Technology metals are essential for all low-carbon and digital technologies and are vital for the energy transition and meeting climate change (net zero) targets. The UK technology metals circular economy ecosystem should be underpinned by robust data and knowledge on the stocks and flows of whole value chains, from raw material production to end of life, including the reverse supply chains.

Scroll to why do we need a technology metals observatory?

Why do we need a technology metals observatory?

This data observatory describes the science-led analysis of currently available data and potential future uses of technology metals in the UK, highlighting novel circular economy approaches such as rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles and permanent magnets for wind turbines.

The data and analysis also relate to the UK's new strategy for critical minerals.

More about the UK Technology Metals Observatory

Circular economy

Technology metals are finite resources, often deemed as 'critical' raw materials, and their demand is expected to increase rapidly in the following decades. The production of both primary and secondary technology metals is likely to cause serious environmental challenges. The creation of a circular economy for technology metals will enable improvements in material and energy efficiency, increase security of supply and keep the highest value of the technology metals within the UK.

Circular flows

Product flows and lifespans play a fundamental role in circular systems, as they ultimately determine the availability of embedded materials and components that may become available through reverse supply chains.

We have chosen two signature products of high economic importance and demand: electric vehicles and wind turbines.

Net zero technology

Meeting net zero targets requires the decarbonisation of energy and transport. This demands for growing numbers of wind turbines and electric vehicles, which require increased supply of technology metals.

What are the supply-and-demand threats and vulnerabilities associated with the net zero strategy?

Metadata catalogue


A roadmap is a strategic plan that defines a goal or desired outcome and includes the actions or milestones needed to reach it. On this page, you will find an introduction to what a roadmap is, the context of the alternative technology metals roadmap, and ways in which you can participate in the process of roadmapping.

Jargon-busting glossary

Explore the meaning of specialist terms and acronyms used within the observatory related to technology metals and the circular economy.


For questions regarding the project please contact Dr Evi Petavratzi.