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ESEE Dialogue Conferences

Initiated by the EIT RawMaterials Regional Center Leoben at Montanuniversität Leoben in Austria, the ESEE Dialogue Conferences aim to foster an international community in the raw materials sector by converging relevant stakeholders from industry, research and education in East and South East Europe. The ESEE Dialogue Conferences is a major raw materials conference series for East and South East Europe, which has successfully addressed issues in the raw materials sector in eight countries in the last four years. Integration into the EIT RawMaterials community, policy framework, education development, resource efficiency and innovation along the raw materials life cycle are the main topics of the conferences.

Raw materials are vital for future technologies and will continue to play a major role in the development of solutions for present challenges. For example, great challenges such as the shift to renewable energy can only be reached via innovative technologies dependent on the use of materials. Rising demand and need for sustainable supply in Europe are to be balanced. The aim of the EIT RawMaterials is to take action and develop raw materials into a major strength for Europe.
In this context, the region East and South East Europe (ESEE) is of particular interest to the EIT RawMaterials, due to its unique geological potential and unique potential on secondary raw materials, which also makes it highly relevant with regard to the European Raw Materials Strategy. Furthermore, a significant number of business idea holders relevant to the overall objectives of EIT RawMaterials are coming from this region.


With many successful conferences and an established network of ESEE partners, we will continue our efforts and use our experience of the last years to enhance the involvement of the ESEE region. Albania is planned as the next ESEE DC location. In the course of the last conferences the organisational team has worked hard to create and organize top networking opportunities for future collaboration within the EIT RawMaterials. For example, more and more interactive activities such as real-time voting, workshops and round tables where included into the agenda to enhance the conference experience. We will pursue these efforts further and are sure that we are on the right track to generate inspiring and successful conferences.

Furthermore, we have widened our target group and now generally plan an education workshop with hands-on experiments for students. To connect young minds to raw material related topics is extremely valuable for the development of the sector. If we do not have interested bright minds, the chances of developing innovation for the raw material sector is low. Therefore, we actively include students and hope to spark interest in them to become engineers of the future, who will drive innovation and the development of the sector.

1/2017 – 12/2020
EIT RawMaterials – Regional Innovation Scheme

Montanuniversität Leoben (Lead), Geological Survey of Slovenia, Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute, University of Zagreb;

RIC Leoben – Susanne Feiel
Total: € 296.000
Montanuniversität Leoben: € 206.000

ESEE Education Initiatives

The project itself transfers tailor made successful programmes already implemented within EIT RawMaterials to ESEE region making these programmes available to those who have not yet become KIC partners or to individuals for the benefit of the innovativeness of the region itself. One programme is RM@Scools project, with the objective to propose active learning to schools by involving students in experiments with RM-related hands-on educational kits and in communication activities. The second programme is RACE. RACE is a learning journey for industrial R&D professionals organised by EIT RawMaterials and hosted by its industrial partners.

01/2019 – 12/2020
EIT RawMaterials – Wider Society Learning

Montanuniversität Leoben (Partner), AGH University of Science and Technology, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, ECODOM, EIT RawMaterials CLC East Sp. z o.o., National Technical University of Athens – NTUA, Technical University of Kosice, Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, University of Miskolc, University of Zagreb – Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering (UNIZG-RGNF)

RIC Leoben – Anna Meyer
Total: € 315.147
Montanuniversität Leoben: € 34.355


Mixed Reality in Mining

Mixed reality visualization allows to reduce shaft inspection and machine maintenance cost by 15%, but there are few solutions available. Larger cost reductions are possible when combining AR visualization with software for optimized system maintenance (up to 35% by reduced downtime and optimized maintenance). The resulting mixed reality product will illustrate technical steps for quicker and more informed decisions towards autonomous mining.
By the use of already existing MR hardware the development of specific solutions for selected underground mining issues, including an overall enterprise data infrastructure, is planned within HoloMine.
The pilot solutions will show that mixed reality solutions are perfect for enabling rapid shaft and roadway inspection, machine maintenance, 3D model visualization, and quick decision-making.
The mine environment will become an entirely new canvas for all stakeholders to understand, investigate, learn, communicate and interact with.

01/2019 – 06/2022
EIT RawMaterials – Upscaling

Montanuniversität Leoben (Partner), DMT, LTU Business, Robotic Eyes, Sandvik, Technische Hochschule Nürnberg, Technische Universität Graz, Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg;

Chair of Automation – Paul O’Leary
Total: € 1.787.203
Montanuniversität Leoben: € 29.985

Innovation Incubator

Potential for local ecosystem innovation centers in the ESEE Region

Even though university-based incubators have become a common part of innovation systems, they often do not manage to assume their role of innovation boosters in the national and regional ecosystems. This is especially because they fail at creating strong links to the key players in the regional innovation ecosystems, such as research institutions, industry, public sector and existing entrepreneurship initiatives. Furthermore, they often lack a systematic approach to innovation as well as knowledge on innovation schemes.
As a response to these problems, the Innovation-Incubator aims at jointly developing specific tailor-made concepts for regional university-based incubators in the raw materials and related sectors in East and South-East Europe, focusing on the local/regional ecosystems and using the knowledge and experience of the project participants for enhancing their innovation capacity.
Incubators will be able to engineer and deliver added-value services to the regional entrepreneurial community and thus foster the creation of innovative and sustainable start-up companies with a focus on raw materials and related sectors or cross-sectional technologies.

