A $14 million research consortium will explore how new technologies and the Internet of Things may improve efficiencies and opportunities for South Australia’s mining sector.

The State Government will contribute $4 million over four years through the Research Consortia Program to support collaboration between mining companies and local researchers.

The project will help mining companies boost business performance and productivity, eliminate unnecessary costs and waste, and anticipate machinery failures, using new technologies such as the Internet of Things, data analytics and sensors.

Led by the University of Adelaide, the consortium is set to create new research positions, drive international collaborations and promote the expansion of the mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector in South Australia, potentially attracting new businesses and startups to the state.

Applications for the second round of the Research Consortia Program are now open. For information and to apply, visit www.innovation.sa.gov.au/opportunity/research-consortia-program.

Background

The Research Consortia Program is the flagship program under the Premier’s Research and Industry Fund, which provides funding for significant research collaborations between universities, research organisations, government and industry.

Up to $4 million over four years is available to eligible consortia to tackle major challenges in areas of critical need or strategic importance for South Australia by developing innovative and leading-edge research solutions.

The mineral research consortium will be delivered in partnership between researchers at the University of Adelaide and University of South Australia, OZ Minerals, BHP Billiton, Australian Information Industries Association (AIIA) Mineral and Energy Resources IoT Cluster and supporting partners.

Quotes attributable to Science and Information Economy Minister Kyam Maher

This project is a great example of researchers and industry working together to address significant challenges that will help our state transition from a state reliant on traditional manufacturing to the jobs and industries of tomorrow.

By investing in our research capabilities, we are enabling South Australia to explore new technologies and Internet of Things solutions to improve performance and productivity and drive innovation for the resources sector.

The research consortium puts us in a unique position to attract world-leading researchers, industry, manufacturers and start-ups to South Australia, creating new employment opportunities through the sector.

Quotes attributable to the University of Adelaide Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources Director, Professor Stephen Grano

The new consortium will allow us to look at copper mining across the value chain from the resource in the ground through mining and processing to enable the whole system to be optimised, for much greater potential gain than by simply optimising isolated parts.

It will leverage the existing research strengths across the University of Adelaide as well as those from our partners, including in advanced sensing, data analytics, modelling, optimisation, geoscience, mining and processing, to enable this whole-of-value-chain approach.

The project will deliver significant outcomes including major technology advancements in areas such as rapid sensing, tracking, interpretation and data analytics, producing the tools, for instance, for rapid decisions in processing to maximise efficiencies and optimise value. Technologies will be commercialised for the global market.