According to the Critical Raw Materials Act, by 2030 the EU will have to get 25% of its annual CRM needs from recycling, to become independent from the imports of these materials. INSPIREE will face this challenge through the creation of an industrial plant for the recovery of Rare Earths from permanent magnets (PMs) extracted from end-of-life hard disk drives and electric motors.

The industrial scale-up of the PM value chain will be achieved thanks to a two-level process: level I involves the disassembly of magnets at Glob Eco’s plant, while level II consists of the recovery of REE oxalates at Itelyum’s hydrometallurgical plant. The Level I plant will have a dismantling capacity of 1,000 tons/year of electric rotors, while the Level II plant will treat 2,000 tons/year of PMs, resulting in the recovery of about 700 tons/year of REE oxalates.

INSPIREE is based on a strong knowledge of the supply chain and the process, developed also within the realization of the New-RE project pilot plant. The transfer of knowledge and technology from one project to another will be the subject of a specific Work Package, which will serve the three technical WPs aimed at the start-up of the industrial plant and the oxides production. Moreover, the social and environmental impacts of the proposed process will be calculated, and the LIFE Programme KPIs to be achieved during the project will be identified. The output materials, REE oxides and carbonates, could be commercialized even before the end of the project, given the interest already shown by some of the key players in the chain.

The ultimate goal of INSPIREE is to consolidate the value chain related to the recycling of REE-PMs and to promote the circularity of Rare Earths in Europe, by validating the knowledge coming from New-RE and disseminating the project results.

Work Breakdown Structure

Lead partner: UNIVAQ

The main objectives of WP1 are to define the design of the industrial process, by leveraging the results of the first year of New-RE and a feasibility study, and to obtain authorization for the construction of the first- and second-level plants. Activities involve the analysis of the New-RE project to set optimized conditions for the industrial plant, creating a Basic Design Engineering (BDE) report, and ensuring the release of environmental authorizations by regional authorities.

Lead partner: Itelyum

WP2 focuses on the start-up of the Level I plant for the thermal pretreatment of PMs and of the Level II hydrometallurgical plant. Activities involve organizing public tenders for the construction and commissioning of the plants, to ensure they are operational and meet design specifications, selecting technology suppliers, executing the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) phase, and managing the start-up and commissioning process.

Lead partner: Itelyum

This WP aims to start the production of REEs oxides (and/or oxalates), optimizing process conditions and validating the final products with end users. Activities involve tests to optimize the production mode, characterizing raw materials, products, waste and wastewater, ensuring that the production rates reach the project maximum capacity, and the consolidation of data useful for other WPs.

Lead partner: Erion

WP4 aims to review New-RE results and market opportunities, consolidate the supply chain, and prepare reports on the project replication and transfer potential, together with a business plan. Activities involve assessing the commercial feasibility and sustainability

Lead partner: UNIVAQ

WP5 focuses on monitoring and evaluating the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of INSPIREE, through analysis of the energy and environmental performance of the plant, and analysis of the social and economic impacts of adopting circular models in industry.

Lead partner: Erion

WP6 aims to communicate and disseminate the project results through different channels, ensuring their visibility and impact. Activities involve creating and promoting a webpage on the project, engaging stakeholders through social media, events, and by attending international conferences to build networks and partnerships.

Lead partner: Itelyum

WP7 focuses on project coordination and management, ensuring effective and proactive project execution. This includes administrative and financial management, monitoring of the project and its milestones, technical and financial reporting, and planning for post-project activities and sustainability. These activities ensure adherence to project objectives, deadlines, and budget, also thanks to the adoption of measures for risk mitigation and conflict resolution.


EIT RawMaterials

EIT RawMaterials is a key European actor established in 2015 to advance Europe’s transition into a sustainable economy. EIT RawMaterials overarching mandate is to support securing the supply of critical raw materials to the European industry by driving innovation along the raw materials value chain. EIT RawMaterials builds on the world’s largest network of partners in raw materials and advanced materials. EIT RawMaterials provides a collaborative environment for disruptive and breakthrough innovations by connecting more than 300 partners from industry, academia, research, and investment. It also invests in the future generation of innovators for the raw materials sector through initiatives ranging from the education of school students to higher qualifications for industry professionals.

