METS Growth Centre launches CSIRO's "Unlocking Australia's Resource Potential"

10 November 2015

Extracting higher value from the nation's mineral and energy resources can be achieved by improving productivity through collaboration, visionary leadership, measured risk taking, perseverance and government participation.

These are the key findings of a new CSIRO report: "Unlocking Australia's resource potential", launched today by CSIRO and the Mining Equipment, Technology and Services Growth Centre - METS Ignited.

The blueprint for driving innovation to unlock Australia's energy and mineral resources potential was launched at the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Melbourne by CSIRO Executive Director of Environment, Energy and Resources, Dr Alex Wonhas and METS Ignited chair, Ms Elizabeth Lewis-Gray.

The report draws on the insights of 26 senior leaders in some of Australia's largest minerals and energy companies, and analysis of past case studies, current barriers and trends, to map a way forward through innovation.

It found that is particularly important for driving future innovation success.

"Despite Australia's great past record and rewards from resource sector innovation, for a number of reasons many companies and agencies are struggling to realise full value from their innovation investments," Dr Wonhas said.

"Strong collaboration, visionary leadership, measured risk taking, perseverance and government participation were key ingredients of successful past innovation and may be even more important in the future."

The Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) sector has been vitally important to innovation success, but even greater collaboration between mining companies and other R&D providers can drive even greater improvements.

Ms Lewis-Gray, said improved collaboration targeted towards innovation success is exactly what METS Ignited has been established to deliver.

"The insights from industry leaders, case studies and the framework for successful collaboration in this report, provide a valuable tool to guide innovation that will benefit industry, the innovators and Australia."

The Australian Government has funded the METS Growth Centre to improve the competitiveness and productivity of Australia's mining equipment, technology and services industry.

Australia's globally connected and financially robust METS industry already contributes to national prosperity through growing exports and knowledge-intensive jobs, increasing Australian mining productivity and strengthening the industry's social license to operate.

Already a strong industry with $90 billion in revenue, $15 billion in exports and employing over 386,000 Australians, the METS industry is poised to lead a transformation of the global mining industry, through science and innovation.

METS Ignited is hosted at QUT in Brisbane with nodes to be established across Australia. The Queensland Government has contributed to the Growth Centre in recognition of the importance of this sector to its economy.

CSIRO, with its diverse scope of research and wide range of national and international collaborations, is one of many organisations contributing to METS Ignited and other industry growth centres.

"This is one part of our contribution and vision to be Australia's innovation catalyst, creating value and prosperity for customers and for the nation," Dr Wonhas said.

METS Ignited CEO, Dan Sullivan said, "What I like about this report 'Unlocking Australia's resource potential'- is that it draws on interviews with industry leaders as well as looking at the reasons behind past innovation success. More importantly it shows us how we can work together to deliver even greater benefits from innovation in the future."