METS Ignited is developing industry-led initiatives to fast-track the innovation cycle, de-risk investment, and improve collaboration to strengthen Australia's mining innovation system.
This exciting initiative is designed to bring researchers, METS companies and miners closer together to work on significant industry challenges
In 2016, METS Ignited invited industry to express interest in participating in further consultation on the ways the METS Living Labs Network could be developed to best support the industry's needs and future capacity to innovate.
We received 63 responses, predominantly from METS firms and a small number of miners, from a diverse range of METS and mining disciplines across varying geographies.
It was determined that access to real and near real sites to test technologies plays a crucial role in bridging the valley of death between early stage proof of concept and a viable commercial product.
Such facilities also enable a reduction of both technical and integration risks, which are barriers to the take-up of innovation.
While the creation of a single facility to deal with all parts of the mining value chain and different commodities and technologies would prove too challenging, METS Ignited is supporting the development of an online database listing all sites available to Australia and overseas.
If new or expanded facilities are required, this needs to be driven by industry. In this event, the METS Ignited Project Funds can play a role, where such projects would need to be at least matched by industry funds.
Further, collaboration as part of the METS Ignited Project Fund to meet Mining Industry Challenges would help METS companies, miners and researchers to secure test sites and sandpits.
Searchable online database of testing facilities
METS Ignited is pleased to announced AECOM has been commissioned to undertake a stocktake of Australia's test sites and sandpits as part of the Mining Living Labs Network initiative.
AECOM will compile a database of testing environments in Australia and overseas, which will be available in an online database that will be regularly updated to ensure currency of information.
The stocktake will cover activities across the mining value chains and the different commodities, technology types and stages of technology development (e.g. test labs, near real and real world testing environments).
The information will enable METS companies, researchers and miners to search using specific criteria to determine which sites best suit their projects.
Further information about the concept is available from the Discussion Paper
Figure: METS Living Labs Network conceptual vision