CHPM2030 Roadmapping workshop, Las Palmas

LPRC organised the CHPM2030 Roadmapping Workshop in Las Palmas as a follow-up of the previous Visioning workshop, under WP6 – Roadmapping and preparation for pilots. The participants were selected from both Consortium members and external research centres and companies from the geothermal and mineral sectors.

After the introduction presentations from Tamás Madarasz: CHPM2030 State of the art, Tamás Miklovicz: WP6 context, and Marco Konrat: Roadmapping methodology, the main tasks were the validation of previously identified targets (vision), and the backcasting exercise itself. The targets are related to  two distinct time horizons: 2030 pilot level (TRL 6-7), and 2050 full scale application (TRL 8-9). The sum of the targets is the vision description, and it is formulated as the desired end-state to arrive by 2050. The proposed targets were delivered at the Visioning workshop with the use of the results from the Delphi survey, and the Horizon Scanning exercise.

In short, the Vision describes where to go (targets) and the Roadmap outlines how to get there (actions + timeline). The backcasting exercise allowed the CHPM team to investigate how to reach the goals and what actions and paths need to be taken and pursued. Whenever investigating a target, the group considered three aspects, when formulating the actions: 1) underlying research & knowledge, 2) capabilities, performance & technologies and, 3) partnership and actors. When thinking about the long term targets in 2050, “wildcards”, unexpected disruptive events that may influence reaching the vision, were also considered. The participants were split into two parallel groups for the sake of the exercise: development and exploration, and operation and market, facilitated by Tamas Miklovicz and Marco Konrat, respectively. At the last session, all participants came together and the group facilitators presented the results from the previous two sessions.

This line of activities will be only one layer of the final CHPM2030 roadmaps. This particular aspect is testing the overall concept of the cross fertilization of the geothermal and mineral industries. The second layer consists of investigating concrete areas for CHPM application and providing gaps and recommendations at four EU study areas in Sweden, UK, Portugal and Romania. The third layer is the direct followup and research plan of the current technological components of the CHPM scheme. When put together, these elements will make up the final Research Roadmap for the CHPM technology.

During the second day, the participants visited the Spanish Bank of Algae, as part of a field trip The facility provides many services, including the bank of microalgae and cyanobacteria strains, genomic DNA bank, algal biomass production for industry, production of seaweed extracts on demand for companies in the biotechnology sector, analysis of samples for the determination of algae, deposit and maintenance of strains for registration of industrial property. More than 2000 algae strains are stored in the algae bank and  many interesting research activities were presented to the group. The next stop was PLOCAN, the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands. The guided tour included a presentation of the ongoing activities and research of the infrastructure and a visit to the control room and laboratories with ROVs, sailbouys and submarine autonomous gliders.

The LPRC team will now take these new input and start drafting the roadmaps for the CHPM technology in the future! We will present the roadmap at the final conference in Delft, and it will be finalised later in June!

UNEXMIN present at the EU Industry Days 2019, Brussels

The UNEXMIN project was present at the EU Industry Days 2019 in Brussels. The event, during the 5th and 6th of February, brought together many stakeholders from the most diverse industrial sectors within Europe and beyond, also including researchers and governmental bodies. Some European funded projects were invited to showcase their innovations and impact in the EU industry landscape. This was the case for UNEXMIN.

During both days of the event the UNEXMIN project booth conveyed a lot of interest from the participants that visited the exhibition area. The UNEXMIN stand counted with three Consortium partner and one robot, the first UX-1 prototype. From La Palma Research Centre, Luís Lopes was present to help in communicating the project to a very diverse audience.

The presence of the UX-1 robot at the UNEXMIN stand surely invited people to come and discuss about the robot itself and the project overall. Past, present and future developments were among discussions as were some future commercial perspectives where the innovative UNEXMIN technology can be applied.

