Circular Critical Materials Supply Chains Programme
This £15 million programme will support the development of resilient UK based supply chains for rare earth elements. With a focus on primary (mine to magnet) and secondary (End of Life to magnet) supply chains.
About the Programme
A wide range of critical minerals are required for the technologies and innovation required to decarbonise the transport, energy and industrial sectors and achieve the UK’s Net Zero ambitions. An electric vehicle not only requires Cobalt, Lithium and Graphite for the battery but also Rare Earth Elements for the electric motor. These minerals and others have been identified as having high criticality for the UK in the recent Resilience for the Future: The United Kingdom’s Critical Minerals Strategy report.
The Circular Critical Materials Supply Chains programme, announced by the Department for Business and Trade, supports the UK’s Critical Minerals Strategy and aims to build and develop resilient supply chains to address this strategically important area with an initial focus on rare earth elements. Utilised in electric vehicles, consumer electronics and wind turbines, permanent magnets made from rare earth elements, are crucial in the development of Net Zero innovations.
The programme will support the development of innovation in primary (mine to magnet) and secondary (End of Life to magnet) supply chains. The programme will coordinate and deliver activities within the following areas; international collaboration, skills development, investment (public and private), policy advice and standards development.
Programme Focus Areas
Mining and up-stream
Novel and sustainable mining processes, separation processes, management of by-products.
Sustainable mid-stream processes, increased process efficiency to metals, sustainable routes to rare earth alloys.
Down-stream and magnet manufacture
Sustainable manufacturing routes to high performance magnets, increased specification of high-performance magnets.
Circular Supply Chains
Collection and sorting of REE containing products, sustainable routes for processing recovered rare earth materials.
Novel materials for high-performance magnets, substitution for high-performance magnets.
"Rare earth elements underpin so much of what makes everyday life and work possible, from the cars we drive to the phones we use. It is essential that, in a rapidly changing world, we do all we can to ensure resilient supplies of these and other critical minerals."
— Nusrat Ghani, Minister of State at the Department for Business and Trade
Coming in April
Circular Critical Materials Supply Chains Competition Briefing Event
Join us this April for our briefing events (see below), to hear about the programme and competition which will be opening soon. You will learn about the competition scope, eligibility and themes and connect with the Innovate UK team for further support.
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Related Events and Recordings
Circular Critical Materials Supply Chain Event - Webinar
10.00 - 11.30 | Online
Register for this event
Circular Critical Materials Supply Chains Networking Event - In Person
10.00 - 16.00 | Birmingham
Register for this event
UK Battery Industrialisation Centre SME Credit Round 1
Opens: 21/02/2023 Closes: 04/04/2023
UK registered micro, small and medium enterprises can apply for a share of up to £1.5 million to increase and facilitate their engagement with the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC). This funding is from the Faraday Battery Challenge.
Resource efficiency for materials and manufacturing: CR&D
Opens: 31/03/2023 Closes: 26/05/2023
UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £12 million for ambitious collaborative R&D projects to support UK materials and manufacturing organisations to become significantly more resource efficient.
Faraday Battery Challenge Investment Readiness Programme 2023
Opens: 21/03/2023 Closes: 21/04/2023
Apply now to be part of the Faraday Battery Challenge Investment Readiness Programme for 2023. Innovate UK KTN will select up to 15 SMEs to join the programme to accelerate their investment journey.
Knowledge Transfer Manager - Smart Materials and Technical Textiles
Contact Stephen Morris
Knowledge Transfer Manager - Materials Chemistry and Formulation
Contact Matthew Reeves
The UK’s changing rare earth landscape
Could bacteria, ionic liquids and electronic waste help build the UK supply chains and resilience for EVs, wind turbines and laptops?
- Press release: Official government announcement: 27/02/23
- Webinar: Global expert mission on critical materials in Canada and the US dissemination event
- Webinar: Understanding the UK Supply Chain Opportunity in Materials for Permanent Magnets
- News: Findings from the Innovate UK global expert mission on critical materials
- News: EU project SCRREEN publishes report on the potential impact of critical raw materials on business continuity
- Programme: Innovation Exchange
- Sector: Driving the Electric Revolution
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