UNEARTHING SOLUTIONS FOR MINERS
Written on the 21 April 2015 by Laura Daquino
DISRUPTIVE technologies could mean that mining and resources suffer a $100 billion blow in Australia, or they could drive the sector towards its greatest heights.
Accelerating innovation in the resources sector is the focal point of Australian non-profit Resource Innovation and Information Technology (RIIT) national events program, Unearthed.
The event will be hosted by River City Labs in Brisbane and pull together around 100 developers and coders.
River City Labs founder Steve Baxter and relevant industry such as CRCMining will offer mentorship throughout the three-day program.
River City Labs general manager Peta Ellis (pictured right) says Unearthed is the only program solely committed to solving the challenges faced by our mining and resources sector.
"We're offering pathways for developers and coders to create prototypes and show off their skills to the resources industry," says Ellis.
The last Unearthed Event took place in Perth in March. Of the 15 teams that pitched, nine were invited for detailed follow-up from resources companies including Iluka Resources and Gold Fields.
As per the Perth event, the winners of Unearthed Brisbane will receive the opportunity to pitch their prototype on a global stage at Australia's largest mining tech conference, Austmine, on May 19 and 20.
Austmine CEO Christine Gibbs Stewart says this kind of energy is what's needed to solve pressing global challenges.
"It is this kind of fast innovation and collaborative energy which is needed to solve the challenges that global miners face," says Stewart.
"It is a very exciting program from both the point of view of accelerating innovation into mining supply chains, and as an important catalyst in helping high-tech, highly innovative startups to grow."
Unearthed exemplifies the evolution of traditional industry and is timely to the annual StartupAUS Crossroads Report released today on the state of the Australian startup sector.
The peak industry advocacy body for startups, which was co-founded by Baxter, says Australia must actively pursue the opportunity to transition from an economy based on resources into one of knowledge-intensive, tech-oriented businesses.