Today's technological developments are rapidly increasing the strategic importance and value of "Rare Earth Elements (REE)" because rare earth elements, which are 15 in total, are used in the manufacture of many high-tech products such as solar panels, electric vehicles, computers, smartphones and renewable energy producers.
70% of the global supply of rare earths is controlled from a single country, which creates problems in the supply chain.
Rare earth elements are not mined in Turkey. The supply of these elements, which are of great importance in the production activities of strategic sectors, still poses high risks. In addition, R&D studies integrated with disciplines such as chemistry and metallurgy are insufficient in this field. There is a lack of laboratory infrastructure to be used in the extraction and purification of these elements, as well as in the design and production of high value-added products based on these elements.
The project beneficiary is the General Directorate of Industry of our Ministry and the project partners are Munzur University Rare Earth Elements Application and Research Center (MUNTEAM) and General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration (MTA). Within the scope of the project, it is aimed to develop Turkey's R&D ecosystem related to REEs in order to support the establishment of a reliable and uninterrupted rare earth element supply chain on a national scale. Research and development laboratories within MTA and MUNTEAM will be fully equipped with the purchase of a large number of units, and the accreditation of these laboratories will be provided. In addition, training will be provided to participants, including researchers, SMEs and industry stakeholders operating in these centers. During the project, international study visits will be made,
International congresses will be held in Tunceli and Ankara, and many sectoral workshops and B2B (from company to company) events will be held. Project partners and relevant stakeholders will also benefit from these activities.
With the project, which aims to expand national and international research opportunities for the sector and to strengthen the connections of the centers to be established with the business environment, the production of approved reference materials containing rare earth elements will ensure that these products comply with national and international standards and quality.
Within the scope of the project, it is envisaged to initiate a research partnership for the development of new and innovative products. On the other hand, it is planned to prototype 5 new and innovative products and to file 4 national and 2 international patent applications. In addition, 15 female researchers such as engineers and technicians are expected to participate in R&D projects.
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