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LPRC contributes to the 4th UNEXUP Progress meeting

The UNEXUP consortium had the opportunity to meet in person for the first time since the kick-off-meeting of the project, held in Budapest, Hungary, in early February 2020. During this period of time, three Progress Meetings were held online, due to the travel restrictions and different phases related to the ongoing pandemic that Europe is facing.

The 4th Progress Meeting took place in Porto, Portugal, on 25-26 January 2022, hosted by the partner INESC TEC. The event was hybrid, and the attendance comprised participants both in person and in virtual mode. The first day of the event was initiated with welcome words and practicalities by the UNEXUP Coordinator Norbert Zajzon, followed by a short presentation about general aspects of the project. After that, the Work Package (WP) leaders were invited to present the progress and future steps of their activities.

LPRC is the leader of WP4 – Communication, dissemination and outreach, whose tasks are related to the communication & dissemination management, development and maintenance of the outreach tools, and raising market interest. In this context, Márcio Tameirão presented the past, current, and future activities and tools to support the work plan. In addition, LPRC’s work in WPs 0 (Market strategy and business development portfolio) and 2 (Pilots) were also reflected in their respective presentations. This session was followed by an open discussion and input from the Advisory Board of the project.

The UNEXUP Final Conference will be held in Brussels, Belgium, and LPRC will provide support related to organization and planning of the agenda and venue. It will be a great opportunity to showcase the robot and engage with stakeholders and potential customers of the exploration service in the final months of the project.

Follow the project on the website for more news.

ROBOMINERS Consortium Meeting with LPRC in Austria

The ROBOMINERS Consortium, in which LPRC participates, hosted its first in-person meeting in almost 2 years. Between the 16 and 18 of November 2021, the partners were in Leoben (Austria) to discuss the evolution of the project. LPRC members Luís Lopes and Márcio Tameirão represented the company in this event. ROBOMINERS’ innovative approach combines the creation of a new mining ecosystem with novel ideas from other sectors, in particular with the inclusion of disruptive concepts from robotics.

The first day of the meeting started with the review and updates on the various Work Packages (WPs) of the project. During this session, LPRC presented the work that is being implemented on WP8 – Active Roadmapping and Clustering, which the team leads. The previous work was analyzed and next steps were defined for the months to come. During the afternoon, the consortium was divided into different sessions. In one of this sessions, LPRC hosted an interactive Horizon Scanning Exercise (following a previous one) with the ROBOMINERS experts. This exercise aimed at analysing “hits” – aspects of relevance for the implementation of ROBOMINERS – and study how they can impact and be important for the continuation of the project. The results will now be processed by the LPRC team.

On the second day, the ROBOMINERS partners visited a mine in neighboring Slovenia – Mežica mine – which is under consideration for a test site location for the project’s demonstrations. On the third and final day, and back to Leoben, the project hosted its 2nd Clustering event entitled “The key technological obstacles towards a fully autonomous robotic mining (eco)system”, a Twinning Event organised between Leoben, Brussels and online. LPRC took part in the preparation of this Clustering event.

Follow the project developments on its website and social media channels!

ROBOMINERS project Review Meeting

On 29 January 2021, the ROBOMINERS project had its first review meeting with the EC. Our team was present as leaders of Work Package 8 to assess and discuss the main outcomes.

The review meeting, which lasted the whole Friday, was built around presentations of the work done since the beginning of the project until now. Each Work Package leader presented the results and engaged in fruitful discussions with the EC to clarify doubts and employ recommendations for improvement. As a Work Package leader, LPRC (Luís Lopes) made the presentation on Work Package 8 – Active roadmapping and clusters. Luís gave an overview of the clustering activities developed and implemented up to now, as well as the Focus Groups and Horizon Scanning exercises with experts. The presentation of the work was well received and no major doubts or recommendations were put forward.

Work Package 8 presentation (Luís Lopes)

The efforts of clustering and roadmapping will continue in the next months with a series of engaging activities!

EGU 2020 online – with LPRC participation

Similarly to the past editions of 2017 and 2019, LPRC is set to participate in this year’s European Geosciences Union with presentation materials on some of the projects where the company participates. This year, due to the restrictions imposed on the COVID-19 situation, the event will be held online.

The EGU 2020 online event will have many activities and discussions running from the 4th to the 8th of May. Posters, talks and other debates will be transformed into online available materials and chat talks will be held to engage in discussion with scientists.

Below you can find the projects and materials that the LPRC members are going to present during next week’s EGU 2020 online event:

Feel free to have a look at the projects and materials provided and join the discussion at the given times – science is for everyone!

UNEXUP e-meeting – WP0 & WP1 workshop

On March 24th-26th, the LPRC team participated in an UNEXUP three-day consortium e-meeting, which was held via teleconferencing due to the quarantine measures of the current COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. In this opportunity, partners responsible for the commercialization strategy and technological developments presented the current progress and the work plan for the next months, followed by discussions and questions raised by the whole consortium.

In the technological scope, the presentations were about the upscaling of the current UX-1 robotic platform – built during the UNEXMIN project, as well as the future development of an additional robot that will be added to the platform, which will be able to accomplish even more challenging missions, with improved hardware, software and overall capabilities.

UNEXMIN GeoRobotics Ltd. and LPRC made presentations for the commercialization / business plan section of the e-meeting. The LPRC presentation covered the Go-To-Market strategy, mentioning the PDAC 2020 findings, where LPRC was present to make a brief market assessment by dialoguing with UNEXUP’s potential clients in order to understand their expectations and needs from the service. This input is valuable to provide the necessary tools to develop a solid business plan for the UNEXUP exploration/ mine mapping service.

LPRC is the leader of the communication and dissemination Work Package (WP4) in UNEXUP, also taking part in the Go-To-Market strategy (WP0), by contributing with customers’ relations and analysis.

LPRC at PDAC 2020

LPRC member Luís Lopes was present at the most recent PDAC convention, held every year in Toronto, Canada. Luís represented the UNEXUP project, where LPRC, besides leading and doing major work for dissemination and communication, is involved in market research and customer involvement. It was to this last topic that the representation at PDAC 2020 was dedicated.

From the 1st to 4th of March, LPRC introduced and discussed the project development prospects, its line of work and uniqueness to a list of stakeholders that included governments, public authorities and private companies, such as mining companies and technology developers. The aim was to raise commercial awareness in the technology and understand how the possible future customers see the market value and prospects of the UNEXUP technology. Market research is a big part of UNEXUP and will be considered throughout the project.

LPRC’s work at PDAC will now be processed and the results will feed into the UNEXUP project’s Work Package dedicated to market uptake.

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

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?

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.

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