The Unearthed team have joined up with mining company Gold Fields to create the Unearthed Ore-X Challenge, a global online competition for innovators to create a solution for a resources industry problem. Here’s the press release:
The unique online competition is set to draw interest from across Australia and as innovators address the challenge of building an oregrade prediction algorithm.
The source of the exciting event is Unearthed, a Perth-based initiative that seeks to develop solutions to technological problems in the resources sector.
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Unearthed has significant experience in trying to address issues facing the mining industry, most notably with their 54-hour Hackathon events. These busy, high-energy weekends pit inventive developers against genuine resources industry problems, with the prototypes created often moving into commercial development.
Starting in Perth in 2014 and expanding with events in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne this year, Unearthed has worked with more than 250 of the country’s most talented innovators. Now, it’s turning its attention to the massive global resource at its fingertips with an online challenge.
One critical component of Unearthed’s success has been the support local entrepreneurs have received through their ownership of any intellectual property they produce, and Zane Prickett, one of the founders of Unearthed, is steadfast in his belief that this is the best approach:
“We’ve found that the most effective way to bring new technology solutions to market is to incentivise entrepreneurs with ownership of their creations and its future direction. It drives the best outcomes for all. We emphasise that competitors retain all rights to the IP generated, so they’re free to commercialise it however they want.”
For the next competition, Unearthed will work with global mining company Gold Fields and Australian mining data startup GlassTerra, who will host the data and provide the technical expertise to assess the entries.
With the success of Unearthed’s previous events providing great promise of what might be achieved, Golds Fields Head Geologist Shaun Hackett is keenly anticipating the global iteration.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what ideas come out of this open competition,” he said. “There are great incentives for both us as a company, who are looking for an innovative solution, and the participants, who are really limited only by their imagination. It’s a dynamic environment that can produce outstanding results.”
The competition is open now and officially kicks off on the 25th of August from the Unearthed website, and competitors will have four weeks to submit their novel solutions. The winner will take home $10,000 to license their prototype to Gold Fields, essentially creating a first reference company.
Over 180 innovators from as far away as Romania, and including US, UK and Canadian teams, have signed up to participate.