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Sudbury mine innovation centre goes global

CEMI sets its sights on commercialization, international partnerships, and digital transformation
The Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) held its annual general meeting and showcase on Oct. 31 in Sudbury.

The Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) in Sudbury positioned themselves as an international hub of mine research and innovation at their annual general meeting and showcase on Oct. 31. 

Their primary goal is to focus on fast-tracking new tech for commercialization, and they have plans in the near future to establish a mining innovation and commercialization accelerator, hopefully with federal help through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF).

Through initiatives like supporting the Crush It Challenge, which hopes to help innovators develop clean tech used for crushing and grinding rocks in the mining industry, and hosting the Future of Deep Mining Conference, held this past September in Toronto, CEMI aims to support the mining ecosystem through innovation scouting and challenge identification. 

In other words, they want to bring new technologies to Canada to address gaps in existing knowledge, and share locally developed innovations with the rest of the world. 

“As most people are aware, CEMI is going global,” said Charles Nyabeze, vice-president of business development and commercialization. “We recognize that's where the opportunities are.” 

They are in the process of signing different commercialization agreements and creating partnerships internationally. 

The organization recently signed an MOU with METS Ignited located in Brisbane, Australia. 

They have also started to “cross-pollinate” ideas by reaching out to establish innovation centres in countries like Peru, which are interested in what they call the “Sudbury miracle.” 

Other countries that have recently connected with CEMI include Germany and Norway. 

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CEMI emphasized that by going international, they do not plan to introduce any technology that will compete with local small and medium enterprises or their innovations. 

The organization is also undergoing a digital transformation. With the tentative CEMI Portal, they hope to take their operations completely online. 

Clients of CEMI will be able to take advantage of an events calendar, workflow systems, and challenge submissions. Using algorithms currently in development, they plan to match their clients' challenges with specific solutions that are customized to the clients' needs. 

Next year, the organization is again planning to host the Future of Deep Mining Conference. While they don't have a specific date set, it will most likely be in September, 2020.