Today is “MacaroNight” day!

On this 27 November 2020, all around Europe the European Researchers’ Night is celebrated. It is a series of public events that bring researchers and their activities to the public. It is the perfect place, once a year, to showcase the many research activities developed for the sake of science and their impact on our everyday lives. These events also aim to raise awareness and interest in research careers.

Macaronesia area, where the MacaroNight events take place.

The MacaroNight project, led by LPRC, is a Macaronesian focused project that exists to demonstrate the Macaronesian research on this day. Following its implementation during the European Researchers’ Night in 2019, MacaroNight will also contribute to this important event this year.

Today, the MacaroNight team will support the demonstration of research activities and knowledge sharing of the Macaronesia with the European public!

Learn more on https://macaronight.eu/en_gb/ and on the project’s social channels Facebook , Twitter and Instagram.

Upcoming MOBI-US events!

The next days will see important milestones met for the MOBI-US project. There will be two online events: the MOBI-US Open Day, and the Industry Workshop. Both are being promoted and disseminated by LPRC – as the Work Package leader on Communication & Dissemination of the project.

The Open Day event will be an opportunity for the interested audiences to know more about the networking institutions and the MOBI-US project itself, in which there will be an agenda with timeslots for each partner university to introduce their facilities, teaching staff and everything that they will offer to the guest students that will participate in the structured mobility program. There is a webpage within the MOBI-US website where you can find all the information about this event, the agenda, as well as the link to registration. It will be held tomorrow (27 November 2020) from 14:00 to 16:00 CET.

Agenda for the MOBI-US Open Day event.

The next event will be the Industry Workshop. On 2 December 2020, representatives of the raw materials industry in the ESEE region are invited to join the event and provide their input and feedback on the mobility pathways that have been drafted by the program representatives over the past months (Online Workshop and Matchmaking Workshop). This input will improve the structure of these mobilities, which will add more value to the joint programs and, therefore, will culminate in a more prepared work force for the ESEE raw materials sector.

Call for the MOBI-US Industry Workshop.

Register and participate in any of these events if you are interested!

You can stay updated about these events and everything else about MOBI-US on the project’s website and social media channels.

Webinar: Geothermal lithium and sustainable battery production in the EU

On 24 November 2020, Luís Lopes and Gauthier Quinonez participated in the “Geothermal lithium and sustainable battery production in the EU” Webinar hosted by EGEC Geothermal. Lithium-ion batteries are vital to accelerating the decarbonisation of transport and better integrating variable renewable energies into electricity grids. However, Europe´s balance regarding lithium´s import is negative. As such, the ambitious EU climate goals may be in jeopardy when faced with the reality of the import market coupled with the rapid increase in global demand for lithium. The next couple years in raw materials policy could prove crucial for the EU long lasting pledge toward climate neutrality.

Whilst, Europe has a yet untapped lithium potential in its sub-soil, the answer to the growing demand may not come from traditional mining but from geothermal power generation. Studies suggest that Europe´s potential for geothermal is high – geothermal power could become a baseload power generation for heat and electricity on the continent.

With the advent of electric vehicles, among other greener options, lithium is becoming ever more important.

Now, recovery of mineral raw materials could be achieved thanks to geothermal too. Geothermal water (or brine) has a high concentration of minerals. Current exploratory techniques enable to target geothermal reservoirs with high flow of water and high concentration of lithium in a geothermal reservoir. Said lithium-rich brine can be taped to produce heat and/or electricity, while, in addition, minerals such as lithium can be extracted from the brine in surface installations before being reinjected into the geothermal reservoir to be-reused, thus providing a virtually infinite flow of heat and lithium. Horst Kreuter (Co-Founder & Executive-Director, Vulcan Energy Resources Limited) and James Frith (Head of Energy Storage, Bloomberg NEF) indicated that a geothermal plant combining heat and mineral extraction would have a negative emission potential during its lifetime thanks to the combination of green carbon-neutral geothermal power and the positive impact on circular that lithium can have. The future of lithium EU strategy and geothermal potential is bounded to public awareness and cohesive action at EU level noted Claudia Gamon (MEP, Renew Europe).

From LPRC´s point of view, this geothermal lithium concept is yet another positive note on the company´s past and ongoing projects focused on geothermal. LPRC was involved in the CHPM2030 project from its creation in 2016 to its closure in 2019. More recently, LPRC has started its role as WP leader for CROWDTHERMAL which aims at empowering EU citizens in geothermal. Both projects have ties with geothermal lithium and EU just transition, proving that LPRC is always at the forefront of innovation and market trends.Cr

LPRC attending “New Challenges in the Mineral Raw Materials Industry: Safety, Digitalisation, Technology & Innovation”

On Thursday, 12 November 2020, the Cluster Portugal Mineral Resources and the Centre for Robotics and Autonomous Systems | INESCTEC, with the support of EIT RAW MATERIALS & TEC4SEA, organized an online Workshop entitled “New Challenges in the Mineral Raw Materials Industry: Safety, Digitalisation, Technology & Innovation”. This event was in the scope of the Raw Materials Week 2020, with the purpose of emphasizing the importance of the mineral raw materials in our everyday lives, and to discuss the strategies to be pursued in order to guarantee the constant supply of raw materials in Europe.

