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.
Funding opportunity: supply chain innovations for rare earth elements
A new funding opportunity with the aim to stimulate growth in a circular critical materials supply chain for rare earth elements (REEs), or alternative materials. The competition is split into two strands and applicants must be UK registered businesses and must collaborate with other UK registered organisations. Apply by 13 March 2024.
Find out more and apply for funding
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
Canada-UK Critical Minerals: Sustainability and Circularity
Opens: 20/11/2023 Closes: 03/04/2024
UK registered organisations and Canadian SMEs can apply for a share of up to £5.4m for joint R&D projects on circularity in critical minerals.
CLIMATES: Supply chain innovations for rare earths
Opens: 15/01/2024 Closes: 13/03/2024
UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £4 million for collaborative R&D projects on circular critical materials supply chains.
Global Business Innovation Programme in Australia - Critical Minerals for Electrification
Opens: 21/02/2024 Closes: 05/04/2024
Innovate UK is inviting companies with expertise in mid-stream processing of Australian raw materials to participate in the Global Business Innovation Programme with a market visit to Australia.
Knowledge Transfer Manager - Smart Materials and Technical Textiles
Contact Stephen Morris
Knowledge Transfer Manager - Materials Chemistry and Formulation
Contact Matthew Reeves
Innovate UK’s CLIMATES programme launches opportunities
The Circular Critical Materials Supply Chains Programme (CLIMATES) has launched four Innovation Exchange Challenges.
Innovate UK CLIMATES at REPM 2023: event review
The Rare Earth Permanent Magnets conference is a biannual event bringing together the research community in permanent magnetism alongside a significant industry presence.
- 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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