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Open Innovation Challenges

A strategic, reliable, and efficient pathway to solve the specific challenges facing the mining industry.

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The Future of Mining image

The Future of Mining

Open Innovation Challenges

NORCAT Open Innovation is an online global marketplace that connects the builders and buyers of innovation alongside other key stakeholders to help identify and accelerate the development, testing, and deployment of solutions to address the intractable challenges facing the global mining industry.

How it Works

For the Tech Companies

1. Apply to Solve a Challenge

Does your company have a solution to one of our challenges? No matter where you are located or what industry you're in - you can apply to participate in any challenge.

2. Build and Deploy a Customized Solution

If selected, your company will be given access to NORCAT Innovation resources and a budget build a proof-of-concept or prototype.

3. Grow and Scale

Post successful proof-of-concept and/or prototype deployment, NORCAT will facilitate buy / sell days with mining companies so you can pitch your solution for expanded procurement opportunities.

4. On-Going Support

NORCAT Innovation will continue to support you in implementing and scaling your solution globally, even after the challenge wraps up.

For the Mining Companies

A more strategic, reliable, and efficient pathway of solving and deploying solutions to your challenges

1. Unearth Your Challenges

NORCAT’s team will work with you to develop your challenge abstract, budget, and resource requirements.

2. Launch Your Challenge

Using our platform, we will officially launch your global challenge with a marketing campaign, seminars and Q&A’s.

3. We do the Heavy Lifting

  • We will leverage our global network to identify and engage relevant tech companies.
  • We will take care of NDA’s.
  • We will support the proof of concept, development and testing.
  • We will provide meaningful mentorship and support throughout the entire process.

4. Deploy a Working Prototype

NORCAT will work with the tech companies to deploy a working prototype in the NORCAT Underground Centre or within your mining operations.


Challenge 1 - Excessive Water / Run of Material in Underground Mines

Inrush of Material in Underground Mines

Uncontrolled water in an underground mining environment can be a significant hazard. We look to identify a technology solution that can both identify and mitigate the conditions that lead to the risk of the run of material.

Challenge 2 - Acid Train Car Loading

Acid Train Car Loading

Smelter/sulphuric acid is a common chemical by-product of the smelting process. Given the risks associated with human exposure, we look to identify a technology solution that can ultimately remove the worker from harm's way.

Challenge 3 - Underground Operator Alertness

Underground Operator Alertness

Underground operator alertness is of utmost importance to ensure the safety of all mineworkers. We look to identify a technology solution that can assess and monitor underground equipment operators with the intent of identifying and resolving cognitive impairments, fatigue and/or distracted behaviour.

Challenge 4 - Diesel Particulate Matter

Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM)

Underground mining operations possess a significant amount of diesel equipment. Diesel particulate matter (DPM) has been classified as a carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO) and has been linked to negative health effects. Given the risk, we look to reduce the emissions of diesel particulate matter in Vale’s underground operations.

Get your Solution Discovered

Do you have a solution for a challenge facing the mining industry but don't see a related Open Innovation Challenge?

Tell us about your solution and we will notify you if a new challenge is created that you can solve!