First SecREEts Citizen Lab in Norway

Following up on our very first SecREEts Citizen lab in Ellesmere Port, UK, in January 2019, Prospex Institute went to Porsgrunn, Norway on 21 August 2019. Together with our partners Yara, REEtec and SINTEF, Prospex Institute has joined forces with Vekst i Grenland to organise the first Norwegian SecREEts Citizen Lab. This meeting took place at the DuVerden Martime Center and Science Center, where a new exhibition on Rare Earth Elements was inaugurated in the morning of the Citizen Lab.

During this meeting, we introduced members of the local community to the SecREEts project. Discussions were based on presentations by SINTEF, Yara, REEtec and Vekst i Grenland, with interactive exercises dedicated to help the audience understand the strategic role of Rare Earth Elements in our everyday life and the impact of the SecREEts project at a local and European level. Participants were given the opportunity to ask questions, raise concerns and highlight opportunities related to SecREEts for the local community.

The feedback received during the Citizen Lab will help SecREEts understand the information needs of the local community, and co-design our engagement strategy. Future Citizen Labs will allow the project to integrate at a local level, building trust and transparency through continuous dialogue.

Policy Council 2019

On Friday 14 June 2019, Prospex Institute organised the first Policy Council of the Horizon 2020 SecREEts project in Brussels. This high-level meeting gathered experts and stakeholders from the European Rare Earth market to discuss challenges and trends related to critical supply of Rare Earth Elements in Europe. After and introduction to the industrial applications for Rare Earth and the EU’s perspective on the matter, SecREEts partners were invited to present their role in the project and answer questions from the audience.

In the afternoon, group discussions were organised by Prospex Institute and Quantis with experts in the fields of Life-Cycle Assessment/Costings and Social Licence to Operate in Rare Earth Elements manufacturing and extraction. This peer-learning exercise has led to some intense and fruitful discussions highlighting the importance of cooperation between social acceptance professionals and environmental impact experts to ensure transparency and trust with local communities and society.

A public report of the discussions will soon be available on the official H2020 SecREEts website: www.secreets.eu

First year of SecREEts: what we’ve done so far

A year ago, we were in Trondheim, Norway, for the kick-off of the Horizon 2020 SecREEts project. Earlier this week, on 5-6 June, we were celebrating the first birthday of SecREEts with our partners in Verneuil-en-Halatte, where our French partner INERIS is based. A lot has happened in one year, with the SecREEts consortium making good progress towards developing a European value chain for Rare Earth permanent magnets. This meeting allowed all partners to present recent developments. It was also an opportunity to meet with our Advisory Board for the first time and discuss the state of the Rare Earth market in Europe and the business case for SecREEts.

Prospex Institute was able to share the outcomes of the last Citizen Lab in Ellesmere Port, UK, organised with SINTEF and Less Common Metals. We announced the first Norwegian Citizen Lab which will take place in August 2019 in Porsgrunn with our partners Yara, REEtec and SINTEF. In addition, the Consortium Meeting was an opportunity to introduce our partners to the first Policy Council, which will take place next week and where we will meet stakeholders from various sectors involved in the Rare Earth market. The Policy Council will also be an opportunity for Prospex Institute and our SecREEts partner Quantis to engage with European experts on challenges related to Social Licence to Operate and Life Cycle Assessments in the critical raw material sector.

Registrations are open for the first SecREEts Policy Council

The Horizon 2020 SecREEts project is developing a European alternative to chemical separation of Rare Earth Elements and production of permanent magnets. Prospex Institute is organising the first SecREEts Policy Council in Brussels on Friday 14th of June 2019, from 10am to 12.30am followed by a networking lunch. The Policy Council will engage with stakeholders from various sectors to discuss the current state and future of the critical supply of Rare Earth Elements in Europe.

This event will also be an opportunity to meet SecREEts partners and hear more about their work and role in the project. You will be able to learn more about the new Rare Earth Elements manufacturing processes developed in SecREEts, and explore potential areas of collaboration.

The Policy Council will be followed in the afternoon by a discussion on the challenges of Life-Cycle Assemssents/Costings & Social Licence to Operate in the critical raw materials industry, with a smaller group of experts from across Europe.

To register for the Policy Council or the afternoon workshop and to get more information regarding the venue and the agenda, please email Clara Boissenin at clara.boissenin@prospex-institute.org or +32 (0)2 669 5440. Due to the limited number of seats, please note that registrations are compulsory.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No 776559 (SecREEts – www.secreets.eu)

First Citizen Lab in Ellesmere Port

As part of the SecREEts Public engagement strategy, Prospex Institute will facilitate Citizen Labs in different locations where SecREEts industrial plants are set up. These consultations are designed to engage a dialogue between local communities and SecREEts industrial partners. This will highlight local challenges and opportunities related to SecREEts, and help incorporate local stakeholders’ feedback in future evolutions

On 14th of January 2019, Prospex Institute inaugurated the first round of Citizen Labs with a consultation in Ellesmere Port, where our partner Less Common Metals is based. Together with LCM and our project coordinator SINTEF, we introduced the project to a group of local actors for the first time.

Prospex Institute organised interactive exercises based on presentations by LCM and SINTEF to help participants understand the challenges related to Rare Earth Elements supply in Europe, and the impact of SecREEts both at European and local levels. Stakeholders were given the opportunity to ask for clarifications, express their concerns and suggest further forms of public engagement.

This first round of Citizen Lab will allow SecREEts to co-design a citizen engagement strategy based on local residents feedback. Ultimately, these consultations will help SecREEts co-develop a level of social acceptance of the project through continuous dialogue.

Credit for the Pictures: Adrian Waine – Photography for Industry

SecREEts 6-month General Meeting

Six months after the kick off of the SecREEts project, partners gathered on 22-23 November 2018 in Porsgrunn, Norway, for their bi-yearly General Meeting. An opportunity for all project members to gather and discuss recent developments. This time, partners were taken on a tour with REEtec, organisor of the event, on their premises of Herøya where we could notice the recent progress made on the development of their pilot.

For Prospex Institute, this meeting was also a chance to introduce our partners to future stakeholder engagement activities, including Citizen Labs. The first of these yearly consultative workshops is planned for mid-January 2019 in the UK, with more to follow in Norway later in the year. Partners were also invited to brainstorm on their expectations of a Policy Council, a system that will be designed to facilitate knowledge-sharing and discuss future business opportunities in the field of rare earth supply.