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Supply chain innovations for rare earths

Fund Name

CLIMATES: Supply chain innovations for rare earths, strand 2

Project Length

3-12 months

Project Value

Up to £700k



Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £4 million in innovation projects as part of the CLIMATES programme. Projects must be focused on circular critical materials supply chains.

This competition aims to stimulate growth in a circular critical materials supply chain for rare earth elements (REEs), or alternative materials.

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Fund details

Projects can cover one, or more of the following areas:

Upstream processing

  • development of sustainable mining processes including beneficiation
  • development of novel, sustainable primary processing routes to rare earth oxides
  • increased efficiency or productivity improvements for the primary processing to rare earth oxides
  • processes to address the management of radioactive by-products

Midstream and downstream processing

  • development of novel, sustainable manufacturing routes to rare earth alloys and magnets
  • sustainable routes integrating materials from primary and secondary processes
  • increased performance of high-performance magnets
  • increased efficiency or productivity improvements for downstream REEs product manufacturing, for example, reduction in scrap production


  • development of processes and services for the collection, identification, separation or dismantling of rare earth containing end-of-life products
  • novel and sustainable routes for processing recovered REEs
  • design for recycling of products containing REEs
  • solutions that enable material provenance
  • sustainability models including Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), embedded carbon, radioactivity, environmental social and governance (ESG) solutions

Alternative Materials

  • development of novel materials for high-performance magnets
  • substitution of materials for high-performance magnets


To lead a project, organisations must:

  • be a UK-registered business of any size
  • collaborate with other UK-registered organisations

To collaborate with the lead, organisations must be one of the following UK-registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)
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