In the end of the event, the UNEXMIN team felt that this was a great opportunity to disseminate and communicate about the project and was very glad to be invited to such an important event. Mission accomplished!

 

¡VAMOS! Final consortium meeting & Final review meeting, Brussels

The ¡VAMOS! project, from where the consortium developed an innovative mining system, is now over. The final consortium meeting was held on the 30th of January and the final review meeting with the European Commission and the project reviewer on the 31st of January. Now it is time to wrap up the results and collect the fruits of future collaboration.

The consortium meeting brought together the project partners to discuss on the overall achievements during the past 4 years. The partners were very happy with what was achieved from this ambitious project. Discussions on the short and medium-term futures were held among the partners. It is essential to find a common ground to continue and exploit the results arising from this project.

On the other hand, during the review meeting, all the work done during the project was presented and scrutinized by the Project Officer and reviewer. Presentations covered topics such as policy, future research and stakeholder engagement (where LPRC participated) and others on the actual development of the technology – the mining machine, EVA and the LARV, amongst others. The consortium got a very positive feedback from the work done, which certifies the value of these 4 years for all the partners.

LPRC is pleased to have been able to be part of such a consortium and project. Our role on Policy, Stakeholder engagement, Dissemination and Future research prospects helped the project in many ways. We hope the future is bright for ¡VAMOS!

Read more about the outcomes and future of ¡VAMOS!: http://vamos-project.eu/the-outcomes-and-the-future-of-the-vamos-project/

Watch the final ¡VAMOS! video – ¡VAMOS! project movie

INTERMIN Consortium meeting

During the last two days of January, project partners and the members of the Advisory Board gathered in Madrid at the Spanish Institute of Geology and Mining (IGME) to have a detailed discussion on the project progress and plan ahead with the work for the upcoming year.

On the first day, the first two work packages were presented, including their status and upcoming tasks. WP1 is collecting contacts of raw materials related training centres across the world, while developing a reference skills catalogue. WP2 managed by LPRC is focused on assessing skills gaps in the raw material sector under three timeframes – short-, medium- and long-term. The status of this research was presented by our colleague, Marco Martins and discussions followed by the experts with projections on sector developments for the next decade. WP2 closed its session with the kick-off of the scenario development exercise, ran by BRGM and Futuribles. Scenarios are being developed for exploring important raw materials drivers and trends, which in turn will support the creation of a Competency Model for raw materials skills and competences.

The second day of the meeting started with a cluster session from EIT Raw Materials, INFACT Project and MIREU Project, exploring potential cooperation with INTERMIN. The meeting finished with discussions over the plans for implementation of the network of training centres as well as the project planning for 2019 and a short but impressive visit to the Museum of Mines. Next meeting is expected to be held between September and October 2019 in South America. Stay tuned for updates!

UNEXMIN meeting, La Palma

La Palma Research Centre recently had the pleasure to receive the UNEXMIN partners in the island of La Palma, in the Canary Islands, Spain. The meeting that brought together partners to discuss the actual state of UNEXMIN and the future of the project was held on the 10 and 11th of January.

The development of the multi-robotic platform was also discussed and a schedule for the production and assembly of the two other robots was defined. This is an important step in order to guarantee that the UNEXMIN team will have the robots ready in time for the field trials.

The first day started with discussions among the partners about the current state of the trials. Both the data analysis from the previous tests (Idrija and Kaatiala) as well as the two next ones (Urgeiriça and Ecton) were discussed. This last point was of particular importance since the team will have two and three robots in Urgeiriça and Ecton, respectively, which will make the trials ever more complex. Therefore, proper planning is crucial and that was one of the reasons why this meeting was held now. The Urgeiriça trial is planned for March/April, while UNEXMIN will go to Ecton in May.

The other major point of the meeting – on the second day – was the discussion of the short, medium and long-term future of the UNEXMIN technology. Discussions focussed on how to better serve the market with this innovative technology that will result in the exploration and 3D mapping of underground flooded mines and other underwater environments.

