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LPRC during 2020 – a summary

The past year was an atypical one, there is no denying it. Despite the many problems posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, LPRC still managed to keep up with its work plans. All team activities – where the EU-funded projects are of most importance – ran successfully. Although not without a certain degree of adaptation. A quick summary of our activities on each of our EU projects during 2020 is given below:

INTERMIN: LPRC participated in the project’s main discussions and contributed with dissemination activities. The team’s biggest workshare was done in 2019 regarding WP2 – Raw Materials Sector Skills, Gaps and Needs.

MACARONIGHT: In 2020, LPRC coordinated the second installment of  the MACARONIGHT project after its success in 2o19. Coordination included preparation and monitoring of activities in different islands as well as analysis of the outcomes.

PRO-ACT: For this space project, LPRC contributed with geological information for the preparation of the lunar analogues where the robotic elements shall be tested during 2021. LPRC also presented the project during the EGU 2020 event.

ROBOMINERS: LPRC leads WP8 – Active clustering and roadmapping – and during 2020 the team contributed to the exchange of information with several projects and initiatives, kickstarted Focus Groups discussions and launched the Horizon Scanning activities. LPRC also contributed with the dissemination of the project at several opportunities.

AGEO: Within AGEO, the team leads communication and dissemination efforts. In 2020, besides the outreach efforts, LPRC also contributed to strengthening the impact of the project by leveraging communication with other EU projects and initiatives.

CROWDTHERMAL: During 2020, LPRC’s role was two-fold. First, the team largely contributed to the communication efforts with the management of social media channels and preparation of material such as factsheets. Second, LPRC kickstarted activities for WP4 – Integrated Development Schemes, which it leads.

ENGIE: LPRC started discussions and prepared ENGIE-related activities for the Researchers Night in 2020. For this task, LPRC hosted a high number of (online) workshops. The team also contributed with dissemination of the project, as seen with its participation on the EGU 2020 event.

UNEXUP: Continuing LPRC’s tasks from UNEXMIN, in UNEXUP the team also leads dissemination efforts. Therefore, LPRC was responsible for the development of all outreach material – both online and physical. Another important task, was the team’s contribution to the market analysis and go-to-market strategy set for the project’s implementation.

MOBI-US: Within this education-based project LPRC had two main tasks. It led outreach efforts during the whole year with the development and implementation of dissemination actions. The other relevant task was the contribution to the major guidelines for the implementation of the MOBI-US network. Here, LPRC contributed with an extensive analysis on the current and future gaps of the raw materials sector.

Besides contributing to EU-projects LPRC was also active in other areas including policy analysis, science communication and use of foresight methodologies.

We hope to have an even better 2021 with more projects and more work!

LPRC presenting UNEXUP to Instituto Superior Técnico – TÉCNICO LISBOA

Last week, on 25 November 2020, the UNEXUP and UNEXMIN projects were presented in an online lecture for the Instituto Superior Técnico – TÉCNICO LISBOA. Luís Lopes and Márcio Tameirão introduced these ambitious projects to an audience of students of the Mine and Geological Engineering degree, who could learn more about the innovative robot-based technology that was developed in UNEXMIN, and under further development within UNEXUP.

The presentation was made by Portuguese speakers of the LPRC team. Luís Lopes presented the UNEXMIN project (2016-2019), predecessor of UNEXUP, and Márcio Tameirão presented the ongoing UNEXUP project (2020-2022). In this opportunity, students and professors of TÉCNICO LISBOA had the unique chance to understand the background of the projects, as well as the advancements in the robotic technology, field trials, and main achievements. The new objectives and scope of UNEXUP were also presented, as well as the envisaged developments in the UX robots. Pictures of the robot and the test sites, as well as short videos of the pilot tests were also shown in this part of the presentation.

LPRC team members Luís Lopes and Márcio Tameirão presented the UNEXMIN and UNEXUP projects to young geoscientists of IST.

The whole presentation ended with the UNEXMIN documentary movie, which can be watched on the UNEXUP YouTube Channel.

The presentation had 12 attendees, who, together with the professors, asked questions about the robotic technology and its new instruments, as well as the future applications of it and how the exploration service will be commercialized to the target markets.

LPRC would like to thank the opportunity to present these projects to a younger audience that might change the raw materials world of tomorrow.

