SMART GROUND: Smart data collection about secondary raw materials

Smart data collection and integration platform to enhance availability and accessibility of data and information in the eu territory on secondary raw materials

Raw Materials supply is becoming always more important for the EU economy but their availability is increasingly under pressure. EU imports most of the Critical Raw Material (CRM) and Industrial Minerals from other countries. The geological scarcity is not considered as the main issue for determining Critical Raw Material, indeed of greater relevance are changes in the geopolitical-economic framework that impact on the supply and demand of RM. Besides in many cases, the production is compounded by low substitutability and low recycling rates.

SMART GROUND will address the issues of waste management and resource recovery, reducing EU dependence on Raw Materials.

On the other side, in Europe there are between 50,000 to 500,000 highly variable landfills, thus the EU SRM potential is significant.By looking at the disposed waste as a strategic reserve, a reserve of SRM is created which could be used for present or future application thanks to suitable dressing techniques.The “4R waste hierarchy” (EC/2008/98) is to change to the “5R waste hierarchy”: Reduce-Reuse-recycling-Recovery-RESERVE.

SMART GROUND aims at improving the availability and accessibility of data and information on SRM in the EU territory, while creating collaborations and synergies among the different stakeholders involved in the SRM value chain. In order to do so, the consortium will carry out a set of activities to integrate in a single EU database all the data from existing sources and new information retrieving pilot landfills with time progress. Such database will also enable the exchange of contacts and information among the relevant stakeholders (e.g. companies), which are interested in providing or obtaining SRM.

  • To collect quantitative and structural knowledge from existing SRM resources and to study the existing legislation at EU and national level on waste management, identifying critical points and bottlenecks that hinder the effective use of SRM from landfills and dumps.
  • To take stock of existing standards for RM and waste inventory and develop new ones for SRM, to validate them on selected pilot sites.
  • To integrate and harmonize the data and information collected by gathering them in a single EU database, to facilitate the access to information on available SRM for end-users.
  • To identify the most promising markets for the SRM and to evaluate and analyze the environmental, economic and social impacts triggered by different processes.
  • To raise awareness among policy makers and public opinion to support the social acknowledgement of the positive impact of dumps exploitation to obtain SRM and spreading best practices.
Expected results
  • Increased EU raw materials knowledge and transparency of EU RM information.
  • Improved availability of key RM, while creating added value to the economy and more jobs.
  • The RM sector boosted through an interdisciplinary and transnational cooperation allowing matching the supply and demand from the EU downstream industries.
  • Facilitation of exchange of information and increase knowledge and use of the most advanced, economically effective and innovative technologies in the whole value chain of raw materials in order to spread the EU circular economy.
  • Better-informed decision making at EU and National level.


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Project Data



ENCO (Italy)

MAMK (Finland)

GTK (Finland)

MS (Finland)

VTT (Finland)

UP (Hungary)

BZN (Hungary)

MKM (Hungary)

UNITO (Italy)

IMAGEO (Italy)

ATOS (Spain)


RP (Italy)



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