European Union «Horizon 2020» projects won by

European Federation of Geologists (EFG) in 2014

The BLUG/UBLG as member of the EFG will participate in the following projects KINDRA, INTRAW, MINATURA, VAMOS and ROBOMINERS which are describe below in more detail.


Knowledge Inventory for hydrogeology research

KINDRA - Knowledge Inventory for hydrogeology research - is funded by the European Commission's HORIZON2020 Framework Programme. Its overall objective is to take stock of Europe's contemporary practical and scientific knowledge of hydrogeology research and innovation with the help of an inventory of research results, activities, projects and programmes, and then use the inventory to identify critical research challenges and gaps, with a view to avoiding overlaps.

The first workshop with the JPE took place in Rome, 26-27 of March 2015.
KINDRA previews the organisation of three structured workshops with the Joint Panel of Experts (JPE) throughout the project lifetime. The experts will provide strong scientific support and assist with reaching out the project's stakeholders communities. In this first workshop an overview was given of the project's objectives and foreseen activities. In-depth analyses and discussions focused on the development of a methodology framework and the dissemination and communication plan.

Report on end-users requirements
During this period we delivered a report on the needs and requirements of potential project end-users. Results confirmed the interest on the activities previewed in the KINDRA project, giving information useful for a fruitful development of the project.

In-house inventory on information sources
One of the main activities of the KINDRA project is to carry out a Europe-wide assessment of existing groundwater-related practical and scientific knowledge focusing on international (in EU dimensions), national and regional scientific activities. The data collection and assessment will be implemented with the help of EFG's National Associations members. Based on the data provided by the National Associations a European Inventory of Groundwater Research (EIGR) will be created in form of a web-service.
Before collecting data about the existing practical and scientific knowledge on groundwater research, it should be clarified where the information comes from. That is why an inventory of information sources has been created concerning national and international projects, documents, databases, initiatives, reports and scientific publications. The data were gathered by a survey in collaboration with the EFG's National Associations in 20 European countries.

Next events: The KINDRA project will be presented on 17 September 2015 as part of a side event of IAH 2015 dedicated to H2020 Water Projects.
More information: www.iah.org

State of the knowledge for hydrogeology research in Europe - KINDRA orientation workshop for EFG national experts, Brussels, 24-25 November 2015
In order to make sure that relevant and comparable input is collected from all countries covered by KINDRA, an orientation workshop is planned for the national members of EFG, during which the project goals will be explained in great detail. By the time of the orientation workshop, the reporting system for the inventory (European Inventory for Groundwater Research, EIGR) will be complete. It will be tested, and written guidelines will be provided concerning the key steps in assessing research/innovation activities in a particular country.

KINDRA's aims:
  • To create a uniform EU-harmonised categorisation approach / terminology for reporting groundwater research (a Hydrogeological Research Classification System - HRC-SYS);
  • Carry out EU-wide assessment of existing practical and scientific knowledge (using the developed HRC-SYS) focusing on EU, national, regional, international and EU-third party scientific activities;
  • Create a European Inventory of Groundwater Research and Innovation;
  • Use the data in the register and in the developed analytical tools (qualitative/quantitative) to assess the performance of key ongoing EU, national, regional, international and EU-third party hydrogeological scientific and innovation activities and results;
  • Compare the results with existing recommendations and position papers on groundwater related research requirements;
  • Define research gaps and corresponding suggestions for research agendas.

The BLUG/UBLG shall:
  • Gather public national information in Belgium/Luxembourg concerning hydrogeology from diverse sources, such as government bodies, universities, research centers, regional authorities and map existing practical and scientific knowledge, using KINDRA's Hydrogeological Research Classification System (in English, provided by EFG) to map practical and scientific knowledge;
  • Organise a national workshop on hydrogeology to discuss KINDRA outcomes.

The BLUG/UBLG shall eventually:
  • Detail, in deep mapping of practical and scientific knowledge concerning hydrogeology, providing advice and support to the development of KINDRA Hydrogeological Research Classification System;
  • Disseminate the information received from EFG concerning KINDRA, fostering communication and cooperation between organisations and individuals, in newsletters, magazines, articles, conferences, workshops, educational activities, exhibitions or any other relevant means.
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Fostering international cooperation on raw materials

INTRAW Press release
Within the scope of the European Commission's Horizon 2020 Programme for Research & Innovation, the new 36-month project INTRAW - International cooperation on Raw materials - has been launched in February 2015 under the coordination of the European Federation of Geologists (EFG) to foster international cooperation on raw materials.
The overall aim of the project is to map best practices and develop new cooperation opportunities related to raw materials between the EU and technologically advanced countries, such as Australia, Canada, Japan, South Africa and the United States, in response to similar global challenges. Under the third party scheme, EFG's national membership associations play a major role in this project, fostering, at country level, communication and cooperation between institutions and individual stakeholders interested in mineral raw materials.
The second consortium meeting and the first workshop with the involvement of the Panels of Experts will be held in Bled, Slovenia from 14 to 17 September 2015. The interactive workshop will aim to review draft country reports, addressing R&I, raw materials policies and licensing, education and other relevant topics for the reference countries, to identify gaps in country reports and to discuss possible ways to fill the gaps in these reports. The Panels of Experts will help to improve the outcomes of each of the project work packages and will open alternative dissemination routes. The workshop also aims to facilitate the dialogue of the project consortium with other international raw materials players. A press release and a brochure have recently been released. More information: www.intraw.eu.

