Our Blog
Sunday, 03 November 2013 15:53


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Our project ended on 31 October.

This Blog is launched to keep discussions ongoing about exploratory ICT in mining.

We are proposing 11 Call topics to be published under the FET Programme of Horizon2020:

Thematic Area I - Evolution Underground
Call 1 Bio-inspired underground technologies.
Call 2 Microbiology-Energy-ICT Convergence for machine autonomy.
Call 3 Underground machine evolution.
Thematic Area II - Resilient Artificial Ecosystems
Call 1 Beyond pervasive adaptation.
Call 2 Machine-repairable machines.
Call 3 Heavy-duty swarm robotics underground.
Thematic Area III - Broadband through the Rock
Call 1 Breakthrough data transmission technologies.
Call 2 Self-organised in-mine communication.
Call 3 SwarmCom.
Thematic Area IV (2 Cross-cutting Calls)
Call 1 Smart Systems Integration.
Call 2 Coordinating communities - Resilient Robotics for Future Mining.

The underlying research challenges are so profound and revolutionary that calling on such topics would contribute to the development of research areas beyond mining, eventually
strengthening European research excellence in exploratory ICT. There are several technological areas that could not have been developed into Call Topics within the short
timeframe of the EXTRACT-IT project (12 months). The objective of EXTRACT-IT was to start up a dialogue and “be the first step on the way towards future European scientific and
industrial leadership in areas that today simply do not exist yet.” The multi-disciplinary networking around mining and emerging ICT must therefore continue.

Are there any topics that should to be addressed in a follow-up investigation?

Post your comments and ideas here.

Wednesday, 02 October 2013 10:40

Delphi survey quick statistics

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The Delphi survey is now completed. Quick statistics:

Experts contributing to the Delphi survey were predominantly male (82%) coming from the Academics (51%) with a strong background in geological engineering (56% of the respondents marked 7 or higher on the expertise indicator). Other significant sectoral representation was Government/Public body (18%) and Industry (11%).

Altogether 74 experts participated in Round 1 of the Delphi and 63 in Round 2 representing 29 countries. Countries with a strong mining industry and/or historical mining activities were the strongest contributors in numbers.

Since the original Delphi was directed towards the earth science community an additional survey was also arranged addressing the FET ICT community. This survey provided additional records by 47 experts. Altogether 121 experts were mobilised with the help of the two surveys.

Read the Full Report.

Sunday, 29 September 2013 19:16

European Innovation Partnership

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Strategic Implementation Plan for the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials launched on September 25 2013

EU master plan for raw materials: innovation is the key

Raw materials are the lifeblood of EU industry. At least 30 million jobs in the EU depend upon access to them. But Europe faces increasing demand for unprocessed minerals and metals and, in parallel, strong challenges to the supply of certain raw materials, including price volatility and market distortions. In response, the High Level Steering Group of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Raw Materials released a Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) describing how to ensure a sustainable supply of raw materials to the European economy and make Europe a world leader in raw materials exploration, extraction, processing, recycling and substitution by 2020. Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) for the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials was officially adopted on 25 September 2013. In the SIP this will be achieved through the actions in the following Priority areas:

·     Raw materials research and innovation coordination

·     Technologies for primary and secondary raw materials production

·     Substitution of raw materials

The SIP addresses all actions necessary to achieve the objectives and targets of the European Innovation Partnership, in particular with regard to research and development along the value chain and raw materials knowledge in general. It calls for a swift implementation of the SIP, supporting the ambitions and goals of Horizon 2020. At the same time it addresses the issue of reducing the EU’s import dependency through new integrated technological solutions for accessing new raw materials, better resource efficiency of industrial processes and improved recycling, as well as through finding new alternatives to supply rare and critical raw materials through substitution, while mitigating the related negative environmental impacts and increasing social sustainability.

The launch of the EIP on Raw Materials and the launch of Europe 2020 Strategy targets on resource efficiency create a historic opportunity to establish a 3D data and knowledge infrastructure and “Mineral Intelligence” at EU level that would be built on existing national / Member States capacities and derive synergies from international cooperation. By 2020, the EU will have secured a sustainable minerals and metals supply base to ensure competitiveness and growth of the EU industry as a whole. Scientific breakthroughs and sustained innovation efforts will have significantly improved access to, production, use and recycling of resources. By 2050, the EU will have managed on a sustainable basis the entire life-cycle of minerals and metals in the EU.

The SIP outlines detailed actions which the parties involved - EU countries, companies, researchers and NGOs – can use to foster technological and non-technological innovation in the raw materials value chain, as well as in the international arena. These include a wide range of initiatives such as new cost-effective exploration concepts and technologies, better recovery and recycling of demolition waste and finding substitutes for critical raw materials such as the indium used in touch screen technologies. Concrete targets of the SIP include the launch of up to 10 pilot projects to promote technologies for the production of primary and secondary raw materials, to find substitutes for at least three applications of critical and scarce raw materials as well as to create better framework conditions for raw materials in Europe. The SIP also lists actions to improve Europe's waste management framework conditions and excellence, and to reinforce EU knowledge, skills and raw materials flows; by developing an EU Raw Materials Knowledge Base and potentially setting up a EIT Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC). Actions are also proposed to support an international co-operation strategy, at bilateral and multilateral level.

A public Call for Commitments to be issued at the end of October 2013 will allow all potential stakeholders to express their concrete intention to contribute to the implementation of the SIP. A Communication will follow in 2014, to explain how the European Commission, Member States, industry and academia intend to implement the SIP.