In this opportunity, Norbert Zajzon – project coordinator of UNEXUP – was invited to talk about the project in the first Session of the event, as one of the ongoing EIT RawMaterials projects. LPRC, as Work Package leader on communication & dissemination, attended the online workshop to work on the dissemination activities of the project, and report about the outcomes of the event.

Luís Lopes and Márcio Tameirão represented the company and supported this successful event co-organized by EIT RawMaterials.

Final event of the SLIM project

On 27th October 2020 the SLIM project (www.slim-project.eu) held its Final Event. This project – Sustainable Low Impact Mining – aimed to develop cost-effective and sustainable selective low impact mining solutions, in which several presentations covered the different work packages, achievements and main results of it.

In addition to the achievements of the SLIM project, there was also a clustering event, where other running EU projects of the mineral resources sector presented their projects and shared their opinions. Beside the SLIM project, seven further relevant H2020 projects were introduced. Among these projects, there were two that LPRC is part of: INTERMIN and ROBOMINERS.

The INTERMIN project – specialized portal of global raw materials training – was presented by Manuel María Regueiro González‐Barros (IGME). In his presentation, LPRC was mentioned among the consortium partners under Pillar 3: The Training and Educational Organizations, as the leader of WP2.

After that, the ROBOMINERS project – Resilient Bio‐inspired Modular Robotic Miners – was presented by Claudio Rossi (UPM), and La Palma Research Centre was also mentioned among the partners, as a Geo-scientific SME.

CROWDTHERMAL meeting, 15-17 September, online

From the 15th to the 17th September 2020, the CROWDTHERMAL consortium held three successive meetings to prepare the start of the second year of the project. These meetings were successively a General Assembly (15th September), the Advisory Board meeting (16th September) and finally the 3rd Consortium meeting (17th September). The CROWDTHERMAL project aims to empower the European public to directly participate in the development of geothermal projects with the help of alternative financing schemes (crowdfunding) and social engagement tools.

During the General Assembly, the CROWDTHERMAL consortium discussed the progress made during the first year of the project and each partner presented the summary of the work performed in its respective tasks. In the first year of the project, La Palma Research Centre had a dual role in the project. First and foremost, it was part of the Communication and Dissemination Work Package together with the European Federation of Geologists. LPRC led the communication strategy on social media including two successful campaigns: the first showcasing the presentation video of the project on YouTube, while the second highlighted the best practises regarding alternative funding schemes for energy projects across Europe. Second, LPRC led the preparations for CROWDTHERMAL Work Package 4 “Integrated Deployment schemes“ starting November 2020. This Work Package aims at creating a social-media powered platform that will support the deployment of integrated development schemes for geothermal energy utilising alternative finance and community engagement tools. With regards to this Work Package, LPRC started the work on the CROWDTHERMAL sustainability plans that are aimed to facilitate the efficient market uptake of results and the sustainability of the project after the EC-funded period.

For the Advisory Board meeting, a group of experts discussed the findings and issues encountered around the project. The main topic of discussion was centred around the social acceptance of geothermal energy. Based on empirical data provided by the project on geothermal energy around Europe (WP 1, Addressing the bottlenecks of public engagement for community-based geothermal development) and regarding the place of participative finance to geothermal projects (WP 2, Community-based geothermal energy financing principles and WP3, Auxiliary and alternative pathways to risk mitigation), it became apparent that CROWDTHERMAL has indeed the unique opportunity to raise awareness about the potential of geothermal energy for climate change mitigation and to enhance citizen empowerment in energy at the same time. To that end, the project will focus more on educating the public on the advantages of geothermal energy and on the opportunity given to any investor by diverse participative financing schemes.

During the 3rd Consortium meeting, all the partners deliberated on the upcoming actions to be taken in the second year of the project. For this year, LPRC will continue to lead dissemination on social media and increase the volume of campaigns and will also lead the development of the project deployment schemes. The aim is to connect the new approaches brought forward by CROWDTHERMAL with conventional financing, public engagement and risk mitigation schemes and launch a new European mobilisation campaign with the help of social media as well as with the help of targeted conferences, workshops and by mobilising EFG Third Parties and the Altfinator Network (CFH).

Learn more about CROWDTHERMAL on the project´s website (https://www.crowdthermalproject.eu/) and follow the project´s daily activities on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram) @CROWDTHERMAL_EU.