Also, on the second day, as an interactive exercise, the partners worked together on a mindmapping exercise that was organised by LPRC. The results from this mindmap as well as from other foresight tools will be input for the research roadmap of the UNEXMIN technology.

This was a successful meeting where all the partners contributed with their views and knowledge and from where a bright future for UNEXMIN could be created!

From LPRC, it was a pleasure to host this meeting and we hope to see our UNEXMIN partners there in a future opportunity.

CHPM2030 Visioning workshop, Las Palmas

LPRC recently organised the CHPM2030 Visioning Workshop in Las Palmas. The participants were selected from both Consortium members, external research centres and companies from the geothermal and mineral sector. The workshop is part of the project’s forward looking exercise which is aiming to set the ground for subsequent implementation of the CHPM (Combined Heat Power and Metal extraction) technology in the future (2030/2050). The goal of this workshop is to create a shared vision, clear picture, description about how the technology ideally evolves by 2030/2050 and set tangible/measurable targets for it.

The workshop begun with introductory presentations (Tamas Madarasz: CHPM state-of-the-art, Tamas Miklovicz: WP6 context and Marco Konrat: Visioning methodology), to which the main exercise followed: the group discussion of given topics (eg. drilling) about requirements vs. achievability and targets that must be achieved before the CHPM technology can reach pilot level (TRL 6-7) by 2030 and full scale (TRL 8-9) by 2050. The different topics were grouped as  exploration and market, development and operation. Each contained subtopics and issues that had emerged during the Delphi survey. This was not a exhaustive list, and the participants added new issues or reformulated relevant ones during the group work. The aim of the group work was to set measurable targets at each relevant issue for 2030 and/or 2050 (eg. reduce drilling cost by 2030 within 30%). The sum of the targets is the vision for the given area.

The last session was about consensus building. For this, the team brought all group visions together (per area, per time horizon) and created a shared vision for 2030 and 2050. There is still a lot post-processing to be done, but the work will now continue with fresh ideas and new input. The CHPM 2030 and 2050 roadmaps will be based on this vision and will outline actions in order to meet the proposed targets and arrive at the desired future.

On the second day, the participants visited PLOCAN‘s oceanic research platform. The Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN) is a Research Infrastructure (RI) labeled by the ICTS (Unique Scientific and Technological Infrastructure) Spanish National Roadmap. The visit covered a boat trip to see the offshore platform, and a presentation at the onshore laboratories about the ongoing PLOCAN research and blue economy of the Canary Islands.

The work will continue with processing of the workshop results, and prepare the Vision for the Roadmapping activities in early 2019!

FORAM final and review meeting, Brussels

On the 29th of October, LPRC was present at the last meeting of the FORAM project, that officialy ended two days later, on the 31st. This meeting coincided with the review meeting by the EC and both were held together. FORAM fostered international cooperation on raw materials while gathering support from stakeholders from all over the world.

The one-day event consisted in the presentation of the 6 Work Packages’ line of work, results and future. Among others, major focus was put on the roadmap work package, the one that will dictate further exploitation of the projects results, conducting in the establishment of a World Forum on Raw Materials in a near future. All project partners strongly support and offered their help for further exploitation of the results, in line with what have been delined by the FORAM roadmap.

The project review went very well, with Jonas Hedberg, FORAM’s project officer, stating that the project has achieved what it proposed in the beginning in a timely fashion. The PO is now eager to see the exploitation of the results in the short to long-term, and which would see FORAM turning into a sustainable EC-funded project. Again, the creation of a World Forum on Raw Materials would strongly show this.

All good things come to an end, and so did the FORAM project. However, this is the perfect opportunity for a new beginning, instead of a goodbye!

