected exhibits demonstrate the diversity of domestic raw materials and their importance for society as well as stimulating and strengthening the Saxon and German manufacturing.

Read the press release from the Chemnitz Industrial Museum on September 4, 2020.

The scientific director, Ms. Jantje Samtleben, and the head of the construction material recycling, gypsum recycling, gypsum substitute construction materials department, Dr. Simon Eichhorn, continued their talks in the presence of the Thuringia representative of GKZ, Andreas Schaubs, meeting at GKZ office in Freiberg. The focus of the cooperation, for which membership in the GKZ is currently being examined, is on R&D and awareness-raising in construction material recycling as well as project developments at German and European level. The GKZ is thus expanding its presence in Thuringia and expanding its portfolio with this important topic, supported by the results of ongoing and completed projects, such as the HORIZON 2020 project CICERONE.

MIREU Metallurgy Region Saxony

Freiberg, Lisbon 10.7.2020

On 25 and 26 May GKZ and NOVA organised MIREU’s first online workshop: Funding Tomorrow’s Raw Materials (RM) Sector. The organisers have summed up the events key discussion ahead of the publication of a report.







Day one introduced a number of MIREU regional partners’ approaches and best practices in strategically developing a region´s RM sector in the context of public funding schemes. The main topics discussed were:

  • How raising the awareness of governments and the public on the strategic importance of raw materials may lead to better access to funds;
  • How networking mining regions and stakeholders from RM sector joint ideas and messages may create a larger impact on policy decision-makers;
  • What is the role of the clusters in funding of tomorrow’s RM sector, for example, as matchmakers, enablers of new development projects and connecting between regional business and at EU level;
  • How can a networking project like MIREU, and subsequently organisation like CoMMER, support mining and metallurgy regions in response to the challenges raised by the Green Deal and industrial policies on the demand for RM production in the EU.

Day two focused on attracting private mining investments for the benefit of regions. The main topics discussed were:

  • The EU should consider re-evaluating the supply chain of critical industries in Europe;
  • Mining in Europe – constraints, opportunities and ways to create favourable conditions for investing in the regions with rich mineral resources;
  • The value of data and its accessibility;
  • Skills and labour force needed in today’s mining and metallurgy sector;
  • The role of SLO in the future establishment of mines in Europe.

The findings and key messages from the workshop will be summed up in a report which will be published soon. The report includes a background contextual research on EU funding programmes 2014-2020 in relation to mining and metallurgy sector, the importance of consistent policies in attracting private mining investments and the outlook of future EU policies and funding schemes from the perspective of RM sector.