$750,000 government funding set to boost productivity, safety in the mining sector


A partnership between the South Australian Government and the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) will establish an “Internet of Things” focused cluster for the mining and energy resources sector, to boost productivity, efficiency and safety.

The partnership aims to bring commercial outcomes back to South Australia, facilitate cluster members to make investments, and provide access to advisers and multinationals with relevant supply chains.

SA Manufacturing and Innovation Minister Kyam Maher said the cluster designed to connect machines, devices and people to streamline the flow of information and allow real-time decisions will receive a funding of $250,000 per year over three years.

“This investment is critical to the competitive future of our mining and energy resource companies, and those companies that service this sector,” said Mr Maher.

“The Internet of Things will open new opportunities in the mining and energy resources sector, with the power to make our local industry more productive and better able to maintain competitiveness in highly volatile global markets.

“A cluster will be developed by the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) and will comprise technology firms, research organisations and supply chain operators in the mining and energy resources sector.

“Examples of real world cases include the use of remote operations centres to provide predictive maintenance for equipment at remote mine sites.

“Innovation is crucial to the future productivity and efficiency of this country’s resources sector.

“The development of this cluster follows tech giant Cisco declaring Adelaide as Australia’s first smart and connected Lighthouse City earlier this year.

“We have all the ingredients for innovation success in this state: we have a strong research community, entrepreneurial businesses, high-quality education and a proven ability to collaborate.”

AIIA Chair Kee Wong says the Internet of Things will provide opportunities for the mining and energy resources companies to pursue visibility, safety, and efficiency.

“With this investment, South Australia can lead innovation and transformation in the sector across Australia,” said Mr Wong.

“Leveraging opportunities such as these to achieve broader national benefits is particularly important if we are to position Australia to compete effectively at the global level.”

The cluster, which is the first of its kind in the world, will encourage industry collaboration and streamline the flow of information through real-time machine and sensor integration, fleet operations monitoring, plant dashboards and trend analysis, ore-grade sensing and sales and supply chain management.

“There’s a vast amount of opportunities with regard to the devices but the device is only the beginning of the story, it’s the collection of the data and the analysis and manipulation of the data to create those insights to allow businesses to make decisions in new and different ways – that’s where the real power sits with the Internet of Things,” the Oil, Gas & Shipping Magazine quoted AIIA CEO Suzanne Campbell as saying.

Ms Campbell said the cluster will begin with members of the AIIA special interest group and will eventually branch out to include universities, technology firms and supply chain operators in the mining and energy resources sector.

“But we have a commitment to the state government to go to the market to establish a much broader collective of industry participants to join the cluster so we’re looking forward to a very energetic start to the year,” she said.

The South Australian Government has helped establish several clusters for the past years, including in specialized vehicles, aerospace, aquifer recharge and medical devices.

“Maximising the potential of the resources sector is one of the Government’s number one economic objectives, and we’ve introduced a range of initiatives to support innovation in the sector,” said Mr Maher.

“The Mining and Petroleum Services Centre of Excellence provides funding for collaborative innovation projects that address important problems four our resources sector.”

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