World Resources Forum, Davos
Duration: -
Location: Davos, Switzerland

In 2015, the ESM has hosted workshops at the WRF in Davos for the third time in series. A workshop and an industry summit on Tuesday, October 13, discussed strategies to identify the influence of “critical materials” on European innovative products, monitor their life cycle, and possibilities to reduce critical materials by better design, substitution and recycling opportunities. Regulations and environmental friendly solutions for the use over the whole value chain and possibilities to ensure a responsible sourcing will be another topic. At the expert debate on criticality assessment in the afternoon, specialists addressed different concepts of criticality and their applicability.

At the ESM events, amongst others supply and quality risks due to critical metals under economical and ecological aspects will be discussed. Strategies to allow more insight in the critical materials flow from raw material also towards recycled products are needed. The “Circular flow economics” model may be used to depict the critical materials in the whole market system and value chain. Also needed are data management of information about such materials at the various stages of a product for a better monitoring of the value, and improvement of production design for a more efficiently use of such materials would be desirable.

Program Tuesday, October 13
(click on titles to download presentation slides)

Workshop: Handling critical materials – resource strategies, value chains and their impact

Morning Session: Workshop, Part 1
Chair: Margarethe Hofmann, ESM/MatSearch

TimeInvited SpeakerTopic
8:00–8:15Dr. Bruno Walser
President ESM
 Keynote talk 
8:15–8:50Prof. Tom Graedel
Yale University
Defining and determining criticality
 Product Life Cycles
8:50–9:20Dr. Hans-Jörg Althaus
Lifecycle Consulting Althaus
„Critical elements and their impact on a circular flow economy“
9:20–9:50Dr. James Goddin
Granta Design
„Critical, conflict and strategic materials risks 

Noon Session: Workshop, Part 2
Chair: Christian Hagelüken, ESM/Umicore

Strategies and perspectives
12:30-13:00Karsten Schischke
Fraunhofer IZM
„Product design for the efficient use of critical materials: the case of mobile information technology devices“
13:00-13:30Prof. Gerhard Sextl
Fraunhofer IWKS and University of Würzburg
„Critical elements – strategies and advanced technologies for closed material loops“
13:30-14:00Willem Bulthuis
Business Angel and Digitization Advisor
„Mobilising industry to act on material criticality – how other domains can inspire concrete actions
14:00-14:20Final Discussion

Afternoon Session: Expert debate on “What is materials criticality and how can it be assessed”
Moderation: Alessandra Hool, ESM / MatSearch

TimeInvited Speaker / ParticipantsTopic
16:30Alessandra Hool
ESM / MatSearch
 Keynote talk 
16:40Prof. Dr. Jo Dewulf
European Commission DG JRC
„EU methodology for criticality assessment“
 Plenary Discussion 
  • Prof. Armin Reller, University of Augsburg
  • Dr. Luis Tercero Espinoza, Fraunhofer ISI
  • Prof. Tom Graedel, University of Yale
  • Dr. Hans-Jörg Althaus, Lifecycle Consulting Althaus
  • Dr. James Goddin, Granta Design
  • Dr. Patrick Wäger, Empa
  • Dr. Christian Hagelüken, Director EU Government Affairs Umicore
  • Prof. Dr. Jo Dewulf, European Commission DG JCR
  • Willlem Bulthuis, Business Angel and Digitization Advisor
19:00WRF Gala Dinner 


Program and speakers (PDF)


World Resources Forum 2015