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The Resources Innovation Center at Montanuniversität Leoben is home to the university’s international partnerships in the areas of sustainable science, education and industrialization. Our vision is to make a climate friendly, sustainable future in the raw materials sector.


21st Austrian Climate Day

12-13/04/2021

Montanuniversität Leoben

Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria The Austrian Climate Day is a scientific conference that aims to provide an overview of current Austrian research activities in the fields of climate change, impacts, adaptation and prevention. In addition, the Climate Day has developed into a central showcase of research activities financed by climate and energy funds. Furthermore, the Climate Day serves to network natural science, socio-economic, humanities and cultural science departments and promotes the exchange between basic research, applied research and users. A special focus is therefore placed on cooperation and dialogue with stakeholders from politics and administration as well as networking with practitioners, research funding agencies and businesses. Through the Climate Change Centre Austria (CCCA), forces are bundled; scientific findings on climate change can be efficiently transported to society and contribute to solving the challenge of climate change.

January 2021 – Investment opportunities in raw materials in Bosnia and Herzegovina

This brochure has been created in the framework of the project InvestRawMaterials – Multifactor model for investments in the raw materialsector, case study Bosnia and Herzegovina, funded by European Instituteof Innovation and Technology (EIT) under the KIC Raw Materials program. In this brochure, we present you the outcome of the devoted work of theentire project consortium from 2017 to 2019. Here you will be able tofind the summary of the most relevant economic and legal data pertaining to Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as geological data on 14 carefullyselected antimony, bauxite, fluorite and magnesite deposits. We hopethis brochure will find its way to interested parties and fulfill its purposeas a guide to the investors in this prospective, but insufficiently investigated area.

Download the brochure here

Project overview

September 2020 – European Raw Materials Alliance kickoff meeting

Peter Moser (Vice-rector of Montanuniversität Leoben was invited to the European Raw Materials Alliance kickoff meeting to give the commitee members a perspective from a research point of view:

“The European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA) is the first action of the Critical Raw Materials Action Plan of the European Commission. Research and development can play a vital role in the implementation of this by developing the necessary knowledge and theoretical frameworks that the approaches are based on, such as we have done in the past, like design of value chains, material efficiency of final products, etc. This initiative is highly appreciated and needed, however, systemically it is clear that in the future this alliance must expand its scope beyond building resilience for only value chains of specific materials. Society is undergoing a massive transformation currently, a transformation that needs to be successful for future generations to be able to meet their needs and live in favourable ecological conditions. This means that we cannot tackle challenges in our old conventional ways but that we need to transform our systems. Innovative technologies and change of human behaviour are the basis for meeting the ambitious climate targets of the Green Deal and the implementation of the sustainable development goals. In the following I will address the necessary research and development needs as a pre-requisite for this transformation because the kind of challenges we are facing are entirely new and we need new flexible and systemic ways to react to them. On the one hand, we need to create the knowledge basis for innovative technologies, alternative societal systems and responsible human behaviour. On the other hand, we also need to address the transformative needs of the R&D system itself to be fit for tackling these societal challenges effectively. Successful R&D in this context grows in a suitable biotope that we have to form – a biotope that attracts the most talented and creative researchers and provides them with a working environment where enthusiasm and inspiration is promoted, and stronger than the frustration from the frequent lack of R&D resources and bureaucracy.

In a nutshell:

  • we urgently need more enthusiastic visionary people and
  • we need sufficient resources for researchers to work efficiently and effectively
  • we need simplicity and less bureaucracy

In terms of people it is necessary that education and research work closely and in synergy so that our long-term human capacity needs are met. In terms of funding it is essential to provide stable and long-term funding frameworks to promote effective and visionary R&D environments. In terms of simplicity and low bureaucracy it is important to rethink how funding frameworks work. It is crucial to have uniform, simple and aligned rules across different frameworks.

