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Startups set to transform mining

Unearthed returns to Brisbane for the fourth time this year for a resources industry hackathon with a twist. Komatsu: Transform Mining will allow startups and entrepreneurs to showcase how their technology applies to four major mining challenges from one of the world’s largest equipment manufacturers, and prototype their engagement model with Komatsu.

The Japanese multinational manufacturing giant specifically chose to hold the event in the city of Brisbane, Australia’s major hub for mining technology startups. Running over 54 hours from 23 – 25 February 2018 at co-working and tech hub River City Labs, the event will create jobs and connections between industry and startups.

Innovation Minister Kate Jones said the return of Unearthed to Queensland would create new opportunities for the mining sector.

“Queensland has the talent, attitude and entrepreneurial thinking that will lead innovation in the mining sector. We continue to support enterprise and business innovation because we know it’s critical to our state’s growth and future.”

Komatsu: Transform Mining will provide entrepreneurs the opportunity to work closely with Komatsu mentors and personnel from across the business, who will offer deep insights into their current operations, technology gaps, implementation, integration, and future vision.

“Innovation is created by a sense of crisis as a driving force. Mining sites are in a very harsh environment and both people and machinery have to keep fighting against the severe environment 24/7. Through hackathons with outside members who are familiar with mining sites, customers and advanced technologies, we greatly expect results that cannot be achieved by in-house development,” said Ryoichi Togashi, General Manager, Komatsu.

Participants will also receive in-depth, honest feedback about how their product or technology might integrate with Komatsu’s current and future vision. There will be senior level executives from Komatsu Japan, USA, and Australia present at the event.

Throughout the weekend Komatsu will present four significant problems they are facing in the realms of wireless communications and localisation, health and safety monitoring, realtime material characterisation, and efficient extraction of ore.

“We have supported Unearthed hackathons for the past 4 years and always view it to be a valuable experience for highly technical people. The quality of output across the weekend is always next level and it truly does attract the best talent who are keen to solve some industry specific problems,” said Peta Ellis, CEO, River City Labs. “We have a great working relationship with Unearthed and they have quality partners who understand the value in releasing usable data and information for the teams to work with”.

Startups from all around the world are invited to participate and compete for the chance to advance their product with Komatsu, along with over $20,000 worth of prizes in cash and credits and an all-expenses paid trip to one of Komatsu’s global sites.

Unearthed Industry Lead – Crowdsourcing Holly Bridgwater said that Komatsu: Transform Mining is an exciting prospect for startups and entrepreneurs to show how their technology can impact Komatsu’s business.

“Constant engagement over the weekend with Komatsu mentors and business experts will prove extremely valuable and will provide participants with all they need to plan their implementation, integration, site trials and business plan,” Bridgwater said.

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