LPRC attends the premiere of LAVA BOMBS in La Palma

Last Saturday our La Palma team attended the premiere of the LAVA BOMBS documentary produced by GeoTenerife (full credits, more news and details: https://twitter.com/LavaBombsFilm).

GeoTenerife was on the ground essentially from the beginning of the Cumbre Vieja eruption that started on 19 September 2021, filming and making interviews.

The cinematic scenes and drone footages are breathtaking, and the narrative is deep and compelling. But where this movie truly excels is that it takes us deep into the human dimension of the eruption. The strongest part of the documentary is where citizens, scientists and local politicians are sharing their thoughts, feelings and uncertainties as the volcano is erupting in the background.

There are no self-proclaimed prophets or omnipotent scientists making big statements here, only decent human beings, doing their best to manage a crisis, working at the limits of our understanding of volcanic processes, where uncertainty is always a key factor in the equation.

An impressive documentary that dares to touch so many sensitive issues. Living through the eruption on La Palma as ordinary citizens we were deeply moved by this film that focuses on us, and cares so much for the citizens of our island.

 

ROBOMINERS Consortium and Review meeting, Brussels, 29, 30 June and 1 July 2022

The ROBOMINERS consortium met in the capital of Europe, Brussels, for the most recent project meeting, which was coupled with a field visit and a review meeting with the European Commission-related personnel.

The meeting agenda started with a field trip to the South of Belgium to see the ROBOMINERS prototype in action in the field on 29 June, where the project partners had the chance to see the prototype (currently in development) in action.

On the following day, 30 June, the consortium members got together to discuss the state of project – with a review on the past, present and future status of all the operating Work Packages. La Palma Research Centre presented WP8 – Active roadmapping and Clustering, providing a view on the clustering activities and the many foresight actions towards future ROBOMINERS roadmaps. In the afternoon, which was dedicated to internal workshops and discussion groups, LPRC organised a visioning workshop with the participation of several project members. Data obtained from this interactive exercise will be used for implementation of the Work Package 8 foresight methodology.

On the 1st of July it was time for the Review meeting with the European Commission. The Work Packages leaders presented the work done and answered the questions and doubts put forwarded by the reviewers. Luís Lopes from LPRC represented Work Package 8.

Work within ROBOMINERS will now continue with technological development and integration into the prototype, aiming at the field tests of 2023. This work will be supported by foresight analysis developed and implemented by LPRC and ethical, environmental and economical analysis made by other project partners.

Follow the project through its website and social media to be up to date with ROBOMINERS developments!

LPRC co-organised the recent ROBOMINERS workshop

The most recent ROBOMINERS-related workshop entitled “Innovation in Selective Mining: new trends and technological advances to reduce the environmental footprint of mineral extraction“ was co-organised by the  Geological Survey of Belgium (GSB), European Federation of Geoligists (EFG) and La Palma Research Centre (LPRC) on the 8th June 2022, in a physical event in Brussels, Belgium. The main goal of this workshop was to bring together internal and external partners working on selective mining to discuss the current and future research on the field.

The Workshop was inaugurated by Giorgia Stasi (GSB), with a welcome speech made by Vanessa Heyvaert (GSB). Then, a series of presentations on the topic followed: Patrick Nadoll (EIT RawMaterials) presented the overall raw materials panorama and the work of EIT RawMaterials; Christian Burlet (GSB) presented the ROBOMINERS project; Sophie Decree (GSB) and Nolwenn Coint (Geological Survey of Norway) discussed the phosphate exploration in Europe; Pablo Sobron (Impossible Sensing) mentioned how precision mining can be used from deep sea to deep space applications; Christophe Germay (EPSLog) presented their transdisciplinary multi sensor core logging technology. After the presentations, authors participated in a Panel Discussion on raw materials, mining and other related topics.

In the afternoon, two sessions were held. The first focused a laboratory demonstration LIBS and Fluorescence, techniques used in mining exploration and was presented by GSB. The visioning exercise that followed was led by LPRC. The event finished with a few remarks and conclusions made by the organisers.

A total of 25 participants on site and 10 participants online from different fields including technology development, policy and journalism were present to learn more and discuss the development of selective mining, topic especially important for the ROBOMINERS project.

LPRC organised an international bootcamp in La Palma

On May 26th, 2022, the Emporia 4KT international bootcamp was held in La Palma. This event, organized by La Palma Research Centre together with Campus de Excelencia Internacional Global del Mar (CEIMAR) and Centro de Nuevas Tecnologías del Agua (CENTA), is part of the Emporia 4KT project, and is funded by the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund. Its objective is to foster cooperation between universities, companies and government for knowledge transfer, as well as the promotion of the Blue Economy.

The Bootcamp was inaugurated by Mr. Francisco Raúl Camacho Sosa, delegate in charge of Tourism and Sports of the Cabildo de La Palma, Mr. Carlos Andrés Navarro Martínez, director of the Agencia Canaria de Investigación, Innovación y Sociedad de la Información (ACIISI), Mr. Ernesto Pereda de Pablo, Vice Rector for Research, Knowledge Transfer and Campus Santa Cruz y Sur of the University of La Laguna, Mr. Aridane González González, director of Research and Technological Development, on behalf of the Vice Rector of Research and Knowledge Transfer of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Ms. Mónica Quesada Peña, Project Manager of the Canary Islands Maritime Cluster and Mr. Alfonso Montes de Oca Acosta, president of the La Palma Isla Azul Association.

