The mining company Nexa Resources has opened applications for the third stage of the Mining Lab Challenge, a program that supports entrepreneurs who are willing to develop technological innovation projects for the mining and metallurgy sector. Unlike the other two editions, this time the Mining Lab Challenge will be ongoing and will have its applications open throughout the year.
Entries can be made through the website http://www.mininglab.com.br/. Based on the venture client model, the winning startups will receive financial investment to develop their projects, ongoing professional advisory services for one year, qualification in financial, legal and marketing management, as well as access to Nexa’s facilities and technical information.
Created in 2016, the program emerged from Nexa’s need to develop solutions for internal processes. Previously, startups had to present their projects during a given period and meet the challenges that had been set by the company. This year, as well as the traditional way, the entrepreneur can also put forward a coherent, innovative and technological idea for the mining and metallurgy sector, without necessarily responding to a challenge and can submit the project at any time of the year.
Having gained good results in previous editions, this year the company is seeking more partners from countries such as China, Israel, Canada and Australia, as well as addressing the global innovation ecosystem whilst reinforcing the company’s global position and its open innovation strategy. “Mining Lab is a collaborative way of thinking and building technological solutions and thus increasing competitiveness in the face of our business’s challenges. It is an initiative that gives life to the company environment and opens space for the development of new ideas within the concept. We want to expand the range of startups, with ideas from both inside and outside the country, in order to create increasingly innovative solutions for the sector”, says Rogerio Rabelo, Head of Open Innovation at Nexa.
The second edition of Mining Lab had 291 registered projects and 20 startups selected after the first screening stages. In the period, the candidates went through a preparation phase in which they were accompanied by Nexa’s technical and management mentors. Through this, the entrepreneurs formatted the value proposal of each initiative in order to present it to the judging panel which evaluated criteria such as viability, strategic alignment, technology, solution and the team. The panel was made up of directors from various Nexa areas.
In 2018, 9 startups were finalists of the Mining Lab and have worked on the development of the projects during 2019. They are:
- Circular Economy – Aquova (CAN), Biopolynet (CAN), Knowledge Direction do Brasil (BR)
- Mineral Concentration – E3min (PER)
- Logistics – Authenticiti (USA)
- Automation – RockMass Technologies (CAN), 4HELIXLABS (PER)
- IOT / TI – Geoinnovation (PER), ShiftAI (BR)