The size and the complexity of the global material flows have increased drastically over the past decades as a consequence of population growth, urbanization, globalization, technological development (e.g., employment of more complex material combinations in manufacturing), and sophistication in
The conceptual framework of MinFuture is structured as a pyramid with seven components related to Material Flow Analysis (i.e., systems, data, uncertainty, models, indicators, visualisation, and strategy & decision support).
Material flow analysis (MFA) in general, is a term used to summarize a wide range of approaches to describe material stocks and flows in systems defined in space and time.
In order to develop strategies as well as to define and reach goals concerning raw materials management, maps are needed to help navigate existing knowledge and data.
MinFuture is a collaborative project funded by the Horizon 2020 framework, aiming to identify, integrate, and develop expertise for global material flow analysis and scenario modelling.
The MinFuture workshop synthesis brief describes the main insights from discussions on:
- How can we add more relevance and credibility to data published on raw materials? What context is missing that might enhance their status? How could we present data using a systemic MFA? perspective
- How do raw material data reporting schemes (information flows) currently operate at national, regional and global level?
- What raw material indicators are often used to identify issues with raw material supply/ demand? What are their strengths and weaknesses and how do they relate to material flow analysis?
The brief presents key discussion items and main findings from the June 2017 Workshop in Vienna. In order to tackle challenges such as insufficient information flows or lacking data availability, a (more) systemic understanding of global mineral raw material flows is needed. Mapping the system context and making data/information gaps explicit will help identifying possible improvements.