Role in the project

EIT RawMaterials will contribute to exploitation, replication, and transfer activities by activating the extension of its own network, relationships, and channels. Thanks to its network EIT RawMaterials will support in spreading the results of the project to its research and industrial community, building synergies with private and public stakeholders and attract potential investors.



Erion is the leading Italian Extended Producer Responsibility System for the management of different kinds of waste and the exploitation of secondary raw materials. Erion is a non-profit organisation, created by Producers for the environment and the community for the purpose of ensuring I) full compliance with environmental regulations, II) constant dialogue with all stakeholders, III) the creation of efficient eco-innovation services, IV) the optimised and safe management of the collection, transport, and treatment processes of WEEE (Household and Professional), Waste Batteries, Packaging Waste, and Textiles Waste, and the prevention of littering of Tobacco Products Waste.

Role in the project

Erion is leading the communication and dissemination activities and the WP related to the information and technology transfer from New-RE, the pilot project funded by EIT RawMaterials, to INSPIREE. It is also developing a strategy to increase proper PM collection, thanks to its unique knowledge of the complex European WEEE value chain.


Glob Eco

Glob Eco is a highly experienced company in the collection and treatment of WEEE, end-of-life vehicles and special waste. Glob Eco makes a concrete contribution to solving the problem of environmental impact, by enabling the recovery and reuse of collected materials by more than 90%, greatly benefiting the environment. Thanks to these efforts, Glob Eco has also obtained WWF accreditation for its waste collection and treatment processes.

Role in the project

Glob Eco will implement the Level I plant functional to the PM pretreatment for the supply of PMs to Itelyum. It will also contribute to the exploitation activities and will actively participate to the communication and dissemination initiatives, to spread the goals and results of INSPIREE.



Itelyum is regeneration of used lube oils, purification of chemical and oil streams, and responsible management of a wide range of industrial waste. Through advanced technologies and continuous investment, Itelyum helps saving natural resources and improving quality of life, with sustainable processes, products and solutions for waste management and the optimization of served markets. Sixty years of industrial history grounded on the principles of the circular economy even before it became the economy of the future, involving customers, suppliers, institutions, local and global communities in creating economic, environmental, and social value.

Role in the project

Itelyum is the lead partner of the LIFE INSPIREE project, dealing with all the steps leading to the construction, operation, and optimization of the process plant for the recovery of rare earth oxides and oxalates from electrical and electronic waste (WEEE, electric motors, etc.). It is then in charge of verifying what was stated in the design phase through the use of actual plant data and, finally, of demonstrating the industrial scalability of the process by drafting up-to-date business plan, extendable to any production capacity. In this way, Itelyum has the opportunity to show that this innovative plant is the winning method to create value from waste.



University of L’Aquila (UNIVAQ) is a public teaching and research institution. It offers various academic programs in biotechnologies, sciences, economics, engineering, education, humanities, medicine, psychology, and sports sciences. With 7 departments, UNIVAQ has more than 18000 enrolled students, 66-degree courses, 8 research doctorate programs, specialization schools, specializing master courses, and vocational courses. Many university members, researchers, and professors have received international recognition and are considered leaders in their research fields.

The Laboratory of Integrated Treatment of Industrial Waste and Wastewater (RIF-IND) of the Department of Industrial and Information Engineering and Economics, coordinated by Professor Francesco Vegliò, is part of a high-level Italian and international research environment. The RIF-IND group is fully equipped to develop and manage hydrometallurgical processes to recover raw materials from different types of waste.

Role in the project

UNIVAQ will lead the WP1 Process Analysis and Basic Design Engineering (BDE) for the development, engineering, and upscaling of the process on an industrial scale of the process on an industrial scale starting from the results obtained in the NEW-Re project. In addition, UINVAQ will be the leader of WP5 Impact monitoring and assessment to monitor and evaluate the direct and indirect impacts of the project from the environmental and socio-economic perspectives.


P.N. 101113882 – LIFE22-ENV-IT-INSPIREE Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.