INTRAW's aims:
The mapping and development of new cooperation opportunities concerning mineral raw materials with Australia, Canada, Japan, South Africa and the United States, addressing:

  • Research and innovation;
  • Raw materials policies and strategies;
  • Joint educational and skills programs;
  • Licensing and permitting procedures;
  • Data reporting systems;
  • Exploration, extraction, processing and recycling practices;
  • Management and substitution of Critical Raw Materials.
The outcome of the mapping and knowledge transfer activities will be used as a baseline to set and launch the International Observatory for Raw Materials of the European Union as a definitive raw materials intelligence infrastructure, operating internationally.

The BLUG/UBLG shall:
Disseminate in Belgium and Luxembourg the information received from EFG concerning INTRAW in web portals, newsletters, magazines, articles, conferences, workshops, educational activities, exhibitions or any other relevant means.

The BLUG/UBLG shall eventually:
  • Provide support to INTRAW interfacing with international cooperation on raw materials structures and initiatives;
  • Actively participate on setting bilateral cooperation agreements under INTRAW's scope;
  • Provide answers to questions from INTRAW concerning mineral raw materials supply chains and correspondent industry and trade stakeholders.
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Mineral deposits of public importance

EFG is Partner of project named MINATURA - develop tool to help defining and protect mineral deposits of public interest, funded by the European Commission under the H2020 Research and Innovation Framework Program. It will start in January 2015, will last for 3 years and relies on the strength of an international consortium of 24 partners.
The overall objective of MINATURA2020 is to develop a concept and methodology for the definition and subsequent protection of "mineral deposits of public importance" in order to ensure their "best use" in the future in order to be included in a harmonised European regulatory/guidance/policy framework. Providing a policy-planning framework that comprises the "sustainability principle" for mining like for other land uses is the key driving force behind MINATURA2020.
Particular emphasis will be given to the pan-European application and synergies of the project. The consortium aims therefore to include as many European countries as possible in its deliberations. In this sense, stakeholder workshops will be organised in many European countries in 2016 in order to collect broad input on the topic of Mineral Deposits of Public Importance.
EFG is in charge of dissemination of information.

MINATURA's aims: to develop concepts and methodologies for the definition and subsequent protection of «mineral deposits» in the future.
BLUG/UBLG will not participate to MINATURA.

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Viable Alternative Mine Operating System

EFG is Partner of project named VAMOS - safe and clean mining technologies for small complex deposits, funded by the European Commission under the H2020 Research and Innovation Framework Program. It will start in January 2015 and will last for 3 years.
The aim of the ¡VAMOS! project is to design and build a robotic, underwater mining prototype with associated launch and recovery equipment, which will be used to perform field tests at four EU minesites. EFG supports the project consortium through stakeholder engagement and dissemination activities. A presentation on ¡VAMOS! was delivered during the GSL/EFG workshop "Mining in a crowded country" on 11 June, in Newcastle with the objective of raising awareness for ¡VAMOS!, informing a broad range of stakeholders from industry, academia and professional associations from all over Europe. A visit to SMD's facilities was organised, where discussions concerning the technological challenges of adapting seafloor-mining technologies to submerged mining in open pits were moderated.

VAMOS' aims: to evaluate new potential extraction techniques.
BLUG/UBLG will not participate to VAMOS.

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Creation of a new mining ecosystem using disruptive ideas from robotics

ROBOMINERS is a project funded under the European Union’s Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020 (grant agreement n°820971) within strategic objective to facilitate EU access to mineral raw materials. ROBOMINERS’ innovative approach combines the creation of a new mining ecosystem with novel ideas from other sectors, in particular with the inclusion of disruptive concepts from robotics. The use of the robot miner will especially be relevant for mineral deposits that are small or difficult to access. This covers both abandoned, nowadays flooded mines, that are not accessible anymore for conventional mining techniques, or places that have formerly been explored but whose exploitation was considered as uneconomic due to the small size of the deposits or the difficulty to access them. The objectives are:
  • Constructing a fully functional modular robot miner prototype following a bio-inspired design, capable of operating, navigating and performing selective mining in a flooded underground environment
  • Designing a mining ecosystem of expected future upstream/downstream raw materials processes via simulations, modelling and virtual prototyping
  • Validating all key functions of the robot-miner to a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4
  • Using the prototypes to study and advance future research challenges concerning scalability, resilience, re-configurability, self-repair, collective behaviour, operation in harsh environments, selective mining, production methods as well as for the necessary converging technologies on an overall mining ecosystem level.
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Empower the European pulic to directly participate in the development of geothermal projects

CROWDTHERMAL is an EU Horizon 2020 funded project, developing alternative funding schemes for geothermal energy. CROWDTHERMAL is analyzing the perception of geothermal energy and will develop a public engagement approach making extensive use of social media. It will formulate new financial models for crowdsourcing, promoting alternative financing of geothermal projects in close collaboration with existing structures and conventional players. CROWDTHERMAL will formulate recommendations for a novel risk mitigation scheme that will be complementing the alternative financing solutions while protecting the interests of private investors. CROWDTHERMAL will prepare a decision tree algorithm with guidelines for the developers and promoters of geothermal energy.

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