¡VAMOS! Open Day and Advisory Board meeting, Nenagh, Ireland

The ¡VAMOS! project is now having its second field trials where the mining technology developed by a team of European researchers and companies is being tested and constantly improved. In Ireland, the ¡VAMOS! project found the perfect place to test its equipment in an open-pit flooded mine, resulting from an abandoned mine site. Together with the Open Day, where the team showed the technology in action to a number of stakeholders, technical and advisory board meetings also happened during the 24 and 25 of October.

On the 23rd of October, the ¡VAMOS! team held a technical meeting reserved to the partners that are involved in developing the many specialised bits that compose the ¡VAMOS! technology: the mining vehicle and the Launch and Recovery Vessel are just a few examples. During this meeting partners discussed the current state of their specific components and of the technology as a whole. Discussions led into a planned line of work that will translate into further improvement of the technology even during the field trials period in Ireland – that should extend for a few more weeks.

Then on the 24th, coupled with presentations on the project, local geology and mining history of Nenagh and Ireland, the ¡VAMOS! team held an Open Day during which around 80 visitors had the chance to see the innovative mining technology in action. Visitors were divided into groups and introduced to see different parts of the technology at a time. This allowed the visitors to have a better look and understanding of the technology. The visitors gave input to the project, both on engagement and exploitation that will surely be helpful to the project.

The last day of this period, the 25th, included both an Advisory Board meeting in the morning and an Exploitation Workshop in the afternoon. During the Advisory Board meeting, the ¡VAMOS! line of work was presented to environmental and mining experts with the aim to get their opinions and advice on the development of the technology, what should still be done and how. Fruitful input from the experts was given and it will surely benefit the project development as a whole.

To this, the Exploitation workshop followed. During this, the ¡VAMOS! partners had an intensive discussion on the future of the project and how to capitalise on the project’s innovative mining technology. How, when, what and who, were some of the questions around the future that were posed and answered by the consortium.

All in all, these few days were very benefitial, not only for the project partners that had interesting discussions as well as received input from expert stakeholders, but also to the visitors – geologists, researchers, locals – that had a unique chance to see the ¡VAMOS! technology in action. Their support to the team is a good tonic for the future that is to come!

Launch of the European Raw Materials Intelligence Capacity Platform

On January 2018, the H2020 MICA (Mineral Intelligence Capacity Analysis) Project was finalized concurrently with the launch of the European Raw Materials Intelligence Capacity Platform (EU-RMICP) contributing to the European Raw Materials Knowledge Base (EU-RMKB). Knowledge is essential for ensuring a sustainable and secure global supply of raw materials, both primary and secondary, to the EU’s economy and society. Proper knowledge management promotes activities of the raw materials sector, regarding not only exploration, extraction, processing/refining and recycling, but also investments, innovation, trade, development, skills and education. Knowledge is also key for policy support, informed debate and decision-making.

During the last 2 years the project brought together 16 partners from 13 different countries plus 15 geological surveys as linked third parties (LTPs) to assess raw materials stakeholders needs, collect and build a database and assess relevant methods and tools on raw materials intelligence, to investigate raw materials intelligence options for European mineral policy development and build a web-based intelligence platform (EU-RMICP). LPRC was actively involved as task leaders in “Strategic Raw Materials Intelligence Approaches”. Check out the new platform!

MacaroNight – Researchers Night of the Macaronesia

On the 28th of September 2018 the Macaronesia, represented by the islands of Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Madeira and São Miguel, experienced a tsunami of researchers taking the streets and showing the islands that they, too, have a scientific identity, that their place of birth is full of richness to be discovered and that science has played a fundamental role in their history, from conquest times to today.

Leading this invasion of science is La Palma Research Centre as coordinator, with a consortium including 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. For 2019 the Universidade do Mindelo, from Cape Verde, will join for an even bigger event.

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.

In order to reach the goals of the project the consortium puts together a series of events including demonstrations, hands-on experiments, tours and other interactive activities designed with and for the public to submerge the attendants in the world of research.

Don’t forget to come and see us on the 27th of September 2019!