08 Août Critical metals: How Swiss industry can look ahead
Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW) August 2017
Authors: Alessandra Hool, Hans-Jörg Althaus, Christian Hagelüken, Ernst Lutz, Armin Reller, Patrick Wäger, Bruno Walser, Margarethe Hofmann
Main themes: resources, metals
Nature of publication: workshop results
The term “critical raw materials” refers to raw materials (and in particularly metals) defined by the European Union as being urgently needed for this business location in the future but presenting, due to their unsecure supply, risks for the European economy – this affects Rare Earth Elements as well as other elements such as indium, cobalt, tungsten and many more. Participants from research, industry, medium-sized companies, associations, and politics came together in a workshop to discuss ways in which Switzerland could respond to the threat of supply bottlenecks for critical raw materials. They identified obstacles preventing the topic from being suitably prioritised by companies, attributed involved key stakeholders, and discussed ways of establishing greater transparency in the field of critical raw materials. The greatest challenge was identified as being not a lack of data, but rather an unclear and dispersed flow of information, few opportunities for companies to individually gather information, and a lack of knowledge on strategies for handling raw materials limitations. The greatest challenge facing Switzerland and Europe is to increase awareness of the issues surrounding secure supply of raw materials. The short brochure offers an overview of the topic, focusing on Switzerland in particular, and provides recommendations.