A new yearly event calling for innovative research proposals to address the mining industry’s toughest sustainable development challenges is coming to the Investing in African Mining Indaba conference agenda this year.
The Innovation and Research Battlefield, an event convened by the 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, nongovernmental organisations, and young people with a vested interest in sustainable mining, to decision-makers in the sector.
DPI Mining executive director Wendy Tyrrell says, “we want the Innovation and 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 bridge the gap between proposed solutions and the funding needed for their implementation”.
Business for Development CEO Karen James adds that, “it is essential we develop and test innovative solutions to the sector’s tough sustainability and development challenges against a backdrop of climate change, automation, reduced global mobility, a growing environmental, social and [corporate] governance (ESG) agenda and rising stakeholder expectations”.
The Indaba organisers, meanwhile, are “thrilled to be the platform of choice” for DPI Mining and Business for Development, says Mining Indaba Advisory Board co-chairperson and content head Tom Quinn, who adds that assisting in the launch of “this essential, timely and innovative event to forge deep links between the worlds of academia, business and technology, will help 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.
Multinational miner BHP and the University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute are sponsors of the $28600 prize.
The event is hosted by diamond miner De Beers Botswana former CEO and natural resources policy adviser at the World Bank and African Development Bank Sheila Khama. The judging panel includes a representative from Business for Development and DPI Mining.
Applications closed on April 6. Successful first-round applicants were notified on April 15 and were invited to pitch in the second round.