PRESS RELEASE: These funds, issued by METS Ignited and announced by Minister for Jobs and Innovation Michaelia Cash, form part of the Bowen Basin Cluster Program, a joint initiative with the Queensland government that brings together METS companies in the region with complementary areas of expertise to solve mining challenges.
The recipients for the pilot programme (representing four consortia) are MyneSight, Active Adrenalin, Split Spaces and Macdonald Cordell/Aurecon - each of which has been awarded initial funding from METS Ignited, matched by industry partners, bringing the total programme value to almost A$1.5 million (US$1.1 million).
The projects funded by the initiative will help develop solutions for conveyor belt spillage and its associated issues; access to the costly practice of rapid prototyping; training for new underground mining operators; and health and safety improvements.
The second phase of the programme, funded by the Queensland government, will see the appointment of a cluster development manager, who will provide long-term support for facilitation and growth of the Bowen Basin businesses throughout the lifetime of their projects.
The Australian METS sector generates $86 billion in gross value add to the national economy and supports 500,000 jobs. In Queensland, the sector is worth an annual $7 billion to the Queensland economy and could provide up to 3,000 jobs over the next decade.
METS Ignited CEO Ric Gros said regional collaboration such as this is of significant economic benefit to the sector and the nation.
"When businesses in this sector can come together, pool knowledge and innovate for their customers, the results are world-class solutions and notable business growth," Gros said.
"The commercialisation of innovation through programmes like this will ensure that the METS sector - already worth $86 billion to the Australian economy - continues to grow and provide jobs for regions like Mackay."
As the pilot region for METS Ignited's clustering programs, METS and mining companies in the Bowen Basin will benefit from increased access to world-class products and services.
"The Bowen Basin region has a long-standing history of developing innovative solutions for domestic and international mining. This program is an opportunity to elevate that innovation further, and continue to grow the market," Gros said.
Queensland Assistant Minister and Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said: "Developing and facilitating METS clusters encourages greater collaboration among companies and sharing of complementary capabilities, as well as growing the pace and impact of innovation and rates of commercialisation in the sector."