Innovation grants up for grabs at Mining Indaba

Mine rehabilitation in Johannesburg, South Africa. Grants will be offered at this year’s Mining Indaba to find innovative solutions to post-mining challenges and sustainable solutions for mining operations. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

Innovation grants up for grabs at Mining Indaba  

A new annual event calling for innovative research proposals to address the mining industry’s toughest sustainable development challenges is coming to the Mining Indaba conference agenda this year.

On 9 and 11 May, the Innovation & Research Battlefield, an event convened by Investing in African Mining Indaba (Mining Indaba), Business for Development and the Development Partner Institute (DPI Mining), will be a high-profile platform showcasing early-stage innovations focused on this year’s challenge:  Building Sustainable Post-Mining Economies.

The event organisers intend to attract a pool of global applicants by connecting academics, researchers, the private sector, NGOs, and young people with a vested interest in sustainable mining to decision-makers in the sector.

“We want the Innovation & Research Battlefield to be a catalyst for closer, more agile collaboration between the private sector, academia and the mining sector to solve critical issues facing the industry, and to bridge the gap between proposed solutions and the funding needed for their implementation,” says DPI Mining Executive Director Wendy Tyrrell.

According to Business for Development CEO Karen James it is essential that innovative solutions are developed and tested. “The sector faces tough sustainability and development challenges against a backdrop of climate change, automation, reduced global mobility, a growing ESG agenda and rising stakeholder expectations,” says James.

Mining Indaba Advisory Board Co-Chair and Head of Content Tom Quinn says, “We are thrilled to be the platform of choice for our partners, DPI Mining and Business for Development, to help launch this essential, timely and innovative event forging deep links between the worlds of academia, business and technology to ensure mining grows sustainably and helps to meet the sector’s ESG mandates.”

Ten participants, shortlisted through pre-defined evaluation criteria, will have the opportunity to pitch their research proposals to judges and attendees at Mining Indaba, Africa’s most important mining industry conference. The pitch can be done virtually or in person. BHP and The University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute is a sponsor of the USD28,600 prize.

The event is hosted by Sheila Khama, former CEO of De Beers Botswana and natural resources policy advisor at the World Bank and African Development Bank. The judging panel includes a representative from Business for Development and the Development Partner Institute (DPI Mining).

Applications are open until 6 April 2022. Successful first-round applicants will be notified on 15 April and invited to pitch in the second round. Applicants need to be affiliated with an organisation and early applications are encouraged.

The “quick pitch” event is designed to showcase and fund early-stage innovation, connecting researchers with mining’s largest companies

Key points

  • Investing in African Mining Indaba, Business for Development and the Development Partner Institute are calling for innovation and research submissions to address critical sustainability issues facing the sector.
  • The inaugural Innovation & Research Battlefield 2022 will be a high-profile platform for researchers to connect with sector decision-makers.
  • BHP and The University of Queensland are sponsors of the US$28,600 Innovation Grant which will support early-stage innovation and research.
  • The organisers are seeking global applications to this year’s focus challenge: Building Sustainable Post-Mining Economies.
  • Applications are open until 06 April. Shortlisted applicants will be notified on 15 April, with Battle Round pitches in Cape Town on May 9 and 11.

This year’s Mining Indaba will be held in Cape Town, South Africa from 9 to 12 May 2022. WhyAfrica is a silver media partner at the event and the April issue of our magazine will be available at the venue. Please take time to page through the WhyAfrica magazine or take one home to enjoy an in-depth read about business in Africa.

 WhyAfrica provides you with business intelligence that matters. WhyAfrica specialises in African affairs and natural resources. Africa is our business, and we want it to be yours too. To subscribe to WhyAfrica’s free newsletter or digital magazine, and for more news on Africa, visit the website at www.whyafrica.co.za or send a direct message. WhyAfrica launched its first ever digital magazine in November 2021. The company will undertake a road trip through South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana in June and July 2022. If you are interested in sponsorship or advertising opportunities, please contact me at leon@whyafrica.co.za. We have a wide range of different packages and combo deals to give your company the greatest exposure to a rapidly growing, African readership.       

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