WP3 Description

The aim of WP3 is to enhance the understanding of the social impact of exploring and extracting Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) in Europe, which are needed to meet the decarbonisation targets as described in Europe’s Green Deal. This is studied through research methods that are derived from different disciplines in the social sciences. The result will be a portfolio of knowledge of how the role of CRMs is perceived in achieving the Green Deal. WP3 has 4 specific subtasks.

In Task 3.1 a theoretical basis to understand how the need for CRMs is assessed in the context of the Green Deal will be created and validated. A novel online simulator will be designed to visualise the complex role of CRMs in the objectives of the Green Deal, which will be used to assess how people balance the ethical, social, economic, political, and environmental consequences of sourcing CRMs. The aim is to research which values underpin these complex choices and understand how they inform decisions.


In Task 3.2 the aim is to assess the potential for more human-centred approaches in business, which means that the interests of users (e.g., customers, suppliers, employees, local communities) are at the centre of their practices. We do this by assessing the potential for shared value. This is achieved through the identification of essential attributes, values, and benefits in business models. To facilitate this evaluation, a Shared Value index will be developed, which functions as an online tool that can be used by all stakeholders to identify the potential for a human-centred approach to the mineral exploration process. Also, communication and engagement materials about CRMs, aligned with the needs of the UNFC and UNRMS and tailored to the needs of policy makers and regulators, will be developed. This is done by expanding on policy concepts developed in Horizon 2020 projects.


In Task 3.3 communication, education, and engagement strategies to stimulate critical thinking and dialogue of CRMs in various sectors of the general public. The strategies aim to include the latest research and will provide an evidence base for understanding the complexity of the choices related to CRMs in the context of the Green Deal. This is done through (1) the development of curriculum-facing resources and education materials, which stimulates critical thinking and dialogue in three European countries about the role and sourcing of CRMs in a low-carbon and digitised economy; (2) the development of two separate Continuing Professional Development (CPD) pathways, for industry geoscientists, land use planners, for online and self-directed learning aimed to enhance a human-centred way of developing their practices; (3) the development and assessment of public engagement material for audiences in diverse, settings such arts festivals, science festivals and environmental education centres aimed to stimulate critical thinking and dialogue among members of the general public about the need for CRMs. This task will deploy the online simulator that is built in task 3.1 alongside creative exploration of the need for raw materials.

Task 3.4 is dedicated to the smooth integration and data flow between WP3, WP4, and WP5. It will provide a quality check on data and outcomes from WP4. WP3 will leverage contacts (identified in WP5) with target audiences such as decision makers, planners, and industry geologists to create and validate the usability of the visualisation and communication products from WP4.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement nº 101058483.

Co-funded by the European Union. 
Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or Horizon Europe research and innovation programme. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

This project has received funding from UK Research and Innovation.

Co-funded by UK Research and Innovation. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of UK Research and Innovation. Neither UK Research and Innovation nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.