A Collaborative Partnership With Newlab To Support Innovation

When CMIC recently partnered with the Prospect Mining Studio at Newlab it was a prime example of collaborative innovation in action.

Newlab is a community of experts and innovators applying transformative technology to solve the world’s biggest challenges. The Prospect Mining Studio is a partnership between Newlab and Vimson Group that supports top entrepreneurs, engineers, inventors, and prominent researchers to advance the natural resource and mining industries.

CMIC and Newlab are now working together to identify and evaluate technologies that have the potential to help move mining toward a more efficient, sustainable future.

“CMIC and Newlab are like-minded organizations employing similar approaches to solve complex business challenges.  When we combine CMIC’s problem identification, and market pull from mining companies, with Newlab’s global community of innovators in frontier technology, transformation of the mining industry will rapidly become a reality.”

Carl Weatherell, CEO & Executive Director, CMIC.

We spoke with Satish Rao, Chief Product Officer of Newlab to learn more:

What are Newlab’s competencies when it comes to mining technology?

“Newlab supports emerging frontier technology. Sensors, robotics, advanced materials and biotech are just a few examples. Our community of more than 800 entrepreneurs, engineers and inventors from more than 175 members began with 30 startups just six years ago. Many of those member companies are physically located in our headquarters in New York’s Brooklyn Navy Yard, and all of our members, including those that aren’t in New York, benefit from constant engagement with Newlab’s product realization support teams and access to the broader member community, which is designed to enable collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas.

“As part of our approach to driving innovation in mining, we built a team of experts with extensive experience in the mining industry. We started by connecting with advisers and experts through the Prospect Mining Studio, and we are now developing the partnership with CMIC to help bring the Studio’s global reach of early stage technology companies to the Canadian mining market.

“All of this aligns with the original vision of Vimson Group for what Prospect Mining could be: a global platform for driving external innovation and R&D into the mining industry to create a more sustainable and resilient future.”

What are you looking for in terms of new technologies?

“We are seeking to support emerging frontier technologies that will advance the natural resource and mining industries with a focus on sustainable and socially responsible solutions.”

How are you searching for technologies that align with CMIC’s goals?

“Our search for new technologies is global, but it started with our members. We typically reach out to our community to see what we can first discover from within, and also because our members help us understand the ‘art of the possible’, often highlighting trends and pointing us to specific companies in their networks. Next, we explore our investor networks and their portfolio. We’re also connected with several accelerator programs and their cohorts can be a source of products or technologies that are ready for pilot testing. The third tool we use is our Open Call platforms. We spend a great deal of time on the marketing side of this, and for Prospect’s most recent Open Call, which CMIC was a part of, we received 75 applications from 11 different countries ranging in stage from pre-seed to post Series B. This represents a breadth of opportunities for CMIC’s and Prospect’s mining partners, cutting across sectors and balancing between high risk/high reward and market-ready solutions.”

How do you evaluate those applications?

“One of the first things we look at is whether the company is investable. Our view is that a functioning, scalable and effective technology should be driving a viable, healthy business. We also want to know the company is collaborative and a good fit for our community. Then we evaluate the technology against mining use cases that we have in mind, considering metrics related to manufacturing, durability and cost, for example. We need to know that the founders have done a level of customer discovery and understand where we can help them identify mining pain points.”

In upcoming blog posts, we will be exploring challenges behind CMIC’s Sensor Based Ore Sorting project, and looking at some of the technologies currently being explored.

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