Estonian Resource Nexus: Unlocking the collaboration between academia, industry and decision-makers

The Estonian Research Council, in partnership with Tallinn University of Technology, spearheaded a seminar titled “Estonian Resource Nexus: Unlocking the collaboration between academia, industry, and decision-makers” in Brussels, hosted at the Permanent Representation of Estonia to the EU. The event served as a platform to convene key stakeholders, including the EU Commission, industry leaders, researchers, and emerging talents, with a shared vision to chart a sustainable trajectory for raw materials.

The primary objective of the seminar was to foster knowledge exchange and collaboration, aimed at enhancing awareness regarding the pivotal role of raw materials and addressing impediments obstructing the development of sustainable value chains for raw materials. Through a commitment to sustainable practices, the aim was to ensure a consistent supply of raw materials, fortify energy security, and propel digital transitions, thus bolstering Europe’s competitive edge.

The event commenced with opening remarks by Kristel Oitmaa and Carmen Kivistik, PhD, representing the Estonian Research Council Brussels Office, who extended an invitation for direct engagement with participants for inquiries on Estonian research or identifying suitable researchers from Estonia. Veiko Karu, PhD, from Tallinn University of Technology, provided a comprehensive overview of the Estonian knowledge triangle pertinent to the raw materials sector, elucidating on the university’s innovation, education, and entrepreneurship initiatives.

Madalina Ivanica, Deputy Head of the Unit on Energy Intensive Industries, Raw Materials, and Hydrogen of DG GROW, along with Dimitrios Biliouris, the project adviser, expounded on the Critical Raw Materials Act, shedding light on its implications for the European economy’s transition towards a zero-emission paradigm. Emphasis was laid on the critical significance of raw materials and the exigency for prompt action in light of vulnerabilities faced during the transition.

Key facts of the Act, including domestic capacity building, enhanced monitoring, circularity, sustainability, support for research and innovation, and international partnerships, were underscored during the proceedings. David W. Pennington, PhD, from the Joint Research Centre, Directorate D – Sustainable Resources, contributed insights into primary and secondary metals and minerals supply risk and sustainability analyses, elucidating the Raw Materials Information System (RMIS) and its functionalities.

Dirk Fincke from Aggregates Europe drew attention to the limitations of the Raw Materials Act, advocating for the inclusion of essential aggregates crucial for everyday life, which were overlooked in the CRMA’s current scope. Arnout Lugtmeijer from Trisector OÜ provided perspectives from an innovative company, emphasising the imperative for a holistic approach and streamlining bureaucratic processes.

In conclusion, moderator Tony Hand, PhD, from Tallinn University of Technology, encapsulated the day’s deliberations, affirming the collective commitment towards sustainable raw materials management and fostering collaborative endeavours to realise this vision.

Most of the event participants will continue discussing raw materials-related topics at the EIT Raw Materials Summit in Brussels (The Egg Event Venue, May 14 to May 16, 2024). The EIT Raw Materials Summit is the most significant event in Europa to connect the raw materials sector stakeholders.

All presentations are available HERE

Photos of the event

Kristel Oitmaa,

Carmen Kivistik, PhD,


Estonian Research Council on Brussels

Rue Guimard 11/13, 1040 Brussels