Critical Raw Materials and Quantum Technology

Critical raw materials are materials that are essential for the production of high-tech products, but are in limited supply and have in the past few years faced potential supply chain disruptions. These materials are called “critical” because they are used in many modern technologies, including quantum computing, semiconductor electronics, as well as in renewable energy and medical devices. Examples of critical raw materials uses in quantum computing and semiconductor electronics include rare earth elements (such as neodymium, dysprosium, and terbium), lithium, cobalt, and platinum group metals (such as palladium and rhodium).

The supply of critical raw materials can be affected by a variety of factors, including geopolitical issues, trade policies, and environmental regulations. The limited supply of critical raw materials can also lead to price volatility and concerns about the security of supply chains. To address this, the European Union launched a Critical Raw Materials (CRM) initiative in 2008 to address the issue of the availability and accessibility of critical raw materials that are essential to the EU’s industrial competitiveness, innovation, and sustainable growth.

The EU’s Critical Raw Materials initiative aims to identify the raw materials that are critical to the European economy and that are most at risk of supply disruption. The initiative identifies and prioritizes critical raw materials based on their economic importance, supply risk, and environmental implications. The initiative also includes a number of actions to support the sustainable supply and use of critical raw materials, such as promoting resource efficiency, developing alternative materials, and improving recycling and recovery. More recently, the European Union has proposed a Critical Raw Materials Act to promote mining, processing and recycling in Europe. The Act includes targets to be met in the European Union as well as promoting innovation.

At Sonnenberg Harrison Partners, we are supporting many clients in the fields of quantum technology, but also in recycling and processing of materials. Please get in touch if you have any questions.

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