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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Raw Elements Substitution in Electronic and optoelectronic Technologies

Objectives of the commitment

AIM: to create efficient platform of all the actors, private and public, dedicated to:
Field: optoelectronic, LEDs, CFLs, LCDs, Plasma Screens. Objective: Substitute Heavy (Yttrium) and light (Cerium) REE. Technology: Innovate alternative materials and/or processing maintaining the same performance of actual devices in terms of lightening and resistance. Easy implementation in the actual production process (TRL 7-8).
display industry, photovoltaic, Transparent Conductive Oxide (TCO) Films for OLEDs. Objective: Substitute critical material (Indium) Technology: Innovate alternative materials to overcome the use of Indium tin oxide (ITO) and the development of new transparent and flexible conductive panels (TRL 4-6).

Description of the activities

The Action Group (AG) aims to focus but will not be only limited to:
The substitution of critical elements and rare materials (CRMs) in
* PHOTOELECTRONIC DEVICES, paying attention to the phosphors market (CFL, LED). Replacement of REE: Y, Ce, Tb and Eu.
* CONDUCTIVE PANEL DISPLAYS. Replacement of Indium.
- Synergy actions within the AG general roadmap will be undertaken with the future PPP (ENEA, VTT, AIXTRON, IQE) and the Graphene Flagship (GRAPHENEA).
- International Cooperation: A detailed strategic plan of international cooperation will be developed in collaboration with the EU-Commission, targeting non-EU countries CRMs producers as identified in this AG.
- Global EU dimension along the entire value chain. A public technological platform coupled to an expansion action-plan will keep this EIP-AG open until involving the main EU actors in photoelectronic devices. Attention will be paid to producers, potential end-users, and SMEs. Specific actions of involvement will aim eastern EU industries.
- Research Milestones:
* Create a common state of the art document identifying the problem. Carry out a market survey and SWOT analysis of current related EU market and industry, focusing on actual CRMs technological use.
* Elaborate a roadmap and time-line actions for substitution of REE and In in electronic devices. Focus on (but not limited to) LED, and conductive panels, EU Commission priorities within SC5.
* Preliminary tests on focused technologies identified within the AG with potential industrial interest: Structural characterization, phase stability, optical and conductive properties, growth procedure/deposition feasibility.
- Innovation milestones:
1. Innovative solutions and know-how from AG members already available at high TRL:
a. WP 1: hybrid organic/inorganic or inorganic nanoparticles phosphors that substitute the actual emitting element in white LED (Ce and Y in Ce:YAG) and in CFL (Tb and Eu). Specific synergy with the possible Photonics PPP (starting TRL 4/5, target 7/8).

b. WP 2: new materials that substitute the ITO based conductive panels (Indium) with a new generation panel based on graphene and/or carbon, metallic nanotubes. Synergy actions through GRAPHENEA with FET-Flagship on graphene (aiming TRL 5-6).

Materials/technology substitution aims to strongly reduce and/or totally eliminate the cost connected to the importation of the CRMs while keeping efficiency and industrial scalability.
New tech. and materials proposed are non-toxic and environmental compatible with waste treatments.

2. Innovate already existing solutions, like hybrid organic/inorganic nanoparticles of organic dye molecules chemically bonded to mesoporous silica matrix, into the full value chain, involving industry and SMEs at any level.
3. Create full mechanisms to develop complete value chains for other possible technologies of substitution.
4. Fit for Purpose/Symbiotic approaches based on technical, economic and environmental criteria, where cost-effective solutions meet intended applications, quality and efficiency.
5. Place technological solutions in synergy with other EU actions and relate them to the Societal Challenges identified by the EU Commission.
- Coordination, meetings, networking events –At least four meetings each year. Workshops open to external stakeholders will be organized for each WPs.
- Dissemination: Outcomes will be presented in international conferences, web-pages and newsletters. Dedicated Web site and web platform to keep the Community updated and for fast exchange of information among the partners will be organized.

Description of the expected impacts

-Development of a new generation of photoelectronic devices free from materials with high supply disruption (REE, Indium).
-Innovate into the market and EU industry:
New generation of optoelectronic devices (LED, CFL) based on hybrid (inorganic/organic) or nanoparticles phosphors, totally free from CRMs. In particular substitution of REE achieved.
New generation of transparent and flexible conductive panel based on graphene and/or carbon, metallic nanotubes. Substitution of Indium achieved.
Both lines of innovations ensure: Efficiency preservation or improvement. Cost, production and Energy saving. Environmental friendly final product.
-This AG will guarantee a great boost for EU high tech applications, ensuring internal EU production of photoelectronic devices and reducing the dependence from critical raw material availability, with impact on economical and social benefits (i.e. employment preservation). Only EU lightening industry employs > 150.000 people, with a turnover of € 20 billion.
-Solution to the dependence from the concentrated supply of REE. More than 97% of REE currently sourced from China; over the last 7 years, China has reduced the REE available for export by approx. 40%, by the application of quotas. REE importations from EU in 2010 were 13.000 t. Market value for phosphors is expected to rise up to 12% in 2015.
-Economic impact: CRMs are often an integral part of a final product. End users of CRMs have a strong interest in long-term forward contracts, providing price stability and reliable future supplies. Highly volatile REE prices may be difficult to pass on to end purchaser of these products. E.g. the cost Ce and Y raised between Oct. 2010 and Jan. 2011 from about 10 to 60 $/Kg and from 40 to 180 $/Kg, respectively.