UNEXUP presented at the virtual Mineral Exploration Symposium 2020

The 2020 edition of the Mineral Exploration Symposium was a two-day virtual event (17-18 September) organized by the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE). Despite the fact that it had to be held online, it was still a great opportunity for many researchers and members of the mining industry to present and discuss the current state of projects and initiatives that intend to address a continuous supply of critical raw materials to the EU.

The first day started with an introductory section, lead by members of the European Commission. One of the speakers – Gerardo Herrera (DG Grow) – mentioned the UNEXMIN project, in which LPRC was an active partner, during his talk on “Introduction to the EU challenges on mineral exploration and its importance for the society”.

The following sessions covered EU-funded projects related to raw materials exploration methods, technologies and innovation in the sector, which is a crucial step towards the achievement of the ambitious climate goals set by the EU Green Deal. The technologies involved in the clean energy transition (e.g. electric cars, wind turbines, solar panels and others) will require a substantial amount of critical raw materials, which translates to an increase in mining activities and new exploration methods in the EU.

LPRC member Márcio Tameirão represented the UNEXUP project under Session 3: European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Raw Materials, by presenting the context, history, and current state of the activities towards the improvement and commercialization of the UX-based robotic technology.

The event counted with a maximum of 200 attendees, from all over the world, who could learn more and ask questions about the current state of the many ongoing EU-funded raw materials projects.

MOBI-US e-Workshop, 7-8 September, online

On 7-8 September the MOBI-US project completed an important step: the Matchmaking Workshop. This event had the purpose of making the networking partners and MSc program leaders to meet (online) and discuss potential partnerships that will result in mobility pathways between these institutions after MOBI-US is concluded in July 2021. This event had to be split in two parts due to the COVID situation: the first was held in June 2020, while the second and last one was completed early this week.

LPRC had two representatives – Luís Lopes and Márcio Tameirão – who were responsible for the development of the “Matchmaking Workshop Guide”, the document that compiles the agenda, online platform, materials, preparatory activities, homework for the partners, as well as the partner finding exercises that were performed in the event. Despite the challenge of adapting the partner finding exercises to an online mode, the activities allowed the MSc program leaders to understand each other’s weaknesses and strengths, and find potential partners to further discuss the feasibility and logistics to set up the mobility pathways, which was the main goal of the workshop.

During the event, LPRC, as a Mentoring partner, provided input on the discussions whenever needed, and helped the program leaders to perform the exercises smoothly by answering questions and monitoring the dynamic of the activities. This support will continue in the upcoming months of MOBI-US, since the potential networking partners will continue to work on the details to establish the mobilities.

LPRC is the leader of the Communication and Dissemination work package in MOBI-US. For the team the next steps include raising awareness about the next event – Industry Workshop – and mentoring the networking partners during the above-mentioned “homework”.

The International Workshop with Invited Women Experts for ENGIE

On 4 September 2020, the ENGIE project organised the online International Workshop with Invited Women Experts. The main objective of the workshop was to identify the motivators and barriers for empowering young women to become geoscientists and engineers. For this purpose, eighteen successful women in the field of geoscience and geo-engineering were invited to participate in the forum, including women for many countries in Europe. LPRC women members also participated and helped to make this event a reality!

More information can be obtained on the press release.

ENGIE e-Consortium meeting, 2-4 September

The ENGIE Consortium led by the University of Miskolc organized a three day event encompassing the second Consortium Meeting, a Workshop for the project’s Linked Third Parties and a Workshop for Expert Women in Geosciences to share their experiences in the field. In representation of LPRC, Isabel Pino, Ariadna Ortega and Adrienn Cseko presented ENGIE’s Task 2.1. This task aims to organize actions under the umbrella of the European Researchers’ Night with the objective of making girls interested in geosciences and presenting the variety of careers that the geosciences offer to the general public.

On the first day, partners introduced the status of their respective Work Packages, including the “Guidelines for the LTPs Work” in Task 2.1 and the planning for Researchers Night 2021 and 2022 presented by LPRC. The last session of the day focused on the following workshops and future tasks of the project.

On the second day the Linked Third Parties Orientation Workshop was organised in order to plan all the activities that would require the participation of the over 20 Linked Third Parties of the European Federation of Geologists. Isabel Pino presented the task LPRC is responsible for, “Researchers Night – Geoscience Theme”, in which an activity performed by EFG’s Linked Third Parties throughout Europe is to be organized during the European Researchers Night. Said activity will focus on the role of women in geosciences inline with ENGIE’s goals.

On the last day, an International Workshop with Expert Women Geologists was created as a space for discussion and exchange of impressions and experiences creating bridges amongst all the different specializations within geology and gathering information on how to better attract girls to geosciences.

The ENGIE project is funded by the EIT Raw Materials programme and aims to turn the interest of girls to study geosciences and geo-engineering, and thus to improve the gender balance in the fields of these disciplines. The project will develop an awareness-raising strategy and create a stakeholder collaboration network for the implementation of a set of actions in more than 20 EU countries.