01/2020 – 12/2021
EIT RawMaterials – Regional Innovation Scheme

Montanuniversität Leoben (Lead), Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Tallinn University of Technology, Technical University of Kosice, University of Miskolc, Zentrum für angewandte Technologie Leoben GmbH

Industrial Liaison Department – Martha Mühlburger
Total: € 720.730
Montanuniversität Leoben: € 410.576


Multifactor model for investments in the raw material sector

After a decade of declining commodity prices, negative investment trends, debated mining legislation and increased overall risks, mining companies are struggling to survive searching for new sustainable investment options. The InvestRM project will create a decision-making tool for raw materials companies and investors, mining institutes, technical universities, geological surveys, non-governmental association, B&H government and state institutions in order to facilitate investment in the raw material sector. Project is focused on Bosnia and Herzegovina due to its critical raw materials potential, but will be fully transferable to other East and Southeast European (ESEE) countries. The project will deliver structured country data (entity based) together with relevant and validated geo-information on 120 critical raw materials deposits and occurrences within B&H: antimony, bauxite (as potential source of rare earth elements – REE), fluorite and magnesite. One of the special tasks is establishment of constructive dialogue with minimum 40 B&H SMEs and large companies throughout Banja Luka, Prijedor, Tuzla and Zenica, info-days in order to tailor the InvestRM decision making tool.

Investment opportunities in raw materials in Bosnia and Herzegovina BROCHURE Download

01/2018 – 03/2021
EIT RawMaterials – Regional Innovation Scheme

Montanuniversität Leoben (Partner), Mining Institute Banja Luka, University of Zagreb, Geological Survey of Slovenia

Chair of Mining Engineering and Mineral Economics – Nikolaus Sifferlinger
Total: € 300.948
Montanuniversität Leoben: € 29.770


Development and implementation of EIT Raw Materials Master Programme(s) in Sustainable Materials

The project IMAGINE involves a large consortium of universities with a solid educational research excellence based background in different aspects of materials processing and with an explicit interest in sustainability aspects of materials. The consortium proposes a ‘fast track’ pilot action involving the integration of 4 existing Master programs into an EIT label compatible pilot Master program on which the partners can build a joint final Master program. The Master programs will focus on materials processing and recycling, circular (eco)design, life cycle engineering and circular economy design, materials substitution, manufacturing, entrepreneurship and innovation and will mandatorily involve studies in two different institutions and am internship in a company.

01/2018 – 03/2021
EIT RawMaterials – Master Education

Montanuniversität Leoben (Partner), Hub Innovazione Trentino, KU Leuven, Grenoble Institute of Technology, Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, UMICORE, University of Milano- Bicocca, Delft University of Technology;

Chair of Nonferrous Metallurgy – Stefan Steinlechner
Total: € 547.750
Montanuniversität Leoben: € 26.500


Multifactor model for investments in the raw material sector

The highest torque densities for motors in EV vehicles are obtained with Neodymium (Nd) magnets. But Nb is considered to be a critical material for Europe due to two reasons.
• The Forecast of the demand predicts that it will exceed the production in the following years
• The production is out of Europe
This is why it is extremely interesting to look for alternatives to these magnets based on material which are not as critical as Nd. In this context, implementation of Cerium (Ce) substituted alloys could alleviate the need for Nd raw material up to 6-10 %. However, Ce-based magnets are known to be less performant than Nd magnets, therefore, it becomes mandatory to redesign electrical machinery in order to optimize the implementation of these new magnets.
In LowReeMotors projects, two different electrical machines will be designed, manufactured and tested based on Ce magnets that will substitute an existing equivalent Nd based motors.
The design will be developed focusing for mass production. In that way, the aim of the project is to develop two new motor products based on that topology,

01/2020 – 12/2022
EIT RawMaterials – Upscaling

Montanuniversität Leoben (Partner), French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, KU Leuven, Magneti Ljubljana d.d., MONDRAGON GOI ESKOLA POLITEKNIKOA S. COOP., Valeo Powertrain Systems

Chair of Polymer Processing – Joamin Gonzalez-Gutierrez
Total: € 2.179.589
Montanuniversität Leoben: € 118.934


Maintained Mine & Machine

MaMMa allows the employees and consultants of a mine to design better, more efficient machines and infrastructure maintenance plans for mines depending on the real-time results of the operational wear & tear status. These design of these machines and infrastructure maintenance schedules are often designed, verified and optimized by professional trainings schools, technical research institutes at Universities. The real-time maintenance data supplied by MaMMa would allow shorter response times to required modifications during mining operations, and constant testing, verification and optimization of these maintenance plans in a safer environment.

01/2018 – 03/2021
EIT RawMaterials – Upscaling

Montanuniversität Leoben (Partner), Caterpillar Global Mining Europe, Clausthal University of Technology, DMT, KGHM, LTU Business, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Research Institutes of Sweden;

Chair of Automation – Paul O’Leary
Total: € 1.844.181
Montanuniversität Leoben: € 283.572