Western Australian Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion has launched a marathon 54-hour innovation event that is focused on extending WA’s global mining leadership.
Minister Marmon said the 2015 Unearthed Hackathon event, which is being held at Perth’s Resource Innovation and Information Technology (RIIT) centre, will benefit the resources industry and help build the State’s growing technology sector.
“The State Government is backing the Western Australian event with $25,000 in sponsorship because we’re backing the jobs that the rapidly growing tech sector is generating,” the Minister said in a media release.
“Sustainability and growth means not just extracting our minerals and energy but mining our human resources as well, building on innovation and exporting that expertise around the world.”
The inaugural 2014 event produced 18 high-quality prototypes over the weekend, and this year’s edition of Unearthed will see more than 70 computer software developers solving production and technology challenges set by the resources industry.
“In the past year one of those prototypes – designed to save the Western Australian iron ore industry more than $100 million per year – has gone on to advanced development, with the designers forming a company and working with a technology accelerator towards commercialisation,” the Minister said.
“I am excited to see an event that delivers real results, especially with technologies which increase efficiency and reduce costs – both crucial factors in the competitive world of mines and petroleum.”
Unearthed’s success in 2014 will see the event go national this year and run in Melbourne Sydney and Brisbane. It is funded through the Minerals Research Institute of WA, with the CSIRO providing a data base, research challenge and two mentors.