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Materials in a resource-constrained world

Location Delft University of Technology
Date 18 - 20 November 2013
Calendar file .vcs  .ics

Modern society is totally dependent upon the affordable access to raw materials from which high-tech materials are produced for the automotive, aviation, electronics, power generation, medical, construction and other industries. We live in a materialized world. However, the triptych of decreasing finite natural resources, an ever increasing human population, and rapidly increasing levels of consumption in the developing world are putting increasing demands on the planets' raw materials and natural resources.

In theory, the earth crust contains enough atoms of every element in the periodic table to satisfy the world’s need for materials for a very long period of time to come. However, in practice, the resources available for the production of materials are constrainedby economic, environmental, societal, geopolitical, and technological factors and by the linkages between the production of materials, energy, water, and food.

The question is how to continue providing society with materials whilst living in a resource-constrained world.

This event brought together policymakers and scientists across different disciplines to:

  1. Analyse the problem of the problem of the increasing demands on the planets' raw materials and natural resources
  2. Explore potential solution strategies for affordable access to and production of materials in a resource-constrained world, including sustainable mining, recycling and substitution of critical materials, material life-time extension and product design
  3. Discuss ways forward for research, policy and practice.

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Steering Committee

Dr Derk Bol, Programme Manager, M2i - Materials innovation institute, The Netherlands

Laurens Katgerman, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Michael Mente, Project Leader, BGR - Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, Germany

Dr Erik S. Offerman, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Dr Hans Schmiedel, RTM - Research in Telecommunication and Materials, Germany

Dr Caroline Whelan, Science Officer Materials, Physics and Nanosciences, COST – European Cooperation in Science and Technology