LPRC attending “New Challenges in the Mineral Raw Materials Industry: Safety, Digitalisation, Technology & Innovation”

On Thursday, 12 November 2020, the Cluster Portugal Mineral Resources and the Centre for Robotics and Autonomous Systems | INESCTEC, with the support of EIT RAW MATERIALS & TEC4SEA, organized an online Workshop entitled “New Challenges in the Mineral Raw Materials Industry: Safety, Digitalisation, Technology & Innovation”. This event was in the scope of the Raw Materials Week 2020, with the purpose of emphasizing the importance of the mineral raw materials in our everyday lives, and to discuss the strategies to be pursued in order to guarantee the constant supply of raw materials in Europe.

In this opportunity, Norbert Zajzon – project coordinator of UNEXUP – was invited to talk about the project in the first Session of the event, as one of the ongoing EIT RawMaterials projects. LPRC, as Work Package leader on communication & dissemination, attended the online workshop to work on the dissemination activities of the project, and report about the outcomes of the event.

Luís Lopes and Márcio Tameirão represented the company and supported this successful event co-organized by EIT RawMaterials.

UNEXUP presented at the virtual Mineral Exploration Symposium 2020

The 2020 edition of the Mineral Exploration Symposium was a two-day virtual event (17-18 September) organized by the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE). Despite the fact that it had to be held online, it was still a great opportunity for many researchers and members of the mining industry to present and discuss the current state of projects and initiatives that intend to address a continuous supply of critical raw materials to the EU.

The first day started with an introductory section, lead by members of the European Commission. One of the speakers – Gerardo Herrera (DG Grow) – mentioned the UNEXMIN project, in which LPRC was an active partner, during his talk on “Introduction to the EU challenges on mineral exploration and its importance for the society”.

The following sessions covered EU-funded projects related to raw materials exploration methods, technologies and innovation in the sector, which is a crucial step towards the achievement of the ambitious climate goals set by the EU Green Deal. The technologies involved in the clean energy transition (e.g. electric cars, wind turbines, solar panels and others) will require a substantial amount of critical raw materials, which translates to an increase in mining activities and new exploration methods in the EU.

LPRC member Márcio Tameirão represented the UNEXUP project under Session 3: European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Raw Materials, by presenting the context, history, and current state of the activities towards the improvement and commercialization of the UX-based robotic technology.

The event counted with a maximum of 200 attendees, from all over the world, who could learn more and ask questions about the current state of the many ongoing EU-funded raw materials projects.

LPRC presents projects during the online “GeoUtrecht 2020” event

On the 25th of August, LPRC members Luís Lopes and Márcio Tameirão had the opportunity to show two very innovative raw materials projects to the EU community during GeoUtrecht 2020 – this year online due to the current restrictions on travel. The selected projects were ROBOMINERS and UNEXUP.

The ROBOMINERS and UNEXUP presentations were included within the session “Raw Materials and their societal relevance for Europe” pinpointing what these two EU-funded projects are doing and what is their connection to the European society. The presentations raised interest from the audience which was translated into a few pertinent questions on the implementation of both innovative technologies with the vision to help with the sustainable sourcing of raw materials in Europe.

UNEXUP 1st Progress meeting, online

On Thursday and Friday (23 and 24 July) the UNEXUP consortium met online for the First Progress Meeting. In UNEXUP, LPRC leads the communication and dissemination efforts. Balazs Bodo, Adrienn Cseko, Luís Lopes and Márcio Tameirão participated in the e-meeting from the company’s side.

On the first day work package leaders presented their current work status and next steps for 2020 and later, while the second day was dedicated to further discussions about the plan of actions for the future. In this opportunity, Márcio Tameirão represented LPRC as the leader of Work Package 4 – Communication, dissemination and outreach with a presentation that covered the past and current dissemination efforts, as well as the future activities in order to promote the UNEXUP technology towards the key stakeholders, and to generate market interest through the UNEXUP website, social media channels, publications, brochures, events and other outreach materials.

WP4 presentation was made by Márcio Tameirão

One of the main topics of the presentation was the ongoing “Call for Pilots” campaign on social media, whose purpose is to attract potential pilot sites where the UNEXUP technology can conduct real-life surveying missions under a real service-to-client approach. In addition, to demonstrate the robots’ capabilities to produce valuable geoscientific data from these sites, and to further calibrate and develop the technology based on the outcomes of the pilots.

