Innovative new technologies, from components like batteries to full systems such as airplanes, demand the specific properties of a growing number of rare metals used in complex combinations and in increasingly refined amounts. Technology now relies on an entirely new set of critical materials, namely rare metals, for products manufactured today that are very different from those produced just twenty years ago. As new devices proliferate, advanced countries like the United States and Japan are linking their economic futures to rare metals, with production often dominated by one mine or one country.
While the world is not running out of rare metals, developing new supply lines can take a decade or more to bring online. Advanced economies are approaching a point where the speed of development and number of new devices will outpace the ability to secure the materials this new industrial age requires.
With these issues in mind, Sasakawa USA hosted a conference in cooperation with Stanford University’s Asia-Pacific Research Center featuring key business, government, and other experts that focused on rare metals and examined the various risks companies face sourcing critical materials, looked at data-driven projections on future sourcing for various technologies, and developed strategies to improve the resiliency of critical materials supply lines. The conference aimed to identify potential areas for collaboration to reduce resource insecurities for Japan and U.S. companies and governments due to their shared reliance on critical materials.
November 30, 2016
In partnership with the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Center at Stanford University, Sasakawa USA hosted a conference to discuss the challenges, opportunities, and limitations of creating resilient supplies of critical materials, namely rare metals.