Representatives from 15 organizations from the Canary Islands in the field of blue economy worked together to identify barriers and solutions, sharing their experience in innovation and knowledge transfer with Emporia4kt partners, who represented 14 institutions and 5 countries of the Atlantic area. The aim is to bring members of the triple helix together and promote the sustainable growth of the Blue Economy. Furthermore, the event was streamed, allowing the participation of 30 attendants online.

During the event, the potential of the Canary Islands as a hub for this type of economy, related to the oceans, seas, and encompassing activities such as fishing, shipyards, tourism and tidal energy, was highlighted.

As a result of this project, a joint action plan will be created. In addition, the Innovation Enhancer Tool Academy, a learning program that has already been tested in other countries, will be implemented in the Canary Islands as of September of this year.

EMPORIA4KT Logo and Funding

 

LPRC members participate in a joint Clustering workshop with PIPEBOTS/UNEXUP/ROBOMINERS

La Palma Research Centre participated in a recent tri-project clustering event. The clustering action, mainl developed by the PIPEBOTS project with help from the UNEXUP and ROBOMINERS projects (where LPRC is a partner), focused on robotics-related discussions, especially with the use of robotics in harsh environments.

Prior to the clustering event, thematic videos on the three projects were submitted in advance for consultation. The videos worked around presenting the projects and connected to specific themes such as Communications and power, Autonomy, and Navigation. A total of twenty-two participants were present to discuss the projects and robotics themes. LPRC was represented by two members.

This Clustering event, after an interesting debate, showcased that there are development and implementation issues common to the three projects and that a good way to move forward is to join forces and share best ideas. There is also the possibility to organise a new joint clustering and dissemination event for further collaboration.

LPRC is co-responsible for the Clustering actions within the ROBOMINERS project and leads the Communication and Dissemination efforts in UNEXUP.

LPRC will host the La Palma Bootcamp for the EMPORIA4KT project

La Palma Research Centre is a new member of the EMPORIA4KT project, granted as part of the extension call issued for the INTERREG Atlantinc projects. This project works towards the design and implementation of actions between triple helix players to foster innovation and competitiveness within Blue Economy sectors, which is especially important for La Palma.

EMPORIA4KT Logo and Funding

LPRC will now organise and host the “La Palma Bootcamp” to discuss the blue transformation in the Canary Islands – the role of academia, government, industry and society for fostering Blue Economy. The goal of the Bootcamp is knowing the trends, challenges and needs to foster Blue Economy in the Canary Islands and La Palma. These will be identified by representatives of the quadruple helix (academy, government, industry, and societal actors).

The Bootcamp will be held on Thursday 26 May 2022, from 9:30h to 17:00h on H10 Taburiente Playa, Los Cancajos, La Palma (hybrid event). Information to follow the event on streaming will come soon.

Information on the Bootcamp programme can be found here in English and in Spanish.

If you want to attend the Bootcamp in person, kindly confirm your participation at  laia.darmengol@lapalmacentre.eu.

For online registration please use the following link: https://www.eventbrite.pt/e/la-palma-bootcamp-emporia4kt-tickets-345645233197

The MacaroNight 2021 is fast approaching

It is already this Friday, 24 September 2021, that the European Researchers’ Night is celebrated all around Europe. The European Researchers’ Night is a series of public events that bring researchers and their activities to the public. It is the perfect place, once a year, to showcase the many research activities developed for the sake of science and their impact on our everyday lives. These events also aim to raise awareness and interest in research careers.

Macaronesia area, where the MacaroNight events take place.

The MacaroNight project, led by LPRC, is a Macaronesian focused project that exists to demonstrate the Macaronesian research on this day. This is already the third time in a row that MacaroNight is proud to be part of the unique European Reserachers’ Night.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the events of  MacaroNight will happen both online and in person. To learn more on the activities, schedules and places where MacaroNight will be represented, please check the website in the corresponding Spanish, Portuguese or English versions.

Follow the project’s social channels on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram and be part of MacaroNight!

LPRC presents its work during INTERMIN’s Final Conference

The INTERMIN project held its Final Conference on the 22nd of June 2021. The project, set to finish this June, worked on the creation of a network of raw materials training centres.

The final meeting had three main components: 1) presentations of the work done in each Work Package, 2) presentations by project representatives of INTERMIN related EU H2020 funded raw materials projects, 3) a stakeholders’ debate and 4) a discussion on the vision of the future of education and skills in the raw materials sector.

LPRC was a major player of this Final Conference at two moments: first, Luís Lopes presented LPRC’s work done on Work Package 2, in which Skills and competences gaps for the current and future of the raw materials sector were identified.

Luís Lopes (LPRC) presented the results on the skills and competences gaps for the raw materials sector (WP2).

