Technology company Southern Innovation says it has entered into a multi-year collaboration agreement with BHP to further research applications of the METS company’s radiation-based minerals analysis technology.
Under the agreement Southern Innovation will provide BHP with technical expertise to uncover solutions to specific challenges BHP faces in mineral exploration and extraction, the company said.
Southern Innovation and BHP have worked together since late 2015 to develop and commercialise technology to improve the performance of radiation-based analysis in mining applications, using a complex signal-processing algorithm developed by Southern Innovation Founder Paul Scoullar at The University of Melbourne.
BHP Vice President of Technology Global Transformation, Rag Udd, said: “Our continuing engagement with the METS sector ensures that our industry successfully adapts to technological change while creating and sustaining global technological and skills leadership in key areas of mining and our supply chain.
“An internationally competitive, appropriately skilled and innovative METS sector is critical to help maintain Australia’s leading position in the global resources sector.”
Southern Innovation’s CEO and Managing Director, David Scoullar, said: “We are delighted to formalise our ongoing relationship with BHP to further research applications of our radiation-based minerals analysis technology to meet challenges across BHP’s domestic and international commodity portfolio.
“Our engagement with BHP over the last three years has successfully developed new-to-world METS technology and products in Australia and enabled us to double our workforce. With this new research and ongoing product development work, we will be adding even more employees dedicated to this task with a view to redoubling our workforce over two years.”
Industry body for the METS sector, Austmine, has been supporting Southern Innovation since 2015 through the Australian Technologies Competition and the Accelerating Commercialisation Program with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, and more recently with grant funding via the Entrepreneurs’ Programme.
Austmine CEO, Christine Gibbs Stewart, said: “It’s critically important that emerging METS companies can access customers, funding, expertise and networks to enable the development and commercialisation of disruptive technologies in the METS sector.
“Southern Innovation is a great example of how small, agile innovators can help big businesses like BHP solve previously intractable challenges.”