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Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 31 | 7. Juli 2011
Interdisciplinary Programme on Material Efficiency – A First Step towards Sustainable Manufacturing

The G8 Research Councils’ Initiative on Multilateral Research Funding

The Heads of the Research Councils of the G8 states (G8-HORCs) have established a second call for proposals, this time on a multilateral funding programme on material efficiency. This initiative is aimed at supporting excellent research on topics of global relevance best tackled through a multinational approach, recognising that global challenges need global solutions. Funding should support researchers to cooperate in consortia consisting of partners from at least three of the participating countries. Participating agencies are the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the French National Research Agency (ANR), the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), the Research Councils of the United Kingdom (RCUK), and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF).

Material Efficiency – A First Step towards Sustainable Manufacturing

For most materials used to manufacture equipment and products, global stocks are still sufficient to meet anticipated demand, but the environmental impacts of materials production and processing, particularly those related to energy, are rapidly becoming critical. These impacts can be ameliorated to some extent by the ongoing pursuit of efficiencies within existing processes, but demand is anticipated to double in the next 40 years, and this will lead to an unacceptable increase in overall impacts unless the total requirement for material production and processing is reduced. This call aims to support collaborations between experts in research areas related to the global challenge of materials efficiency to address one or more of seven potential strategies for reducing material demand through material efficiency:

  • onger-lasting products

  • modularisation and remanufacturing

  • component re-use and recycle

  • designing products with less material

  • rethinking products and their use

  • redesigning the manufacturing processes

  • replacement of scarce and expensive elements, notably those critical for energy applications

The call will support interdisciplinary projects with the potential of creating a step change in the approach taken towards the sustainable use of material resources and the contribution and impact that this will have upon the wider cradle-to-cradle design and manufacturing principles. It includes within its scope the entirety of the industrial system – from material extraction, through supply chains, logistics, manufacturing, and distribution – and recognises the global nature of that system. Proposals are expected to show how they address this global approach in a synergistic way and to justify the need for the international collaboration proposed. The call emphasises the systemic nature of material efficiency and seeks proposals that show awareness of system interactions, and propose novel approaches to influencing the system.

Principles of Funding

Within each selected consortium, funding of the participating researchers is provided by their respective national funding agencies according to their normal terms and conditions for project funding. Funding is meant for collaborative research, not merely for networking, mobility or communication. The total budget for this call is approximately €10 million over three years. Funding can be provided for projects lasting from two to three years. It is expected that 8–10 research consortia will be funded in this call. It is anticipated that awards will be made by May 2012.

Closing date for submission of “Preliminary proposals”: 30 September 2011

Notification for submission of “Full proposal”: 21 November 2011

Closing date for submission for “Full proposal”: 27 January 2012

All closing dates will be midnight JST.

Further information

For further information and the contact persons of the partner organisations please consult:

or

Contact person at the DFG:

  • Dr. Jörg Schneider
    International Affairs, Head of Division
    Kennedyallee 40, 53175 Bonn
    Tel. +49 228 885-2346,
    Joerg.Schneider@dfg.de

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