Later, Márcio Tameirão presented the MOBI-US project, which has a clear connection with INTERMIN by using the latter’s skills and competences needs analysis to create MOBI-US mobility pathways according to the demand from the sector. The main objective of MOBI-US project is to set up a structured mobility network between raw materials-related higher education programs in four ESEE institutions (East & South-East Europe), and INTERMIN was an important input in this process, mainly for the role of LPRC in MOBI-US – Mentoring (WP4). Márcio also took part in the stakeholders’ debate, defending the MOBI-US perspective.

Márcio Tameirão (LPRC) presented the MOBI-US project, which has common points with INTERMIN.

Finally, the presentations made by African, North and South American and Asian representatives of the raw materials value chain showed how the skills and gaps in those areas of the globe are evolving.

The next steps include the adminstrative and technical wrap-up of INTERMIN which will take place during the summer, up to the moment of the project’s final review, to be held later in September.

LPRC contributes to the MOBI-US Training event – Part 1

The MOBI-US project has reached one more important milestone on the 18th of June 2021: the successful conclusion of MOBI-US Training event, Part 1. The objective of this online meeting was to gather representatives of other faculties and universities that offer raw materials-related higher education programs – from the ESEE region – to present some of MOBI-US’ results. The talks also mentioned the lessons learned, best-practices, and the guidelines that the consortium elaborated for an effective implementation of student mobilities. The main idea is to support and foster the development of more mobility programs and projects in the region, which will strengthen the higher education in this sector.

The MOBI-US training banner.

One of the speakers of the event was LPRC’s Luís Lopes who provided a presentation on “Competence criteria for raw materials programs, lessons from the INTERMIN project”. The talk covered the important role of education due to the uptake of new technologies, methods and tools that are used in the raw materials value chain, in order to build a stronger workforce that is adapted to the current and future market needs in the sector. In addition, he provided the main conclusions from the foresight analysis that LPRC conducted during the INTERMIN Project, presenting the skills and competences gaps in the mining sector.

Luís Lopes presenting the results of the foresight analysis of skills and competences gaps for the raw materials sector.

A total of 54 attendees had the opportunity to learn and interact with the presenters from MOBI-US consortium, as well as the guest speakers. The talks generated interest and engagement with the audience, which are crucial for the uptake of further cooperation between institutions and – consequently – the development of more mobility opportunities.

LPRC participates at the GEOENVI-CROWDTHERMAL joint webinar – part 2

The recommendations coming from GEOENVI (see part 1) directly echoe the CROWDTHERMAL project’s vision for social acceptance on geothermal projects. CROWDTHERMAL identified 4 factors of public acceptance:

  1. Self-efficacy: Energy transition means the change of infrastructures and daily life environments. It is important to experience one’s own impact and influence within this transformation process.
  2. Identity: The more people can identify emotionnally with a measure, the greater their willingness to accept it. This means that infrastructure measures must also be recognised emotionally as elements of one’s own living environment. This is more likely to happen with more local stakeholders involed (regulators, SME and local communities).
  3. Orientation and insight: If people understand the necessity of a political decision and support the goals and means envisaged by this decision, they are more likely to accept it. Therefore, transparent information is needed about what they will face. Crucial elements are transparency about pros and cons and potential alternatives.
  4. Positive risk-benefit balance: Acceptance is more likely the more the planned consequences of a decision benefits oneself or related groups. This includes the perception of low or at least acceptables risks. In this context, the risk assessments of experts and those of laypersons are often not congruents.

Finally, with regard to financing of geothermal projects, CROWDTHERMAL confirmed that community funding can play an important role to initiate and support geothermal projects by raising additional funds. Especially in the early project development phases, alternative finance methods can enable more geothermal projects to be brought to life. Community funding can also achieve public engagement and increase acceptance. In the light of the massive investments needed, especially for deep geothermal power projects, community funding is yet not considered to be functional entirely on its own, but rather in combination with other (conventional) forms of finance.

Community funding can play an important role to initiate and support geothermal projects.

The most suitable alternative finance method very much depends on the individual project characteristics and context. At the early project development stages, especially crowdfunding (shares/equity or reward-based) can be attractive options to achieve community co-ownership and to enhance project support. The high resource-related risk in the early phases leads to high return expectation of investors. Community funding is generally less risky in the construction and operation phases, but the potential returns at these stages are also less attractive.

Understanding and developing a project in a holistic way, taking into consideration technical, financial, and social dimensions as well as their interdependency is an important risk mitigation measure for project developers. It reduces the risk of interface problems and increases the chances for a Social License to Operate as well as for technical and economic success.

Further readings:

GEOENVI Recommendations for the harmonisation of geothermal environmental regulations in the EU: https://www.geoenvi.eu/publications/recommendations-for-european-harmonisation-of-geothermal-environmental-regulations-in-the-eu/

CROWDTHERMAL guidelines for Public acceptance: https://www.crowdthermalproject.eu/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/CROWDTHERMAL-D1.4.pdf

CROWTHERMAL community for renewable energy best practices in Europe: https://www.crowdthermalproject.eu/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/CROWDTHERMAL-D2.1-new-version.pdf