The three ingredients for creating a suitable R&D biotope itself are:

  • First: The acknowledgement, awareness and conception that R&D is a solution provider for meeting the ambitious climate targets. This means that industry needs to be committed on a much higher level in the future to participate in R&D and long-term invest in it. Furthermore, we need to promote the image of the researcher as an indispensable puzzle piece of today’s challenges.
  • Second: The acknowledgement, awareness and conception that economic growth has planetary boundaries and that new technologies and societal systems build the basis for what we call resources and impact de-coupling, as conceptualized in the SDGs. We need to directly link the question of raw materials production to the question of raw materials consumption. Therefore, we have to evaluate the value of technologies not only from an economic perspective but also from an ecologic point of view. This takes systemic approaches which is only possible through massive interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Third: The acknowledgement, awareness and conception that we need to adapt and transform our R&D approaches and systems to make them more flexible and stable and thus fit for the challenges we are tackling.

In such type of new approaches and systems we have to implement much more the idea of short-term path finder projects, which upon success are followed by long term initiatives. A good first example in this direction is the European University initiative where a three-year starting period is followed by a long-term period of 10plus years of fixed financing, an approach that really promotes depth and excellence.

In conclusion, the societal transformation can be achieved on the basis of

  • a visionary research agenda,
  • enthusiastic and innovative researchers,
  • a supportive organisational research framework and
  • collaboration across sectors.”

Find the ERMA Agenda here

Mag. Magdalena Bechter

Magdalena joined the team of the RIC Leoben in September 2019 as Education Project Manager. She is responsible for many different EIT RawMaterials projects, combining the raw materials sector with the field of education. Her main goal in her projects is to make people, especially students, aware of what raw materials are and subsequently inform them about how raw materials form an important part of (the) circular economy. Magdalena studied English and Spanish (teaching degree) at the University of Vienna. She spent her time wisely as traveled and lived abroad as much as she could. Before joining RIC she worked as a Fulbright teaching assistant at the University of Montana-Missoula. Now she is excited to learn about the world of raw materials and share this knowledge with others.

At a glance

RM@School 3.0

Raw Matters Ambassadors at Schools 3.0

RM@School 3.0 is a Wider Society Learning project, focused
on an innovative programme to make science education and
careers in the Raw Materials sector attractive for students aged between 10-19. An active learning is proposed to schools by Raw Materials Ambassadors (experts in some Raw Materials-related issues and trained teachers) by involving students in experiments with Raw Materials-related hands-on educational kits, in excursions in industries, and in science dissemination activities.

The students will be required and challenged to become Young Raw Materials Ambassadors themselves (science communicators) and create dissemination products (i.e. videos, cards, experiments, etc.) focused on issues related to Raw Materials: 1. Exploration, 2. Mining, 3. Metallurgy, 4. Recycling, 5. Substitution of critical raw materials and 6. Circular Economy.
An annual competition is organised by and hosted at Montanuniversität Leoben. Here schools from all over Austria may take part to present their projects, and their roles as young RM Ambassadors.
The school(s) with the best communication product will receive the opportunity to represent Austria at the annual European Conference in Bologna, Italy, together with delegates (students and teachers) from schools all over Europe.

All products realised by the pupils will be accessible online and available to be shared with a wider public.

01/2018 – 03/2021
EIT RawMaterials – Wider Society Learning

Montanuniversität Leoben (Partner), University of Bologna, Bay Zoltan Nonprofit, Clausthal University of Technology, French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, ECODOM, Fraunhofer-Institut, Geological Survey of Slovenia, Geological Survey of Sweden, Royal Institute of Technology, Politecnico di Milano, RWTH Aachen, Stichting Wetsus, Tallinn University of Technology, Technical University of Madrid, New University of Lisbon, University of Milano- Bicocca, University of Milano- Bicocca;

RIC Leoben – Mariaelena Murphy
Total: € 1.499.679
Montanuniversität Leoben: € 71.558