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SUSMAGPRO Coordinator Carlo Burkhardt speaks at Salzburg Summit

SUSMAGPRO Coordinator Prof. Carlo Burkhardt at the Salzburg Summit
Image: Uwe Brandl,

With the Salzburg Festival having just begun, visions and paths for the future of Europe as a business location are currently being discussed in the city of Mozart. More than 200 CEOs and international experts are addressing Europe's most pressing issues at the Salzburg Summit 2022, which will run until 30 July. Among them: Professor Dr Carlo Burkhardt from Pforzheim University.

The conference motto "Challenges" addresses the current situation and the challenges Europe is facing. Divided into the four central thematic blocks of Climate & Energy, Innovation, Geopolitics and Society, Prof. Dr Carlo Burkhardt as coordinator of the EU projects SUSMAGPRO and REEsilience and Scientific Director of the Institute for Precious and Technology Metals, Test Laboratory for Material Testing (STI) was invited to speak on a panel about challenges and approaches to solutions for a sustainable supply of raw materials in Europe.

In the H2020 project SUSMAGPRO, a European consortium of partners from industry and academia is developing a recycling supply chain for rare earth magnets and demonstrating the effective reuse of recycled material in products from various sectors, including mobility, energy and audio. The Horizon Europe project REEsilience has just kicked off. It aims to build a more resilient and sustainable rare earth supply chain in Europe and connect stakeholders to accelerate the transition.

To a full house, Burkhardt was able to give a comprehensive overview of the supply risks of permanent magnets and the resulting strong dependence of the key European industries mobility, green energy, automation and digitalisation on the emerging world power China, embedded in a session that included Austria's former Federal Chancellor Dr Wolfgang Schüssel and former Federal Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg.

In the subsequent panel discussion, moderated by the Austrian political and television journalist Alexandra Wachter, he agreed with the Vice Rector of the University of Leoben, Professor Dr Peter Moser, that great efforts are needed both in the primary supply of raw materials through new mining sites and in recycling through improved take-back systems and labelling obligations in order to improve the security of supply in Europe in the medium term. "We need political support to stop speculation with critical raw materials," said Burkhardt. In addition, binding framework conditions are needed to create security for the billions of euros in investments needed in the extraction and processing of critical raw materials, Burkhardt concluded.

More on the topic can be heard from Professor Burkhardt next Monday (01.08.2022) in an interview on "Bayern 2 Radiowelt".