Resources: Research for more efficiency and circular economy

Already today more resources are consumed worldwide then the earth is able to supply. How can we make sure, that our children and grandchildren will have sufficient food, water and raw materials in the future? Research and development can deliver the necessary innovations, so that we deal with the increasingly scarce resources in a sustainable way. The federal ministry supports the research for a more efficient utilization of resources with numerous programs.

How can the people in Germany keep their high quality of life also in the future? And how can German companies remain competitive under the conditions of globalized goods and financial flows? The search for answers to these questions is not limited to single research areas. For a "Green Economy", researchers from many areas must gather their knowledge and work interdisciplinary. This is the only way, how new products and services can arise out of results from research and development in the laboratory. A sustainable development ensures the livelihood of future generations and is simultaneously a competitive advantage for German companies. All people, in Germany, Europe and all over the world, benefit from research for a sustainable development.

Utilizing raw materials more efficiently

To make sure that raw materials, that are worldwide becoming increasingly scarce and more expensive, are available also in the future, new research approaches and technology developments are necessary. It is essential, that raw materials are used more efficiently: Because economic growth does not necessarily mean an increased consumption of resources at the expense of the environment. To ensure, that Germany is a successful business location in the future as well, in the BMBF research and development program for new resource technologies "Raw materials of strategic economic importance for high-tech made in Germany", new technologies for raw materials production and processing and possible applications are evaluated.

Furthermore, the German government supports the more efficient use of raw materials with the "raw material strategy" and the "German resource efficiency program (ProgRess)". The raw material research of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) uses the following strategic approaches: Increasing the resource productivity, securing and broadening the resource base, e.g. by the substitution of mineral oil, supporting small and medium sized enterprises, accelerating the implementation and cooperating internationally.

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