LPRC leads the three tasks of WP4: 4.1 – Communication and dissemination management; 4.2 –  Outreach support toolkit; and 4.3 – Increasing market interest. In addition, it is the leader of the related Task 0.4 – Customer relations, under WP0 (Market strategy and business development portfolio), besides horizontal support in order Work Packages’ activities.

A total of eight institutions participated in the e-meeting

LPRC joins the “In the Black 2020” online event

LPRC members Márcio Tameirão and Luís Lopes took part at the “In the Black 2020” online conference, representing the UNEXUP project. This short e-meeting was held on the 2nd July and was organized by INESC TEC (a team that collaborates with LPRC frequently). From the UNEXUP side, a talk on the project’s developments and objectives was given by the project coordinator.

The event, subtitled “The Safety of People and the Planet through the Application of Technology” envisaged to bring together projects and companies that are raising standards in the Health and Safety aspects of the mining value chain through innovations – such is the case of the UNEXUP project, where LPRC has the important role of Communication and Dissemination of activities and results.

LPRC participates in the UNEXUP & PIPEBOTS webinar

LPRC’s members participated on a recent joint webinar between the UNEXUP and PIPEBOTS consortia. LPRC is integral part of UNEXUP, where it leads the efforts on communication and dissemination of the project. The UNEXUP consortium was invited to provide their vision on the technology development in aspects such as IPR (Intellectual Property Rights), development of the UX-1 robotic system and hardware and software integrations.

Participation in this online webinar allowed the team members to contribute to the discussions on the topics and at the same time collect information for outreach purposes. LPRC is extending its communication capabilities within UNEXUP and other projects alike to turn them more efficient. For this the interaction with stakeholders is of paramount importance.

Call for participation in our projects!

La Palma Research Centre is a partner in many EU-focused projects. Some of these projects are calling out for stakeholders involvement in their tasks. Find below what projects are open for participation and how you can get involved with them.

MOBI-US – The project will host an online workshop about its future Masters mobility program on the 3oth of June and 1st of July, two hours each day, from 9h to 11h. Participation is free, but requires registration.

UNEXUP – UNEXMIN’s natural follow-up, UNEXUP has an open pilot policy – if you have an underwater structure and have interest in getting it surveyed with top notch technology, then this is your oppportunity. Get in touch with the project through the contact form.

ROBOMINERS – LPRC is leading the Active clustering and roadmapping efforts. Therefore, engagement with stakeholders is a given. At this moment, the team is collecting projects and persons willing to do clustering activities (exchange information, debate) and to participate in focus groups to discuss the ROBOMINERS technology and the future of mining itself. Get in touch through the project’s contact form.

Your participation is always relevant and can shape the future of this projects now and beyond!

EGU 2020 online event from LPRC’s eyes

Last week, the LPRC team presented some of its projects at the EGU General Assembly 2020, an yearly event that brings together geoscientists from all over the world to discuss several geoscientific topics. This is the third time that LPRC participates in this event, following the years of 2017 and 2019.

Due to the current situation and the restrictions in place, the EGU General Assembly of this year was held online. LPRC presented five of its running projects from Monday (4th May) through Friday (8th May). The corresponding presentation materials can still be seen and commented on until the 31st of May – find more here.

During the many online sessions, LPRC presented projects from different geoscientific related areas including new mineral exploration methods, space technology for moon exploration and citizens observatories for geohazards. The interest in the presented projects was showcased by the questions that the audience – through chat-based interaction – had for the team.

Below are the number of users participating in each of the sessions where LPRC presented its projects:

  • PRO-ACT on the session “Open session on experimental and modelling techniques for the exploration and sustainable utilization of the Moon” – 46 users
  • ROBOMINERS on the session “Energy, Resources and the Environment” – 55 users
  • AGEO on the session “Hydrology, Society and Environmental change” – 168 users
  • ENGIE on the session “Enabling Women in Geoscience: Inspiration, Challenges and Best Practice” – 176 users
  • UNEXUP on the session “State-of-the-art in mineral exploration” – 66 users

LPRC was glad to once more be part of the EGU General Assembly event and able to share innovative mining solutions, how to solve challenges in space exploration, helping to monitor geohazards and bring gender equality to the geoscientific fields. The team aims to participate once again next year with new projects and more innovative ideas!