Coordinating organisation & role

Name of the coordinating organisation: University of CagliariCountry: ItalyEntity profile: AcademiaRole within the commitment:

The University of Cagliari is the Coordinator of the commitment. The research team has an acknowledged international expertise in material science, for the synthesis and characterization of innovative materials for technological applications. The unit can guarantee the needed support in preparing projects for the H2020 program, as testified by the success in participating and managing several projects in the previous European 7PQ.

Other partners

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V.

Name of the organisation: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V. Country: Germany Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: Fraunhofer will lead the CFRP and GFRP recycling research.
Fraunhofer will perform corrosion tests on the developed materials.
Fraunhofer will work with CIDAUT on the implementation, validation and refinement of LCCA tools for the project. Fraunhofer is the Quality Manager of the Consortium and will oversee deliverables and general reporting are produced with the best possible quality following agreed review standards.

Fundacion Cidaut

Name of the organisation: Fundacion Cidaut Country: Spain Entity profile:
Role within the commitment: CIDAUT will lead the research activities on materials recycling and compounding, implementing lab scale demonstrators of each process at its premises and, later, supporting end-users upscale the processes.
CIDAUT will perform mechanical tests, microstructural analyses, injection moulding capability studies on the developed materails, and will work with Fraunhofer on the implementation, validation and refinement of LCCA tools for the project.

RWTH Aachen University (Institute of plastic processing (IKV)

Name of the organisation: RWTH Aachen University (Institute of plastic processing (IKV) Country: Germany Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: RWTH will implement the novel 3D Generative Preforming process (3D Fibre Spraying) that enables to create high-value long fibre-reinforced 3D preforms for thermoplastic and thermoset composites at low process costs (different kinds of yarn as a raw material, low tooling costs due to low cavity pressures). This cost effective technology allows to align the sprayed fibres in order to produce high-performance, engineered anisotropic products.

Universita' di Cagliari

Name of the organisation: Universita' di Cagliari Country: Italy Entity profile:
Role within the commitment: University of Cagliari is one of the leading European organization in the resin design and coupling with thermoplastic and thermose materials. University of Cagliari will support in the definition of the composite materials, both from CFRP/GFRP, ABS and Rare Earth composite material.


Name of the organisation: Relight Country: Italy Entity profile: Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: RELIGHT will work with ITRB to provide the research partners with residues for the recycled ABS supply and the REE recovery processes, including their HydroWEEE process as part of the processes to be studied and analyzed.

Piaggio Aerospace

Name of the organisation: Piaggio Aerospace Country: Italy Entity profile: Private sector - large company
Role within the commitment: Piaggio Aerospace is one of the project End Users (Aeronautics Industry): as such it will provide requirements and further applications that could be developed with the Consortium Materials. Piaggio will assist in the compounds selection, provide Fraunhofer with specific corrosion requirements on business jet size aircraft, and will assess that the developed materials performance fits the selected applications desired improvements.

Blackshape Aircrafts

Name of the organisation: Blackshape Aircrafts Country: Italy Entity profile: Private sector - SME
Role within the commitment: Blackshape Aircrafts is one of the project End Users (Aeronautics Industry): as such it will provide requirements and further applications that could be developed with the Consortium Materials. Blackshape will support to fulfill the requirements of the aeronautics industry on ultra light jet, light jet and trainer for Syllabus, and will assess that the developed alloys performance fits the selected applications desired improvements.

KU Leuven

Name of the organisation: KU Leuven Country: Belgium Entity profile: Academia
Role within the commitment: KUL will collaborate on the balance problem studies and will lead the rare earth recovery research with the solvometallurgical and ionometallurgical processes.
KUL will also contribute to the final compounding selection.
KUL is the Dissemination Manager of the project, promoting that all partners are active on the project Dissemination.


Name of the organisation: FIDAMC Country: Spain Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: FIDAMC is going to lead the Work Package on Compression Moulding with CFRP-enhanced materials. As part of the AIRBUS Group, FIDAMC will also be able to provide the input material.
FIDAMC successfully developed a 3D Printer of own design to serve the Aerospace Industry and will be supporting Smart Lab 3D Industries in its 3D printer design.


Name of the organisation: COMPOSITE INNOVATION CENTER Country: Canada Entity profile: Governmental/public body
Role within the commitment: Composite Innovation Center is one of the world leading organization in the field of Composite materials, both from carbon fiber and vegetal-based fibers.
Composite Innovation center has successfully implemented, at lab-scale, recycling processes for CFRP and GFRP.

Existing EU Contribution: Yes

Period to implement the commitment: from 01-04-2014 to 31-03-2019