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European funding and activities on Raw Materials explained

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EDA call for tender 'raw materials and defence technologies'

By Catherine Joce

  1. The European Defence Agency (EDA) wishes to establish a comprehensive view on the supply chain of raw materials and potential shortages in the future for military technologies, and equipment to be able to make recommendations to mitigate, reduce or eliminate reliance on outside (non-EU) suppliers. To this end, they have publish a call to tender for the following work:

    Work package 1: Collect data and information on raw materials used in defence technologies. Data should come from European companies or companies based in the EU, covering the whole supply chain. The data should be quantifiable in order to calculate relative use of the raw materials compared to the sectors. Data should be collected by means of a survey to industry and should be obtained from commercial database sources (the contract allows for the purchase of data sets). The data must be collected from defence companies. As these data are expected to be commercial-confidential, a mechanism should be put in place to securely handle the sensitive information in the sense that data can be related to technologies but not to individual companies. Some quantitative uncertainty assessment and screening of the collected data should be undertaken and transparently explained. The data should be presented in factsheets per raw material. The data should relate to the extraction of the raw materials but also to all the processing and refinement. Special focus should go to the rare earths elements.

    Work Package 2: Develop a methodology to enable the criticality assessment of the data and information on raw materials that is collected and justify the choice of methodology. Not only the source of the raw material should be considered but the whole supply chain which usually covers 5 to 7 levels. Transformation industries have to assure high purity and quality materials and it is important that risks in losing the knowledge about those processes are identified as well. Organise a workshop with representatives from industry and the Ministries of Defence to validate the obtained datasets and the chosen methodology, and take corrective action if necessary.

    Work Package 3: Assess the criticality of each material identified under point (a) on the basis of a sound methodological approach (b). The assessment should be done in order to be able to make claims of the potential consequences (or cost) of supply shortage in terms of strategic and operational impact. The assessment of criticality has to be comprehensive, including not only at source of extraction but in the entire supply chain, with a special focus on the raw materials processing industry.

  1. Work Package 4: Compare the results of the assessment with the list of critical materials of the European Commission’s Report on Critical Raw Materials for the EU, of May 2014 that identified a list of 20 materials that are critical. Draw conclusions on defence-specific issues, with special consideration of strategic importance, the purity grades, and the difference in quantities used by defence companies compared to civil industries.

  2. (e)  Work Package 5: Propose recommendations to mitigate the identified supply chain vulnerabilities. 

For further information and to apply, please visit: http://www.eda.europa.eu/procurement-gateway/opportunites/eda-procurement/procurement-view/14.esi.op.064-raw-materials-for-defence-technologies

The deadline for submission of bids is 9 October 2014.