Environment and sustainability
Energy & Materials Transition

MaterialsNL Strategic Autonomy National Research Agenda

The energy transition is consuming enormous quantities of already scarce critical raw materials including lithium, cobalt and rare earths. Raw materials shortages are only just starting, the geopolitical implications are already being felt, as are the appeals to our morality: how do we relate to the earth and the growth paradigm?

09:00 - 17:00 (CET)
TNO Utrecht, Princetonplein 6, 3584 CB Utrecht
Free of charge

Raw materials scarcity momentum

The European Commission has announced a European Critical Raw Material Act for 2024, partly to reduce dependence on countries such as China and Russia. To that same end, the Netherlands published its Raw Materials Strategy in late 2022. The time has come to take up the programmatic approach to the raw materials transition.

Taking the initiative

On the initiative of Jacqueline Vaessen (figurehead at ChemstryNL) and the MaterialsNL Platform, we'd like to invite you to join us on Friday 10 February or Tuesday 14 February to kick-start the MaterialsNL Strategic Autonomy research agenda. Our goal is to give direction in setting the priorities in the raw materials transition.

This also includes laying the foundation for a possible MaterialsNL Strategic Autonomy National Programme in the future (fourth round growth fund 2023/2024). We expect to have a first draft of the agenda ready by June 2023, with the first outline of a national programme complete in early 2024. Needless to say that a proposal of this importance demands a strong commitment from all stakeholders; we also want to start mapping the existing commitment during the workshops.

Programme & approach

We will start on 10 and 14 February by defining the dimensions of the agenda. Each day, a diverse group of up to 95 people will work on relevant issues in terms of morality, transition, innovation, knowledge building and value creation.

It will be a mixed group that includes representatives from different sectors and industries such as the manufacturing and creative industries, finance, healthcare, governments, urban future, food supply, science, education, logistics or waste management. Ethics, philosophy and the arts are also represented, both with the wisdom of older generations and the forward thinking of Generation Next.

Using various working forms, we seek to connect with each other's knowledge, expertise, conceptual frameworks and beliefs. We acknowledge the raw materials transition as a wicked problem, a systemic issue that requires us to face the unknown in mutual dependence. We appeal to our imagination, challenge one another to step outside the box and take steps together in the directions that will serve the resource transition.

  • The morning session focuses on examining the issues at hand from the viewpoint of people, animals, plants and objects. We do this by identifying with and expressing those views in a theatrical ‘Parliament of Things’ (according to Bruno Latour).
  • In the afternoon, we mix up in groups and set about defining the dimensions and themes for the research agenda.
  • The day ends by making agreements on which participants are both eager and able to play an active role in writing out the further agenda details in the period from February to June. During that process, we will give all participants regular updates on the progress and gradually expand our ensemble with new areas of expertise and knowledge as the content of the agenda develops.

More information and registration

If you feel drawn to this initiative and think you can contribute to the national resource transition, apply now.


Princetonlaan 6
NL-3584 CB Utrecht

Postal address

P.O. Box 80015
NL-3508 TA Utrecht

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