CASCADE-Criticality Analysis for Supply Chain Availability and Dependency Evaluation

PRIN – Projects of Relevant National Interest

Funding Agency:  Italian Ministry of University and Research (MUR)

Funding Program: Projects of Relevant National Interest - PRIN 2022 - PNRR

Both scientific literature and outlooks by Institutional agencies (European Commission, 2020) hint that the World Economy will likely face a serious issue of resource scarcity – particularly critical raw materials (CRM) scarcity –
over the next few years, which will pose challenges to value chains’ fundamental role of ensuring continuous supply. The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the recent geopolitical crisis, further exacerbated the issue – in the form of substantial commodity price increases and shortages of critical supplies (e.g., semiconductors). With the aim of strengthening its economic competitiveness and securing its strategic autonomy, the EU has identified a list of industries that are key to these objectives, and it has started to delineate a strategy to ensure access to CRM, which is often essential to such industries. Yet it is still unclear (a) how National Governments, including the Italian ones, should adopt and support these general guidelines; (b) which managerial strategies and practices, including circular economy-related practices, could be more effective in tackling scarcity-driven issues and ensuring supply continuity.

Main objectives of the project: in addition to contributing to advanced knowledge and scholarly management literature on scarcity-driven issues within value chains – we will pursue three main objectives.

First, it will develop an original methodology for the identification, among the strategic supply chains/industries, of the associated raw materials that are considered “critical” for a given country in a given period, as well as of other possible sources of criticalities/scarcity.

Second, it will contribute to increasing the awareness of firms, industrial associations, and governments about the risks raised by CRM and other sources of scarcity in strategic supply chains to support their decision-making process.

On top of that, it will provide managerial and policy suggestions on enhancing competitiveness and reducing external dependencies in one selected strategic product value chain (PVC) belonging to one of the industries listed as “strategic” by the EU. Third, it will contribute to fostering the sustainability of the production ecosystem by analyzing how the shift towards the circular economy paradigm not only decreases the dependency of the strategic supply chain on critical raw materials but also improves the efficiency of the whole production system.

DiSA role: Principal Investigator

DiSA Team Leader: Paolo Barbieri

DISA Team members: Daniela Bolzani, Marcello Maria Mariani

Project Partners:

  • Università degli Studi dell'Aquila
  • Università degli Studi di Bergamo
  • Politecnico di Milano

Total project cost: 244,4073 €

Start date: 30/11/20232023  - End date: 29/11/2025

Financed by the European Union - NextGenerationEU through the Italian Ministry of University and Research under PNRR - Mission 4 Component 2, Investment 11