Newcrest crowdsourcing initiative receives award

Friday, 22 March, 2019

Newcrest crowdsourcing initiative receives award

In order to remain successful and competitive on a global scale, collaboration is vital amongst Australian organisations operating in the fast-paced mining sector. To that end, Newcrest Mining has collaborated with Unearthed Solutions to meet the increased demand for technological, digital capabilities and skills to help identify, develop and implement new solutions for multimillion-dollar operational challenges in the mining and resources sector.

Following a longstanding relationship with Unearthed Solutions to provide challenges and support for hackathons and other online competitions, the two organisations have partnered to create The Newcrest Crowd powered by Unearthed.

The Newcrest Crowd is an automated online crowdsourcing platform put together by Unearthed to engage a community of innovators to work on real-world challenges supplied by Newcrest.

Open Innovation Lead Chris Schmid from Unearthed said Newcrest has been a leader in this space, making a conscious decision to build crowdsourcing into internal processes.

“This is so far unique in the mining industry globally, that a company has made a decision to open up challenges, and be really open about them, to invite people from the outside, innovators and entrepreneurs to solve those problems,” he said.

Newcrest Financial Director and Chief Financial Officer Gerard Bond recognised the impact of the partnership with Unearthed to access the skills and capabilities of METS companies and innovators across Australia, responding to real business problems and real data.

“It’s been a fabulous relationship with Unearthed,” Bond said. “They’ve provided us with a great platform to put real business opportunities or challenges out for the world to take on.

“It’s been phenomenally successful — it’s inspired us to keep doing it; we’re not too proud to think we have all the answers.”

Newcrest is already seeing a positive impact to the bottom line as a direct result of the crowdsourced solutions and subsequent partnership developments. Mutual business gains are continuing to flow out of the partnership between Newcrest and Unearthed, particularly for the Australian solutions providers. It is also significant to note that innovators who create prototype solutions to real industry challenges hosted on the online platform retain 100% of their intellectual property.

Participants who provided winning solutions on the platform have reaped the reward of cash prizes and contractual arrangements to commercialise their solutions. Newcrest is actively progressing three of the solutions resolved in the last 12 months. Additionally, some of the solutions developed during challenges have spawned business development opportunities with other resources companies; METS companies with applicable technologies have used the platform to showcase how their products solve mining challenges, leveraging the successful outcomes.

METS Ignited is committed to fostering ways to assist METS companies and miners to work together more collaboratively towards common goals to create step-change within the mining innovation ecosystem. The METS Ignited Collaboration Award recognises partnerships between METS companies, miners and researchers, working together to achieve mutual business gains through successful collaboration.

The Newcrest and Unearthed collaboration was one of the stand-out entries amongst an impressive pool of applicants for the 2018 METS Ignited Collaboration Award, which was announced at the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) gala dinner. On Wednesday, 31 October, the partnership between Newcrest Mining and Unearthed Solutions to deliver the Newcrest Crowd was recognised by METS Ignited and celebrated by industry as a world-class example of collaboration at IMARC.

Newcrest Performance, Governance and Partnerships Lead Daniel Cassar described the collaboration award as a sign to keep moving forward with the platform and the collaboration.

“The award is a humbling validation of the work we are doing. The collaboration award provides recognition of the joint venture and also helps demonstrate the credibility of the work undertaken to the marketplace,” he said.

In 2019, the METS Ignited Collaboration Award is in its fourth year, and with growing participation from the mining ecosystem, the award will again be an integral part of the IMARC program which attracts mining leaders from across the globe.

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