Author: Derk Bol Materials innovation institute (M2i) and Ton Bastein (TNO)
Supply certainty of many metals and industrial minerals, crucial to modern society, is decreasing as a result of increasing demand combined with a range of geopolitical complications. In response to this issue, governments and industries all over the world are working, in different ways, on addressing this supply uncertainty. Europe is particularly affected by this issue, due to the fact it imports a significant amount of raw materials. The Netherlands is particularly affected by this situation. To provide some direction to member state governments and companies, The European Commission published a list of critical materials in 2010. Materials on this list were deemed essential to European industry and have a low supply certainty.
FME–CWM is an industry representative organisation for companies in the technological sector in The Netherlands. This sector is to a greater or lesser degree dependant on critical materials as defined by the EU. In order to develop a clear policy and provide support to its members, it is
important that FME is aware of the current situation as a result of critical materials and the impact this situation can have on their member companies if supply uncertainty prevails. For this reason, FME commissioned this research project, which provides an insight into the role the critical materials play in the Dutch industrial-technological sector.
Thirty companies have participated in this research. They represent the cross section of the Dutch industrial-technological sector. A team, consisting of researchers from M2i, TNO and Delft University of Technology, visited all the companies and interviewed them about a range of different aspects regarding critical materials. The interview participants were mostly employees of either a procurement or R&D department. During the interviews the EU list of critical materials was used and additional space was left for the companies to indicate other materials that they consider as critical.
[DATE: April 2012]