Critical Raw Materials: Towards a more Sustainable Management

Supporting novel business ideas to boost the sustainable management of critical raw materials

The availability of critical raw materials (CRMs) is under massive pressure. However, these materials are essential for products, technologies and solutions to some of the world’s most crucial issues – such as the energy transition. The small numbers of suppliers, geopolitical tensions, price volatility, environmental and social damage from mining, and costly time and energy consuming extraction processes are just a few of the many associated challenges.

Addressing the criticality of raw materials is one of the most complex sustainability challenges of our time. The transition to a raw materials-intensive economy calls for a systems-thinking approach and the involvement of businesses, governments and society at large. New ideas and initiatives are needed that help solving these pressing challenges along the entire raw materials’ value chain.

Regardless of whether you took part in the massive open online course (MOOC) on critical raw materials or not, you might have an idea about how critical raw materials could be managed more sustainably. 

We would like to give you the chance to turn your idea into something tangible and perhaps even into a new business. Tell us about it and win €500 as well as a personal consultation hour with a panel of experts ranging from representatives from EIT RawMaterials to successful startup founders in the raw material sector.

Explain your business idea in a word document of two pages, the problem that you want to address, the solution for it and an implementation plan describing how the idea could become a success. We will select five to ten applications to be invited to pitch their idea in front of an expert panel.

What you can win

The support scheme will be as follows:


    • Financial award of 500€ to the best three submitted ideas
    • 1 hour of exclusive consultation with an expert panel ranging from representatives from EIT RawMaterials to successful startup founders in the raw materials sector to the best three submitted ideas

How it works

The application procedure is as follows: 

  1. Online application: Applicants must fill in the application form at the bottom until 31st of December 2021
  2. First screening phase: The course team will do a first assessment of your application until 31st of January 2022
  3. Pitching contest: The best 5-10 ideas (depending how many were submitted) will pitch their idea to the panel composed of experts from EIT RawMaterials and from industry. Date to be announced

From these 5-10 submissions, the best three ideas will receive 500€ and a consultation hour with the panel of experts.

Who can apply

The SusCritMOOC business idea competition is open to anyone interested in tackling one of the pressing challenges for critical raw materials. The business idea can be submitted by either a single person or a team up to three people. 

How to apply

In order to take part in the idea competition, fill in the application form below and submit a 2-page description of your business idea which covers the following questions: 


    1. What is the problem you are adressing? 
    2. How would you analyze it? 
    3. What solution do you propose? 
    4. What are the potential limitations? 
    5. What is your rough implementation plan over the next years?

Submit your idea

To take part in the competition, please fill in the fields below.

Disclaimer: Applicants retain full and exclusive ownership of their prior information and intellectual property rights.

In case you are submitting your idea in a team of two or three people, please write the other names here
Submit your document in .docx format

Further Information

In case you have any questions regarding this competition, please reach out to