Project

Supply of raw materials for high-tech German industries – Specifying and further developing Germany's raw materials strategy (TAB ressources)

As an industrial nation with few domestic raw material deposits, Germany is particularly reliant on a secure resource supply. The problem of securing the supply of raw materials has become the focus of attention, not least because of the turbulence on the commodities markets. The origins for this turbulence were not the exhaustion of natural resources, but rather an imbalance of supply and demand. In addition, the fact that the extraction of some raw materials is concentrated on only a few, often politically unstable countries is a cause of considerable concern. On the demand side, alongside the growth of the global economy, technological change also has to be taken into account. Important impulses for the demand for raw materials could be triggered by a broad diffusion of emerging technologies.

Based on these considerations, the following objectives result for the innovation report:

  • Preparation for the international discussion on critical raw materials;

  • Analysis of the different social requirements of a raw materials strategy;

  • Case study analysis of the role of critical raw materials in at least one sector of German high and leading-edge technology (e.g. medical technology). This should in corporate companies at different stages of the examined value chain and perhaps the perspective of actors from different company departments (e.g. strategic purchasing, technology development, environmental management);

  • Estimating the potentials and practical starting points for German industry to promote not just safeguarding the access to raw materials but also more advanced goals such as, e.g. the fight against poverty, developing good governance in the countries or shaping social and environmental standards;

  • Identifying the starting points for the further development and specification of Germany’s raw materials strategy.

Duration

2010 - 2012

Client

  • The Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag