Raw Materials Week, Brussels

LPRC participated on this year Raw Materials Week, one of the most relevant geoscientific events in Europe, that together people from different parts of Europe, to discuss the state of the mineral raw materials and related topics in Europe.

The LPRC team participated on three of those days. On the 18th of November, the team was stationed next to UX-1 robot, UNEXMIN’s main output, where they communicated the project’s results and showcased the robot to a number of people. On this day they also had the opportunity to listen to “Horizon 2020 Technology success stories”. Then on the 19th of November LPRC members participated in the general session of “Innovation, new technology trends and Skills for Materials”. On the 20th, LPRC attended the session on “Raw Materials meeting society needs”. All in all, the LPRC could attend important sessions that discussed the most relevant themes for the raw materials community, which are entirely related to the company’s line of work represented by a number of projects.

Visiting the Raw Materials Week 2019 and being able to learn more about the current state of the raw materials scene in Europe as well as the opportunity to network and meet new people, made this years event a success to the company. Next year there is more and LPRC will be there once again!

Photo credit: Raw Materials Week

AGEO meeting, Lisbon

The partners of the AGEO Interreg Atlantic Area project met in Lisbon during the 11th and the 12th of November in the Instituto Técnico de Lisboa, the coordinator of the project, to discuss the development of the AGEO Citizen Observatories and complementary actions.

Entities from the UK, Ireland, France, Lisbon and Spain – representing the European Atlantic region – met to discuss the needs for the creation of a tool to evaluate geohazards risks and the pilots that will engage civil society in the prevention, protection and management of geohazards relevant to the Atlantic Area and the participant countries specific regions.

During the first day a review of the progress of all Work Packages and the state-of-the-art of the five pilots were presented followed by an active group discussion. LPRC presented their Work Package (Communications) state and future plans as well as participating in the presentation of the Canary Islands rock-falls and rock-fall triggers pilot, in which LPRC participates actively.

On the second day, the members of the Advisory Board – an entity formed by experts in the areas covered by AGEO –  attended to the meeting and offered valuable inputs for the best possible functioning of the project. These inputs are gladly received by the project partners and the AGEO consortium will follow them whenever possible.

On Wednesday the 13th, partner LNEG (member of Copernicus Academy) organized a workshop on the use of Copernicus for Geohazards, an essential part of AGEO, as the project has a strong commitment to encourage the regional-level uptake and use of products and services provided by European spatial data infrastructures, such as Copernicus or EGDI. During the workshop, the AGEO pilots were once again presented by the partners and the upcoming El Hierro workshop, organized by partners IGME, ULL and LPRC was officially announced for April 2020.

PRO-ACT – Preliminary Design Review, Bremen

On the 7th and 8th of November LPRC participated in the PRO-ACT‘s Preliminary Design Review meeting, in Bremen, Germany. During this two-day event, LPRC contributed to the discussions with information on possibilities for field tests, dissemination opportunities and exploitation measures.

The most recent PRO-ACT meeting was held in Bremen, Germany, where the partners that are developing an innovative concept for Planetary Robots Deployed for Assembly and Construction Tasks using lunar analogues, got together to discuss and present the most recent developments in the project. The work development under WP2 –  Preliminary Design and Modelling was presented and the official start of WP3 – Detailed Design of Demonstrator and Related Test Setup was done. Together with these, discussions on project dissemination efforts and on future exploitation possibilities completed the fruitful two-days event.

The partners had the opportunity to see the robotics laboratory of DFKI, which hosted the meeting. DFKI recently developed a robot – named MANTIS – that is planned to be used under the PRO-ACT’s line of work, together with robots from other project partners.

LPRC was once again glad to contribute to the advancement of the project’s tasks with the support to the identification and preparation of the lunar analogue missions at indoor and outdoor sites in Europe, a major task, essential to prove the concept developed under PRO-ACT. LPRC’s experience on dissemination and exploitation of the project’s results is also of a valuable nature to the implementation of the project.

INTERMIN meeting, Ecuador

LPRC actively participated at the INTERMIN International Conference “The skills required in the mining industry of the 21st century” hosted by ESPOL Politechnical University in Ecuador in the end of October. For the first time in Latin America, experts from different countries of the European Union, Chile and Ecuador, belonging to governmental entities, universities, leading companies in the mining market and teachers from the area of ​​Mines and Geology met to identify areas that need to be improved in order to better prepare and adopt professionals specialized in Mines and Geology to the emerging market changes.

Within this framework, a series of presentations were provided by INTERMIN project partners in turns with speeches held by local experts invited by ESPOL. LPRC was responsible to develop a roadmap for the future skills required in the mining industry and Adrienn Cseko presented the results of the company’s efforts to the audience. Areas of possible future cooperation were identified, these are (without being comprehensive): sustainable groundwater supply, geohazard risk management, sustainable supply of raw materials, citizen science and geotursim.

Attached to the conference a series of field trips were organized in order to provide an insight into the state-of-the-art of mining in Ecuador. On the 24th of October, the consortium visited Cooperativa de Producción Minera El Tablazo N1”, artisanal aggregate mine in Santa Elena. On the 25th of October, partners visited “Mina Jerusalen” an artisanal gold mine in Ponce Enriquez. To complement the field visits, a meeting with the local authorities combined with a field trip to two artisanal gravel mines of Granillo Rojo y Granillo Negro in Santa Cruz were organized. 

The INTERMIN project team will now take these new input and will focus on the development of the Online Educational platform for the Network! Stay tuned and follow @InterminProject on Twitter, LinkedIN or Facebook.

Photo credit: Via Minera (Mina Jerusalen), Abi Sancar (El Tablazo and conference photo) @HartliebPhilipp, UniLeoben (Granillo Rojo)

Closing of the UNEXMIN Project

The UNEXMIN project, where LPRC leaded tasks on Dissemination, Technology transfer and Exploitation, has now ended, after a period of 45 months, where a multidisciplinary team from 7 European countries contributed to the development of a multi-robotic platform to map and explore flooded mines.

UNEXMIN brought together geoscientists, robotics engineers, policy makers and others from the fields of robotics and geology, to deliver an innovative technology capable of exploring flooded mines, caves and other environments and collecting valuable geological and visual information. Besides this main output, UNEXMIN also delivered, among others, an Inventory of Flooded Mines in Europe, various unique data from the test sites and a joint company that will keep exploitation of the technology going forward.

Within UNEXMIN, LPRC was responsible for:

  • Developing and maintaining the project website and social media channels
  • Create dissemination material such as brochures, posters and press releases
  • Develop a research roadmap for the future of the technology
  • Initiate and bring forward the establishment of the joint company UNEXMIN GeoRobotics
  • Other tasks contributing to dissemination of the project such as presentations in conferences and workshops around Europe

LPRC is proud to have contributed to the development of the project and will continue to help in the exploitation of the technology to several target markets: flooded mines, caves, fishing ponds, water pipes and much more. Will the future be bright for the UX-1 robots and the technology?

AGEO project survey – Copernicus for geohazard risk reduction

The AGEO project, under its work programme, has developed a short survey to assess the use of Copernicus data for geohazard risk reduction in the Atlantic Area. Using Copernicus data to better prepare communities for geohazards, therefore reducing risks to human lives, is one of the goals of the project, and all input received is welcome.

This questionnaire aims to analyse the use of Copernicus products and services among geohazard risk reduction stakeholders in the Atlantic Area. The Platform for Atlantic Geohazard Risk Management (AGEO) is a new project co-financed under the Interreg Programme for the Atlantic Area, which aims to launch several Citizens’ Observatory pilots on geohazards according to regional priorities. These will demonstrate how citizens’ involvement in geohazard risks prevention can strengthen regional and national risk management systems.

ROBOMINERS/UNEXMIN Joint Workshop, Amsterdam

Luís Lopes, responsible for Communication and dissemination in UNEXMIN and for Roadmapping in ROBOMINERS, went from the LPRC side to a joint workshop that brough together three projects to discuss and share ideas on development. PIPEBOTS joined the two above mentioned projects.

Talks and discussions on robotics-related topics made the core of the debate. The specific areas of discussion worked around: 1) Robotics, 2) Sensing, 3) SLAM/Navigation and 4) Communications.

LPRC took this opportunity to give a first step in the ROBOMINERS roadmapping process. One of the main tasks of roadmapping is to create clusters with other ongoing projects. This was achieved by sharing information on ROBOMINERS and collecting information on the other two projects. A follow-up will be next step and the aim is to share information on common challenges and possible approaches.

MacaroNight 2019 – Researchers Night of the Macaronesia

On the 27th of September 2019 the Macaronesia, represented by the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria (Canary Islands), Madeira, São Miguel (Azores) and São Vicente (Cape Verde), saw their streets taken over by researchers for the second time in this last edition of MacaroNight, following the success of last year’s event.

The coordinator of the “Night” is La Palma Research Centre, with a consortium that includes partners from three countries: Universidad de La Laguna, Fundo Regional para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Fundación Canaria del Parque Científico Técnico de Las Palmas, Universidade da Madeira and Instituto Astrofísico de Canarias. And for this year, the Universidade do Mindelo, from Cape Verde, has joined MacaroNight for the first time.

For the 2019 edition, it is estimated that almost 7000 people were present in the various Nights, with over 300 researchers presenting their work on the Macaronesia during one day and night to different publics, including children and men alike.

MacaroNight is a Marie Curie Researcher’s Night two-year project, aiming to dispel stereotypes about researchers and raise awareness to the importance of science in the Macaronesia. A final objective is to encourage the next generation of Macaronesian researchers to take up a career in STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics. Also, the project has been awarded the European Year of Cultural Heritage stamp, thanks to its numerous activities highlighting the Macaronesian common heritage.

LPRC presented at Congress for Social Communication of Science, Burgos

LPRC presented three posters and one oral presentation in the Congress for Social Communication of Science in the University of Burgos organized by AECC (Spanish Science Communication Association) on the 10th and 11th of October.

The two-day congress included roundtables, lectures, comedy stand-ups and a scientific social program focused on three main themes:

  • Receivers of science communication.
  • Strategies for science communication.
  • Channels for science communication.

These teams are very much inline with LPRC’s line of work and, therefore, this was a perfect place for LPRC to present its work and get connected to other stakeholders and interested parties within the same field.

LPRC presented two ongoing projects, MacaroNight and AGEO, and one upcoming one, ENGIE, each having a dedicated poster. The MacaroNight project’s poster and communication were enclosed in the “Receivers of science communication” theme, and were titled “Communicating science for islanders”, where the importance of the regional focus of MacaroNight was stressed. MacaroNight gathers parties from the archipelagos of Canarias, Madeira, Açores and Cape Verde.

AGEO targeted the way Citizen Observatories create a new channel to reach general society by making them part of the actual research and how the Interreg Atlantic Area funded would achieve this goal, while ENGIE tackles the strategies to close the gender gap in geo-sciences.

UNEXMIN Final Project Meeting, Brussels

LPRC participated at the final UNEXMIN Project Meeting, held in Brussels, on the 25th of September. This meeting was scheduled one month before the end of the project, so the team has the time to finalise details and wrap-up results and outcomes of this success story, which LPRC helped to build.

To the one-day final project meeting call the consortium answered with a total of 40 participants from all the 12 partner representatives. The morning sessions were dedicated to present the current state of the project as well as to what the future holds for UNEXMIN, but most importantly for the UX-1 unique technology. For the latter, there are already good news: a joint company was created to exploit the project’s technology – meet UNEXMIN GeoRobotics!

During the afternoon two different meetings were held: one Advisory Board meeting and a Steering Committee meeting. In both councils the discussions worked mostly around the future exploitation possibilities for the UNEXMIN technology and how the project itself is seen as a success story in the raw materials and robotics panorama.

The UNEXMIN project officially ends on the 31st of October, but there is still a lot to do. Wrapping-up results, finalising reports and documents and prepare the future are just some of the tasks ahead for this month.

LPRC is very happy and grateful to be part of such an interesting project and consortium, having contributed to different relevant aspects such as communication & dissemination, technology roadmapping and future exploitation.