The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) together with METS Ignited, Australia's METS industry growth centre, and Fundacion Chile, a Chilean private non-profit organisation that fosters innovation - has launched 'METStech Passport', an exchange and collaboration program to help Australian and Latin American mining technology companies gain international exposure, cross pollinate ideas and facilitate international expansion.
Launched at IMARC in Melbourne by the Chair of METS Ignited Elizabeth Lewis-Gray, the Vice President of Sustainability and New Business of Fundacion Chile, Andres Pesce and the CEO of the Australian Trade and Investment Commission Dr. Stephanie Fahey, the program is the first of its kind between Australia and Chile, allowing METS tech start-ups and scale ups to obtain direct exposure to the mining industry and to commercialise their ideas, in both their home country and abroad.
"METS Ignited is committed to fostering ways to assist METS companies and miners to collaborate towards common goals and create step-changes within the mining innovation ecosystem. Collaboration underpins the continued success of the Australian METS and mining sectors," Ms Lewis-Gray said. "Chile is a country of strategic importance to Australia's mining industry. We share many common challenges allowing our METS companies to look for opportunities over the border."
METStech Passport is the Australian Trade and Investment Commission's (Austrade) second LATAM ecosystem-linking program built from the successful Agtech Passport launch in March 2017. The program is designed to encourage collaboration between two mining innovation platforms within the METS (mining equipment, technology and services) sector to build on each countries' expertise, promote cross-pollination of ideas and synergies to address common challenges.
The program will send Australian start-ups to Chile, for an immersion in the host country's mining tech and start-up ecosystem.
"This new partnership will create access for Australian METStech companies to Chile's important mining market and create a pathway for increased exports of technological knowhow, it will also allow a very important opportunity for collaboration between Chilean and Australian METStech companies leading to better solutions for the mining industry and business migration" said Dr Stephanie Fahey, Austrade's CEO.
"This innovation space between two mining giants responds to the great prospects that exist in fostering collaboration and international growth. Austrade can further enable this sector, and many others, by encouraging and facilitating dialogue, providing market insights and intelligence and promotion of qualified opportunities." Dr Fahey added.
Mining is a vital part of Chile's economy, accounting for 11% of GDP. Likewise in Australia, mining makes up 7% of GDP, with the METS sector contributing $90 billion of export revenue.
Andres Pesce, Fundacion Chile's Vice President of Sustainability and New Business said "Chile and Australia's mining industries face common challenges that can only be addressed by innovation. The program places cross border cooperation as a central element of an open innovation approach that seeks not only to solve the industry's challenges but especially develop a strong global METS network that will benefit the economy as a whole".
A call to METS tech companies will shortly go out, with the exchange to take place in 2018.
METStech Passport was officially launched at this year's edition of IMARC (International Mining and Resources Conference) that took place in Melbourne from Oct 31 - Nov2.
About Fundacion Chile
We are a private non-profit organisation that fosters innovation. Our partners are the State of Chile and BHP. At Fundacion Chile we develo local and international networks, delivering high impact solutions in areas such as sustainability, human capital development, education, aquaculture, entrepreneurship, and foods.
Throughout our existence we have become a "do tank", creating more than 65 companies in diverse productive areas in the country, promoting new industries and innovative products within the main natural resource areas of the country, generating value, quality, and new exports. We have shared the national purpose of delivering high-impact technological solutions through transference, adaption, research, and development. This demanding task has required a joint-management with more than 160 international organisations - companies, governments and technological centres, among others - in 35 countries.
The Open Innovation Program in Mining, Expande is a public-private collaborative model that promotes the development of high-potential solutions from technology-based companies and connects them with the challenges facing the mining industry of today and tomorrow. Its long-term vision was defined in the Mining Technology Roadmap 2015-2035, coordinated by Fundacion Chile and articulated by the Alta Ley National Mining Program from Transforma-Corfo and seeks to become a fundamental pillar for the development of technology suppliers from and to the industry.
Through Expande, it is sought to increase the number of challenges to and from the industry; identify and disseminate development opportunities; increase productive nexus among ecosystem; highlight and promote the use of publinc and private funds to develop and implement technologies; and create a portfolio of innovation projects that allow the development of an industry of goods and services around mining with export potential.
Currently Expande includes as participants Fundacion Chile, Corfo, Antofagasta Minerals, BHP, Codelco, the Strategic Investment Fund (FIE), Alta Ley National Mining Program, Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism, Ministry of Mining, IDB-MIF.
Queries to Austrade:
Shannon Powell, Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, Andean LATAM